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When someone has a very problematic dog, I (the dog trainer) am usually the last person to know. But when I finally do hear about it, I encounter a lot of human frustration: someone at their wits' end because their dog has destroyed an expensive sofa, shredded a mattress, or uninstalled some linoleum; or someone who is feeling angry and betrayed because their dog bit them or a family member.
"What if somebody asks to pet my dog?" It is a question I often get from clients with fearful dogs.
Sure, I can train your dog to do just about anything you want. But the truth is, I mostly train people.
To train people correctly, you have to care ... about them, their dogs, their situation, their challenges; you have to want to make a difference and be willing to go the extra mile. If you don't, you have no right being in a business where the stakes are so high, for both people and their dogs.
I used to say the best part of my job was seeing a family's joy as their dog bonds with them and becomes an integral, well-adjusted member of the family.
A funny thing happened just before Christmas break. I was doing some behavior modification work with a dog-reactive Blue Heeler at Washington Park. We were walking down the path that encompasses the park, hoping to encounter dogs, but the park was nearly empty (typical for a Wednesday morning). I knew any dog we encountered would be a precious training opportunity.
Yesterday, my wife and I took a trip into the mountains to see the autumn leaves. After driving the Peak to Peak Highway and enjoying the yellow and orange aspen collages spattered throughout the evergreen forests, we stopped by Mary's Lake to let Alie (our Labrador Retriever) splash around for a while.
Once everybody was satisfied, wet, smelly and tired, we headed into Estes Park for an ice cream and coffee. Estes is a surprisingly dog-friendly Colorado town, and I was encouraged by the number of signs on shop windows indicating dogs were welcome inside.
Perhaps the 80's rock band, Dire Straits, said it best when they described the rock star life style as "your money for nothing and your chicks for free." The phrase drums up images of filthy rich musicians destroying hotel rooms, getting DUIs in their Ferraris, and smashing priceless Gibson Les Paul guitars on stage as if money, civilized decoru
If you live in Denver (or any of a number of other rain-soaked cities), you’ve probably been staying indoors where it is dry and warm for a few days now. And if your dog is like mine, she is developing a serious case of cabin fever - a recipe for disaster with high-energy dogs. My Lab has been eyeballing my shoe and licking her lips, and she keeps dropping her Kong toy in my lap, desperate for a game of fetch. So, what are we to do?