Forging a Strong Relationship with Your Best Friend

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Baxter and Winston excited to go!

In todays busy world it is easy to get caught up in your life and forget to spend quality time with your canine best friend. There are many daily activities that will help to forge a better relationship with your canine companion. In this post we will explore several ways that you and your best friend can enhance your natural bond.

Walking, hiking, and running with your best friend are the most obvious ways that you can spend more quality time with your dog. A daily walk or run around the neighborhood can be spiced up with special trips to new and exciting places. There are so many beautiful destinations for you and your best friend here in Asheville. Be sure to check the rules of the places that you plan on visiting so that you are best prepared for your excursion. For dogs that are not off leash trained I like to use a 20-30 foot long leash to give a better sense of freedom. For trips into the back country, consider teaching your dog to carry a weight appropriate dog backpack and be sure to carry a canine first aid kit.

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Golden Retriever Tully having some fun retrieving on his long line.

If you have a highly active dog, agility and obstacle course training may be just the outlet that will allow your best friend to get all of that extra energy out. Agility training will teach your dog to focus on the course and to your commands. This allows your dog to use both their mind and body at the same time which can tire out even the most energetic canine. It is incredibly fun and exciting to train your dog to weave and climb through one of these amazing courses.

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Belgian Malinois Barry Kabler, PH1,CGC clears a 5 foot fence obstacle. A well trained canine companion adds so much to our experience.

Bike riding with your best buddy can also be a safe and fun activity for you and your dog. So that your dog does not accidentally pull you over it is essential to use a canine bike riding device like The Springer. The Springer has a large coiled spring that allows your dog to pull with out pulling over you and your bike. Be sure to spend most of your time with your dog trotting and not at a full run. Be careful in the heat of the Summer as asphalt can become very hot and can burn your dogs pads. Teach your dog to use The Springer by walking your bike at first and once you start riding you can build up your dogs endurance slowly over several weeks. We offer a bike riding workshop if you need help introducing your dog to bike riding as a new activity!

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German Shepherd Mijo learning to ride safely during a Kabler Bike Riding Workshop.

Swimming with your best friend will get both of you out of town and out to some beautiful spots here in Western North Carolina. Most dogs will naturally learn to swim on their own but if your dog shows hesitation you can teach them to swim. Start in shallow water and over several trips build up your dogs confidence to venture into deeper water. I like to cross small shallow streams and encourage my dog to cross with me. Avoid fast moving water and don’t progress too quickly. Elder dogs who already know how to swim can also be good teachers for your dog. You can support your dog with one arm under their belly and use the other arm above and across their front paws to make sure that they don’t bring them up out of the water when learning to swim. Be sure to keep each experience positive and fun until your dog is swimming like a champ.

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Belgian Malinois pup Storm learning to water retrieve. Most breeds, love to swim as long as they are introduced to water early and in the right way.

Obedience training will give you and your best friend the communication skills that will allow you both to have the freedom to go almost anywhere. Obedience training provides your dog with mental stimulation and teaches them to look towards you for leadership and guidance. Dogs who feel that they are part of a pack with a strong leader  suffer from less anxiety and are more confident out in the world. Teaching your best friend to respond to the five basic commands of Heel, Sit, Down, Stay and Come no matter where you are or what is going on around you will allow you and your best friend to safely conquer the world together.

Have fun out there and happy training!

Advanced Group Training

Advanced group training is a big part of finishing your dog’s on and off leash training programs here at Kabler School.

David Kabler has been training dogs since he was a boy and has been a Certified Master Trainer since 1995. David is available for lessons in Asheville, NC. Call today or click on Scheduling to book you and your dogs free consultation. David will evaluate your dogs personality and training needs. (828) 337-5792

Teaching the Come Command- New Ways of Learning

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Lobo expressing his natural drive during a motivational come request exercise.

When new clients call me to train their best friend, the COME request is usually a top priority on their training list. As dog owners, one of our biggest desires is that our dog will come when called every time. Our best friends live in a world of distractions that are constantly competing with us for our dogs attention. Many dogs feel frustrated that they cannot chase the squirrels, or the kitties, or the other dogs that they see on their daily walks. These ‘competing motivations’ are constantly vying for our dogs attention and when we call our dogs back to us it is easy for our canines to ignore our pleading for them to drop the fun and return to our side. In this post I would like to explore techniques that we can use to help our canine friends learn this most vital request.

