Learn the art of K-9 scent detection with Buddy Lawson!
Build confidence in your dogs nose work performance.
Kabler School For Dogs is excited to announce the return of our K-9 Scent Work seminar. Spend two days working on your dogs nose work capabilities with instructor Buddy Lawson who has been training dogs for scent detection for over 25 years. He is skilled at teaching different breeds and temperaments and is known for his patient guidance of handlers. Buddy specializes in K-9 Search and Rescue, Police scent detection, Schutzhund tracking, and competitive nose work.
Over the two day seminar you will learn the foundations of teaching your dog to use their nose. Advanced handlers and K-9 teams will also find Buddy’s ability to troubleshoot and problem solve will guide them to a higher level of training and performance.
The seminar is being held at Kabler School For Dogs March 4th and 5th from 9am-5pm. There 10 working spots for participants who want to train with their own dog. These spots are $375. We also have audit slots available for participants who do not have a dog but want to learn about K-9 nose work. Audit spots are $150.
Christmas Season is upon us! We want to share a few helpful tips to get you and your dog safely through this holiday season! The holidays may be a scary time for some pups. Christmas revelry can cause anxiety and fearfulness for dogs who haven’t experienced it. The following tips may help you avoid an emergency visit to the vet office over the holiday season.
If you have a dog that is fearful of people or small children and you plan on having a big gathering it may be best not to force your puppy or dog into a situation that makes them uncomfortable. Instead, before your guests arrive exercise your dog and make them comfy in their crate with a yummy Kong or marrow bone to keep them occupied. Turn on some sounds like music or a TV to drown out all the noise. If you have a dog that loves being around groups of people and small children, still be mindful to keep your eye on them to assure they do not get into something harmful. Maybe consider having them come out and visit with everyone then go have some crate time with their Kong.
Some holiday plants are Actually poisonous and can cause a medical issue here are some of the most common:
• Christmas tree pine needles can produce oral irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, trembling and posterior weakness.
• Holly, commonly found during the Christmas season, can cause intense vomiting, diarrhea.
• Mistletoe, another Christmas plant, can cause significant vomiting and diarrhea, difficulty breathing, collapse, erratic behavior, hallucinations and death when ingested.
• Poinsettia contrary to popular belief, is not deadly; however, it can cause irritation to the mouth and stomach and sometimes vomiting.
With the holiday season come all kinds of yummy treats and food. Be sure to avoid giving your dog food scraps from the table or your plate. If you must share your holiday dinner consider just a small amount given in the dogs bowl to avoid any unwanted behavior or upset tummies.
Here are a few foods and treats to avoid:
• Fat trimmings and bones are dangerous for pets. Fat trimmed from meat, both cooked and uncooked, may cause pancreatitis. And, although it seems natural to give a dog a bone, cooked bone are dangerous, these can also splinter and cause an obstruction or lacerations of your dog’s digestive system.
• Chocolate can be dangerous and contains various levels of fat, caffeine, the darker and richer the chocolate (baker’s chocolate), the higher the risk of toxicity. Depending on the type and amount of chocolate ingested, dogs might experience vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity
• Many cookies and candies have certain nuts and should not be given to pets. Almonds, non-moldy walnuts and pistachios can cause an upset stomach or an obstruction of your dog’s throat and/or intestinal tract. Macadamia nuts and moldy walnuts can be toxic, causing seizures or neurological signs. Lethargy, vomiting and loss of muscle control are among the effects of nut ingestion.
Holiday tinsel and ornaments can also be hazardous:
Tinsel, while not toxic, is very attractive to pets, particularly cats but dogs love it too. The shiny, dangling decoration reflects light and can move in the slightest draft — appearing to come alive to watchful critters. The problem with tinsel is that once it’s consumed, it can cause serious injury to your pet. If not caught in time, this foreign body ingestion could actually be fatal as it twists and bunches inside your pet’s intestines. Immediate veterinary care is required.
Vet offices see a increase in emergency visits during the holiday due to dogs getting into trouble from ingesting items that are harmful or toxic causing it be a not so festive time. Be sure not to risk your dogs health by waiting. If your dog needs emergency care take them quickly to your local emergency clinic.
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.
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.
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.
Yorkie Gryff having fun practicing his first long down stay.
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Out on a loose lead neighborhood walk with German Shepherd Gunnar.
Creating rock solid obedience that you can safely rely on is what we do best here at Kabler School For Dogs. Once your dog begins their On and Off Lead training courses there is a path that we take from novice to expertly trained dog. The journey to training a dog to rock solid reliability is about teamwork, fun practice sessions, and carefully following the Kabler School For Dogs training roadmap.
Rock solid training begins by building a bombproof foundation. Foundation work teaches your dog how to respond to obedience requests with motivated energy. In the beginning, we want your dog to understand that following through with obedience brings reward. Short and fun training routines are the name of the game when building your foundation. Ending your dogs practice sessions while your dog is at their peak will make your dog always excited to train. Another strategy during the foundation phase is to switch back and forth between training and play.
Punkin and Ayla out on an off leash training walk. Off leash training successfully finishes your dog’s training.
If your dog has behavioral issues like leash reactivity or fearful anxiety we recommend that counter-conditioning be started alongside the foundation phase of training. By using these powerful techniques consistently you can make noticeable changes in your dogs behavior. Counter-conditioning adjusts your dogs energy allowing the coming training phases to take root faster and with more success. The goal of counter-conditioning is to soften behaviors so that the training program can progress with less stress.
