2012… What a Fabulous Year of Training

CALL NOW TO SCHEDULE YOUR FREE CONSULTATION (828) 337-5792

Daisy having fun on this years trip to Hatteras Island.

Daisy having fun on this years trip to Hatteras Island.

As 2012 comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on all the wonderful clients that my apprentice Kim and I have had the opportunity to work with this past year. It has truly been four fabulous seasons of training canine best friends and their human Guardians. There is nothing we like to do more than to facilitate creating better canine/human relationships.

Mountain Feist, Squash, at 8 weeks.

Adorable Mountain Feist, Squash, at 8 weeks.

This past year started off on a great note with a new puppy, as I assisted in raising and training Squash, a gorgeous Mountain Feist. I absolutely adore Terriers, their incredible energy, and strength of will. I was fascinated as we played tug with this intelligent little guy and thought about my own childhood Terrier, McDuff. It has been so fun watching Squash grow over the past year.

Eli, relaxing during our training session.

Eli, relaxing during our training session.

Over the Summer, I met Eli, an incredible German Shepherd Dog who was suffering from fearful territorial aggression. He was under socialized as a puppy and, at a year and a half, was showing aggression towards anyone not in his immediate family. He spent our entire consultation lunging, snarling, growling and barking at me. I immediately recommended a de-conditioning program to help alleviate the cause of the aggressive behavior and also started his foundational obedience. We were able to successfully rehabilitate this handsome boy, changing his behavior, eliminating his aggressive responses, and complete his Tethered and Untethered obedience training.

Chippie Lee and Barley learning obedience and overcoming sibling aggression together.

Chippie Lee and Barley learning obedience and overcoming sibling aggression together.

Also over the Summer, I enjoyed working with Barley and Chippie Lee, two siblings who were suffering from intense aggressive sibling rivalry. They erupted into a very tenacious fight during our first training session and it was obvious that Barley was over reacting in a big way to any perceived transgression on the part of Chippie Lee. I taught them and their Guardian proper obedience– effectively setting up their Guardian as a strong leader. Today these two are happily living together with no more sibling aggression.

Jack absolutely thrived during his stay at the Kabler house.

Jack absolutely thrived during his stay at the Kabler house.

In the Fall I trained Jack in my Residency Training Course. My Residency dogs are guests in my home where I can really focus on teaching house manners. Each guest goes for walks and is trained daily. I really enjoy taking Residency Guests on field trips. Sunny Point Cafe, Hickory Nut Gap Farms, French Broad River Park, and downtown Asheville have all been destinations. Asheville has a new and amazingly effective training option. This program offers incredible results and is so fun for your dog!

Bernese Mountain Dog Ellie learned so much during her Kabler Residency Training.

Bernese Mountain Dog Ellie learned so much during her Kabler Residency Training.

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Kabler apprentice taking time for snuggles after obedience practice.

In 2012 Kabler apprentice Kim Turley has also been progressing in her training knowledge and ability. I have been so excited to see Kim’s confidence grow as she becomes a skilled trainer and instructor. Watching her learn to train has brought back many memories of my own experiences as a young trainer and my desire to discover the best techniques and methods for teaching canines. I am so proud of Kim and am looking forward to seeing my apprentices continued progression in 2013.

In the Fall, I worked closely with Jenna Yarosh at Patton Avenue Pet Company to establish our unique Puppy Preschool Class. Few things compare with the excitement of raising a puppy and this class is designed to assist new Guardians. I love raising pups and in this class Kim and I teach optimum ways to socialize, house train, obedience train, and play train with your new family addition.

Things I have learned this year training best friends– or what the the dogs have taught me:

1.) There is no rush. While working with German Shepherd Dog Eli’s Untethered training I learned a valuable lesson about moving too fast and the importance of progressing slowly. As we were transitioning him from Tethered to Untethered obedience it became evident that he needed more time and lots of more play added into his training. This is one reason why in 2012 I have extended Kabler’s training guarantee to include lifetime follow up lessons– what I enjoy most is learning what the dogs have to teach me and I can only learn these lessons by taking a dog from start to finish and standing by their side for the long haul.

Bogie playing a vigorous game of tug during his training.

Pitbull Bogie playing a vigorous game of tug during his training.

2.) Always remember to take time for play and praise. I love training dogs so much and sometimes get incredibly focused on teaching and then one of my dogs will look up at me and make a playful gesture and successfully instigate my playful side and remind me how important play is to both humans and dogs. I am reminded of my clients, a Golden Retriever named Obi and a Pitbull named Bogie, whose Guardians are learning to use play as a reward. Play and praise are often overlooked as motivational tools and it is incredibly important to use both of these whenever possible in addition to treats as positive rewards.

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Daisy having fun on this years trip to Hatteras Island.

3.) Continue to work on becoming as good at reading human Guardians as I am at reading the dogs. I am incredibly focused on my dogs during training, so much so, that sometimes I need to remind myself that the human Guardian is just as important to the training process as the dog. It is important to remember that the dog and Guardian are a team. I constantly strive to train my clients holistically from this dual canine/human perspective.

These are just a few of my training cases that I have handled over the past year. All of my clients and their dogs are so important to us here at Kabler School For Dogs. It has truly been an awesome year working with so many dogs. I hope that you will get in touch and discuss you and your best friends training goals for the new year– we are so excited about all the possibilities coming in 2013.  – David

CALL NOW TO SCHEDULE YOUR FREE CONSULTATION (828) 337-5792

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