Many dog owners will use the come request only when it is needed. Then when their dog returns to them it is back on the leash, or back in the house, or back in the crate. It is vital that the come request be used often and that most of the time your dog is allowed to return to that exciting scent or whatever fun it was that they were having before being called.

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Lilly practicing a motivational recall request– look at that guardian focus!

In other words call your dog to you frequently and then immediately encourage them to return to the activity they were doing before being called. You should only put your dog back on their leash and end their fun in one out of ten recalls.

ALWAYS give your dog plenty of praise and a treat reward for coming when called. This is the one command that I will always give a treat for. Plenty of praise should also be showered on your best friend for returning to your side. This will let them know that there is a reward in it for them when they heed your call.

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Practicing motivational recalls with puppies makes a lasting impact!

Dogs feel plenty of frustration in their daily lives… they want to chase that rabbit scent or follow that deer trail. Dogs often will learn to be outwardly focused on the world around them and will hone in on that rather than on us. Luckily, it is easy to create a strong desire in your dog to also want to run towards you. Follow this simple exercise to help build a strong foundation for a successful COME request.

1. Go to a safe place like a fenced in park or field and attach your best friend to a long line (a 30-35 foot long leash).

2. Have a friend or other household member hold your dog close to them.

3. Show your dog that you have a handful of treats by placing them on your furry friends nose.

4. Immediately run away a short distance and turn, and excitedly but loudly and clearly say your dogs name, and the COME request. “Daisy, COME!”

5. Have your friend drop the leash as your dog shows excitement and starts to pull towards you. Make sure that your helper does not get their feet inadvertently tangled in the leash, which can cause an accidental correction.

6. Your dog will run to you and as soon as they get to you shower them with treats and praise. Immediately pick up the leash so they can’t run off again. Repeat this 5 to 7 times in a row once or twice a day.

7. Build up from a short distance to bigger distances over several weeks. It is important not to get too far away too quickly.

Use this tip and you will successfully create a desire in your dog to want to be with you and at your side as much as they want to smell the roses!

David Kabler has been training dogs since he was a boy and has been a Certified Master Trainer since 1996. David is available for lessons in Asheville, NC and surrounding areas. Call today to schedule you and your dogs consultation. David will evaluate your dogs personality and training needs and, it’s absolutely free. (828) 337-5792

Dog Training Tradition

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Yellow Lab Harper taking a break from obedience practice.

Dog training is a tradition that is passed down from one trainer to another. It is still mostly an oral tradition that is shared from one generation of trainers to the next. I have been very lucky to have been taught by some truly excellent trainers. I studied under each of my teachers fervently learning their training approach as thoroughly as possible. I would obsess over every detail and nuance of their technique and approach to training. Learning these technical training details didn’t always come easy to me. I would spend lots of time frustrated, feeling very uncoordinated, and struggling with the timing of responding to the dog I was working with. There were many days where it felt like I was all thumbs! But eventually, after hours and hours of practice, I’d have breakthroughs in my skills and begin to flow with the challenging techniques. At these moments the connection between dog and handler intensifies to an almost tangible level. To this day there is nothing as satisfying as the bond experienced with the dogs that I train.

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Boxer mix Sydney happy after obedience practice during Residency training course.

My personal training technique evolves and shifts over time, even to this day! When I learned different training styles from my teachers I worked to emulate their technique and form. Over the years, each of their methods informed my training approach. My style became a blend with the best approaches rising to the top. Some methods are suited to almost every dog, while others only work with certain dogs. I call this knowledge my tool box. Over many years my tool box has grown quite large, with a wide variety of training skills filling it.

An old adage in dog training exists that the only thing 2 dog trainers can agree on is what the 3rd dog trainer is doing wrong. Sadly, this is still often true today. Many trainers turn on each other, attacking other trainers style, technique, methods, philosophy, and equipment choices. In my opinion this intensely critical atmosphere is harming the evolution of dog training. One of my great pleasures in life is watching another trainer work a dog using different approaches than what I would choose to use. I am always intrigued as to where they learned and what past experiences are informing their current method. I am forgiving to even the unskilled trainers that I observe, knowing that all trainers share a love for dogs, and that all trainers skills will grow over time.

