Dog training: Train the owner, not the dog

“So You Have A Brand New Puppy… What now?”

I raised several breeds of dogs for quite a few years, mainly as a hobby. They were sold as pet quality not meant for show, but still carefully selected and well bred animals. I enjoyed very much taking care of my dogs, watching the puppies grow, and meeting new people that came to look at and buy them.

Often times I was ask by a new pet owner how to go about training their puppy for different things…. house training, walking on leash, sit, stay etc. ….. I trained my dogs myself, just using my own techniques that I had learned over the years, but had never really given much thought to how other people trained their dogs. Raising larger breeds such as Great Danes and Boxers, I always explained to people that bought my dogs the importance of spending time with and training their dogs so they would be easier to handle and good pets.

I decided to do a little research and put together a training coarse. I divided up the things I considered valuable lessons for a good, well rounded, obedience trained dog into ten classes. I advertised dog obedience training classes… one evening a week, two hours, ten consecutive weeks, for $10 a week. The response was much better than I had anticipated. I signed up twenty five people fairly quickly, which was the limit I set for my class.

I was very excited, getting all my paraphernalia together, planning my strategies… and then I panicked. I would be teaching “people” how to train their dogs. Now, I was perfectly comfortable teaching dogs… I had all the faith in the world in them being able to learn what ever I wanted them to, but “people” ? Don’t get me wrong… I do like people, but I do also much more prefer the company of animals. I find them more willing, less demanding and drama filled, and much more loyal than most humans.

I retreated to my usual place of stress relief and thinking ……. the dog kennels. As I sat talking to and hugging the one hundred and thirty pound Great Dane stud dog that was my very best friend and confidant my fears slowly faded to the back of mind. Looking at the dog, I started to get an idea… Breawind’s Imminent Domain… nicknamed Brutus, was one of the most well behaved, well trained and best natured dogs I had. His leash edict was immaculate, and I had even worked with him on some off leash training. He was also super inteligent, and using him as a demonstrator dog I was sure he could teach most people a thing a two.

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