Dog training through play.

Norwich Terrier Comet having a game of chase and tug after obedience practice.

All dog trainers are a part of a tradition that goes back thousands of years all the way to the first dogs. There is literally nothing new in the world of dog training that hasn’t been done before, in a previous age. Even the most cutting edge dog training techniques of the modern age have been used by previous generations of bygone eras. From ancient Pharaohs’ of Egypt’s hunting dogs, to Roman dogs of war, to farm dogs of Europe, to sled dogs of North America, to dogs of the Far East, and everywhere else imaginable, all trainers have one thing in common– we are part of a continuum of people that keep the ancient tradition of dog training alive and well throughout the ages.

Obedience creates a window of communication with your best friend.

Yorkie Gryff having fun practicing his first long down stay.

Click on Scheduling to book you and your dogs FREE Consultation with Master Trainer David Kabler.

 

Solving Canine Crisis Behaviors

Off Leash Skills

Practicing off leash heeling skills in the neighborhood. Guiding your dog from problem walker to polite companion is our specialty.

Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned and our clients wind up with a dog who is out of alignment with their family’s goals. “I want to walk down the sidewalk happily with my dog, but my dog lunges at every dog they see, and eventually we stopped going on walks.” We hear stories like this daily. Fortunately, our training courses provide effective solutions for your best friends issues.

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Neighborhood loose leash walking skills are a primary goal of our On Leash Obedience Course.

A dog who expresses leash reactive energy may be suffering from pack survival stress and is in desperate need of proper guidance from their human. A dog who is in a constant state of crisis is not a happy dog. Bringing your dog’s behavior around in a way that is easy and fun is one of our training specialties. Creating aligned energy between you and your dog is the goal of every Kabler training program.

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Using customized training techniques, all dogs are able to learn how to walk politely at their owners side while out on walks.

The Kabler School For Dogs training team is committed to helping dog owners solve behavioral issues. Every dog is different and it’s important to choose a trainer with a large toolbox of training skills. All training courses are customized to fit the goals we set for you and your dog during a free consultation. Our approach is intuitive and based on years of experience taking dogs from puppy to advanced off leash reliability.

Please call to discuss your dogs training needs and to schedule your dog’s FREE consultation.

(828) 337-5792

2018 Dock Diving Season

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Australian Cattle Dog Banjo building his dock jumping confidence at Beginner Dock Diving Class

May 19th marked the opening of the Western Carolina Diving Dogs 2018 jumping season, and boy are we excited! Dock Diving is America’s fastest growing dog sport, and Western Carolina Diving Dogs is the area’s premier dock diving training and event center. This summer Kabler School for Dogs will be offering Beginner Dock Diving Group Classes on Saturdays, Individual Instructional Lessons, and Private Hourly Dock Rentals. IMG_4826

Elder Yellow Lab Moose having fun at a Private Dock Diving Lesson

We will also be hosting three Ultimate Air Dog Competitions the following weekends:
June 9-10, July 14-15, and August 4-5.

Come out and enjoy the competition, or if you are interested in registering you can find scheduling information at the Ultimate Air Dogs Website

Forging Your Canine Friendship

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Rescue Mix Punkin exhibiting strong guardian focus during her Residency Training Course

Training is about forging a relationship between you and your dog. At Kabler School for Dogs, we offer a comprehensive series of training courses that guide you and your dog through the stages of puppyhood all the way into adulthood. When you raise your dog the Kabler way, you and your best friend will benefit from David’s years of experience in raising puppies, yearlings, all the way through advanced on and off leash obedience training.

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Bernese Mountain pup Aria practicing her down under the leg during her Puppy Course

The Kabler School for Dogs puppy program includes proper puppy care, puppy obedience training, puppy socialization, as well as games and tricks. The goal of puppy training is to set the foundation for a stable, well-socialized young companion, all while avoiding problem behaviors before they become deeply rooted bad habits. The puppy course is designed to guide you and your dog from the ages of 10 weeks – 6 months.

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Great Pyrenees Bear graduated through Puppy and Yearling Training Courses

At Kabler School for Dogs, the Yearling training course is designed specifically for adolescent dogs. It is important to realize that adolescent dogs are not at full maturity and require a unique and interactive approach to training. The Yearling program is designed to guide you and your dog through this adolescent phase from 6-12 months. Goals for this course are to help you successfully navigate your dogs flight instinct period, introduce your adolescent dog to more advanced reward strategies in obedience, and to keep your dog engaged in fun activities. These activities can include safe swimming, biking, hiking, retrieving, and other fun games, that nourish the adolescent dog’s young mind.

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Belgian Malinois Jango and his guardian learn their way around the flirt pole

At one year of age, Kabler School for Dogs offers professional on and off leash obedience courses. Both the on and off leash programs will guide you and your dog through the highest levels of training, communication, and you will achieve reliable real world results. The on and off leash courses use an experiential approach that will take you from the training studio out into the neighborhood, local parks, and challenging group walk situations. As your dog progresses in these programs coursework becomes more dynamic and challenging. In addition, David is trained in many different techniques to tackle tough behavioral cases that may otherwise fall through the cracks.

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Australian Shepherd rescue Willow out free roaming on her long line during her Off Leash Training Course

The Kabler School for Dogs training program represents a true, all-life-stages approach to raising your family’s new canine best friend. Every training course takes on a life of its own, as the Kabler School for Dogs Team gets to know you and your dog. The Kabler School for Dogs training courses will guide you and your dog to a deeply forged relationship, that will continue to grow for years to come.

What Makes Kabler Training Stand Out From the Pack?

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Blue Heeler Boomer and his guardian practice puppy obedience exercises in class.

This is such a great question that I get asked often. I am thrilled to share all that I’ve learned about dogs and their training with my human and canine clients alike. Training at Kabler School For Dogs is comprehensive and makes raising and training your best friend rewarding and so fun! Here are a few reasons that my training stands out:

• Over 20 Years of Training Experience. I founded Kabler School For Dogs in 1995 and have been fully immersed in the experience of training dogs ever since. I specialize in creating harmonious relationships between dogs and their guardians. I raise pups into superbly trained adults with maximum personality by taking my time with each individual dog and family I work with. Many of my clients find their way to me after having tried other training schools to no avail. I’m well known and referred by veterinarians for being able to train even the most difficult behavioral cases successfully. I get excited about my clients training courses and it shows!

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Goldendoodle Zeppi practicing some fun games after obedience on the Kabler training field.

• An All Life Stages Approach. At Kabler School For Dogs I specialize in raising puppies into well trained adult dogs. It is incredibly important to understand that raising a dog properly takes 1.5-2 years from pup to a fully trained adult. Choosing a trainer that will guide you and your dog through each stage of this journey makes all the difference. Your dogs puppy stage lasts until 5-6 months and my teaching focus during this time is on socialization, games, basic obedience, and house training. The yearling stage is from 6-12 months and I emphasize training activities that deepen the bond between you and your dog. This is the time when we build your dogs ability to retrieve and play interactive games. I enjoy teaching swim classes during this stage to ensure a lifelong love of water.  We gently guide your yearlings house manners in a positive direction daily. While it is important to teach yearlings the foundations of obedience, it is critical not to push the yearling too hard in training. Methods that impatiently train a 6 month old the same as an adult are asking too much. These rushed courses create an inhibited personality that permanently dim your dogs love of life. I like to wait to begin adult stage dog training when your dog is full-grown at 12 months. The focus is on taking the obedience training to an advanced level of accomplishment. Kabler trained dogs happily work with precision out in real world environments like busy parks and outdoor cafe’s.

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Yellow Lab Arlo and his family out practicing his walk during an off leash training session.

• Progressive Training Method. My approach is flexible and changes based upon the needs of each dog I work with. I specialize in customizing the training methods I use so that each dog excels in their training. Many of my clients have tried and failed with other training methods that use a one size fits all approach. All dogs are unique, with different temperaments, personalities, and breeds. Dogs are living breathing members of our family and training should be fun, flexible, and move at your dog’s natural pace.

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Collie/Pyrenees rescue Kona getting started with her obedience in the Kabler training studio.

• Hands On One-on-One Learning Environment. At Kabler School For Dogs you and your best friend learn by performing experiential training exercises that build teamwork. Coming to my studio for lessons gets your dog used to going places and provides a learning environment that allows your dog to excel. As your dog progresses and gains skill we will begin taking training walks around my active neighborhood; we then begin to explore busy parks and city streets. I believe in starting training in a low distraction environment and progressing to higher and higher levels of distraction at your dogs natural pace. My training courses emphasize hands on experience and at the end of each one of my training sessions I give written homework so you know exactly what to be working on each week at home.

• Extra Lessons Guarantee. My extra lessons guarantee is attached to all of my qualified adult training programs. At Kabler School For Dogs my clients are purchasing the results of the training, not a set number of sessions. All of my courses are backed up by my time and commitment to your dogs training.

All of my courses begin with a free consultation so I can assess your dog’s temperament, behavioral concerns and training needs. Please call me and find out more about my unique approach to training family canine companions. -David

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German Shepherd Leo playing a game of retrieve during an off leash session.

Summer Swim Season is Here!

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Fury water retrieving in paradise.

Teaching your dog to swim is super fun and is an excellent way to exercise your four legged companion. When I was 12 I taught my Yellow Lab pup, Duke, to retrieve in the ocean and in my grandparents swimming pool; much to their behest. I even taught him to leap off the diving board. I would pretend he was a swim rescue dog. He enjoyed towing me through the water, pulling me toward the stairs or shore, during my mock rescue scenarios. Duke and I would swim for hours together.

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Fury racing from the swimming hole with his frisbee during a water retrieve.

Today, I still love taking my clients dogs swimming to cool off from the Summer heat. Many athletic dogs will benefit from swimming as it works the dog’s body, mind, and spirit. There is a unique feeling I get, that’s like no other, after going swimming with my dog. As you strive to teach your best friend to become a confident swimmer, it is important to keep some safety tips and training approaches in mind.

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Rose and her guardian playing some fetch at the waterfall.

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Yearling Residency graduate Rose retrieving her tennie.

Practice swim safety by using a long line on the novice swimmer. Always keep a close eye on your dog and don’t allow the long line to become entangled on anything. Beginner and advanced swimmers alike will benefit from wearing a canine life jacket. If your dog swims in a pool or rocky swimming hole, it is critical to repeatedly teach your dog where the stairs or safe exit from the water is.

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Huck’s guardian playing a game of retrieve during an off lead swim session.

Always be ready to jump in the water yourself to assist your best friend if necessary. Avoid forcing your dog into the water. Rely on a slower approach, and grow your dogs confidence around the water. Just like people, dogs learn through experience. So be sure to keep your dog safe and enjoy every minute, allowing each trip to the water to build upon the last.

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Ollie learning to charge it while retrieving his toy during a Yearling swim session.

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Teaching Ollie to love the water during his Yearling training course.

Teaching your dog to swim is always easiest as a pup, and during the yearling phase, but with practice almost all dogs can learn to swim. Begin with small shallow stream crossings and slowly progress to water that is chest deep for your dog. If your dog loves to retrieve, this energy can be of great help to encourage your dog to love the water. I prefer short and fun excursions to swimming spots at first so that it keeps your dog craving more.

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Off Lead Residency guest Cato taking a late season sunset swim.

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Gus’s Guardians using his favorite toy to encourage him into deeper water during a Yearling course swim session.

I teach a swimming class during Spring, Summer, and Fall months for clients who are enrolled in my training courses. There is nothing I love more than watching a dog who confidently loves the water. -David

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Elder dog Daisy helps to socialize young Fury to the water.

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As Fury’s water confidence grows the distance of his retrieves also become greater.

Channeling and Harnessing Your Dog’s Natural Drive

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Lobo expressing his natural drive during a motivational recall request.

Natural Drive is your dogs inclination to exhibit inherent canine behaviors– which we can harness in training. Some of these behaviors include eating food, chasing their Guardian, pulling (sleds, carts, bicycles, etc.), retrieving, and tugging. Natural Drive in canine companion dogs is present in all puppies, in varying amounts, and is either enhanced or diminished by environmental factors during maturation. Puppies who are raised to exhibit some of these natural behaviors into adulthood are happier and have better relationships with their human Guardians.

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Gypsy retrieving her tennis ball for a job well done.

Many dogs have their Natural Drives diminished at an early stage in their life. Their Guardians reduce their dogs ability to play by mistakenly punishing their canine for exhibiting these natural behaviors. It is much healthier for the young dogs mind if we successfully harness this Natural Drive by channelling the energy into enjoyable games that we can play with our best friends.

Dogs that have very strong Natural Drives are able to resist efforts by their Guardians to reduce what humans often perceive as nuisance behaviors. In many cases, these dogs are left anxious and conflicted as they have no acceptable outlet for their Natural Drives. Often, these highly driven canines who lack direction and leadership will begin to demonstrate problem behaviors like lunging, constantly pulling on their lead, jumping, and possible aggression.

When building a relationship with high drive dogs it is helpful to reward the dog by engaging their Natural Drive instincts. This can be accomplished by using treats, tugs, and ball rewards in training. Channeling and harnessing your dogs Natural Drive is an important aspect of training canines and will help deepen the relationship you have with your four legged companion.

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Merlin being rewarded for a successful Stay with an ultra fun game of tug.

While training dogs who have had their Natural Drive inhibited it is important to provide ample opportunities for these dogs to reconnect with their instinctive drives. Almost all dogs can be persuaded to accept treats in training and increase their ability to work for food. Sometimes it is also possible to reignite the inhibited canines natural instincts to retrieve and tug. In both cases it is imperative to remain patient and give the inhibited dog plenty of time to begin to accept treats and play as rewards during training sessions.

Keeping your dogs drive and natural spark alive and engaged is the job of every responsible canine Guardian. Strong instinctive pullers can be taught to ride a bicycle using a Springer device with a pulling harness. Dogs with natural retrieve and tug drive can be rewarded for successful obedience requests with play. All dogs benefit from using treats to enhance their instinctual food drive. Teach your best friend to follow you as you move and perform requests like Sit, Down and Stay for treat rewards. Keep all these training sessions short and fun and over time you will see your dogs abilities improve and your relationship grow.

If you have any questions about your dogs Natural Drive or the Kabler School For Dogs training program please call me at (828) 337-5792. I would enjoy saying hi and hearing more about your best friend. Happy training!

-David

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

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Frank’s Guardian engages him with an action packed game of tug– working with your dogs Natural Drive deepens the canine/human bond.

Proud Kabler Guardians Train their Canines to the Highest Level.

These advanced Canine companions show off their rock solid Down and Stay Requests at Distraction Proofing class.

These advanced Canine companions show off their rock solid Down and Stay Requests at Distraction Proofing class.

At Kabler School For Dogs we take our ability to train Guardians and their best friends to the highest levels very seriously– and have a fabulous time doing it! The recent invitation only Proofing Class was a huge success and should give Canine Guardians everywhere motivation to practice daily with their best friends.

All the dogs and Guardians had an excellent time training in the advanced Distraction Proofing class at Carrier Park.

All the dogs and Guardians had an excellent time training in the advanced Distraction Proofing class at Carrier Park.

This Distraction Proofing Class was held in Asheville at Carrier Park around the bowling green. Class began with an on leash meet and greet. The Guardians and dogs got to say hello while tethered and work on leash manners. Next, we worked  on Untethered off leash training by taking an off lead group walk with all the dogs. We also worked on our long Down and Stay requests with residency dog Ellie providing the distractions by walking around the dogs. We wrapped up the session with 100 yard motivational recalls and some play time. It was incredible to see all the dogs run at full speed towards their Guardians.

These advanced Canine companions show off their rock solid Down and Stay Requests at Distraction Proofing class.

Kabler Apprentice Trainer Kim walking Bernese Mountain Dog Ellie around all the dogs for Distraction Proofing.

All the Canine and Human Guardians had an awesome time participating in this intensely fun class. The challenging nature of this class and the ease with which the dogs completed all the exercises is proof positive in the strength of the Kabler training technique which is adaptable to fit the requirements of dogs with varying temperaments. Training is a journey that Guardians take with their canine companions. Having fun while training is as important as achieving results. It was an incredible class– be on the lookout for future proofing classes in exciting new locations in 2013.