The next step on you and your dog’s journey to rock solid obedience is the guidance phase of training. There are many ways of communicating with your dog including voice requests, hand signals, and body language. During this phase we emphasize communication using the leash. It’s important that your dog understand that a pull on the leash actually means something. Just like a horseback rider communicates with his steed using the reigns we are going to send our dog obedience requests using the leash. Once your dog understands and responds successfully to leash guidance we are ready to continue our training journey to the reliability stage.
German Shepherd Maggie being rewarded for a long down stay request during a park training session.
When your dog clearly understands how to respond to the different leash requests it is time to build their ability to reliably listen to your direction. Following through with commands on one request, longer sit and down stays, and consistent loose lead walking are some of the highlights of this training stage. It’s important to train in low to moderate level distraction environments as we strive to achieve the goals of the reliability phase. Once our dog is performing with accuracy it’s time to progress into the finishing phase.
During the finishing phase of training our goals are to make sure the training will work for us anywhere. Some trainers call this the distraction proofing phase. Now that your dog is demonstrating their new training skills with ease it is time to put the training to the test in increasingly higher distraction settings. As your dog learns to respond successfully in higher distraction settings you will notice a settling in your dog that actually deepens the canine/human bond. Seeing that your dog will enthusiastically respond to their training requests regardless of the environment or situation you will know you have achieved rock solid performance with your newly trained best friend.
Ayla and Punkin practice their long down stay at the park during their Residency training course.
Please call (828) 337-5792 for more information about the unique approach to training at Kabler School For Dogs. Locations in Asheville and Tricities, TN.
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.
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.
Rose and her guardian playing some fetch at the waterfall.
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.
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.
Ollie learning to charge it while retrieving his toy during a Yearling swim session.
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.
Off Lead Residency guest Cato taking a late season sunset swim.
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
Elder dog Daisy helps to socialize young Fury to the water.
As Fury’s water confidence grows the distance of his retrieves also become greater.
Dobie Lucy joyfully playing a game of retrieve during an obedience session with David on the Kabler training field.
Creating cooperative energy is a top priority during my training classes for pups, yearlings, and adult dogs. When you and your dog have shared goals- this is what I call slipping into alignment with your best friend. Aligned energy expresses itself in many ways.
Lucy and her guardian practice an aligned walk with a loose lead.
Through obedience it can be seen when your dog is walking politely and happily on a loose leash, pacing themselves to their human guardian with a skip in their step; or during a long stay when the dog is focused on their human while enthusiastically following through with their request. During play, aligned energy is evident during games of retrieve and tug. When you and your dog are flowing together, in tune, with clear communication, then you know that aligned energy is present. During my training classes these moments are created exercise by exercise, cultivated and grown, into a shared way of life between you and your four legged companion. During a Kabler School For Dogs training course this aligned energy becomes ever present in the relationship between you and your dog.
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Lilly practicing a motivational recall request– look at that guardian focus!
Miniature Schnauzer Daisy practicing a down stay request.
When I first met Miniature Schnauzer Daisy she was a frightened and severely anxious dog. She would bark at common noises in the home with intense excitability to the point of nipping. Her leash reactivity towards other dogs manifested in protective energy that could easily slip into aggression. Her veterinarian had prescribed anti-anxiety meds, with limited success. When I evaluated Daisy, I knew I could help her. She had incredible food drive, was super smart, with a quick wit, that gave her enthusiastic training energy. I enrolled this precious girl and her guardians in my confidence building course. We began working on changing her ideas about the world, and establishing solid obedience, mixed with fun games. By the end of our course, Daisy was a transformed dog– her anxious energy had been successfully channeled into her obedience and she had moved into alignment with her human guardians. After her training program was completed Daisy’s guardians worked with their veterinarian to wean her off her anxiety medication– she is now drug free! It’s been a rewarding training journey making such a dramatic change in Daisy.
Daisy can now accept the presence of other dogs without aggression.
Today we finished our classes with Mr. Kabler. I can’t begin to tell you how our family life has changed. Our Daisy is a wonderful 5 year old Miniature Schnauzer. Most people didn’t see her that way. They shied away from her and felt she was harmful. She barked as if she would attack although she has never been aggressive. I admit I was a little wary of her around my grandchildren.
Mr. Kabler met with us and evaluated Daisy. He told us she wasn’t vicious, she was just excitable. This made us feel so much better. Daisy acted out in fear not aggression. He felt confident that he could help us and alleviate some of Daisy’s anxiety. Before working with Mr. Kabler, Daisy could not be around other dogs or people. Reasons were as discussed above. I could tell when we were on a walk that she wanted to play with another dog. It was so sad. She would go up to a dog but then lose it and began to bark harshly. This in turn scared the other dog away. Daisy was very lonely. Another problem we had with Daisy was doorbells and the ringing of the telephone. She would bark, run in circles and nip at the person trying to answer it. It really was a hard time in our home. Daisy was put on anxiety meds twice a day to help calm her down, but we saw she was getting worse as time went on.
Miniature Schnauzer Daisy practicing a down stay request.
We decided to listen to Mr. Kabler and signed up for classes. This was the best decision we have ever made.
Today Daisy is a very happy dog. Her anxiety level has drastically lessened. In time, perhaps meds can be reduced. She can now walk with us in the neighborhood and allow people to pet her. She also goes up to other dogs and sniffs them a few seconds and walks away without barking. We can also get to the phone without fear and actually get it before the caller hangs up!
Daisy and Zoey can be a happy family after Kabler training.
I never would have believed others see Daisy as we do, a loving sweet and VERY smart dog!!
Because She has done so well with other dogs these days, we have a new addition to our family. A little Morkie called Zoey. Daisy helps us to train her. They have become best friends. This would not have been possible before Mr. Kabler worked his magic. Enclosed is a pic of Daisy with Zoey, her best friend. Again thank you Mr. Kabler.
-The Scott Family, Daisy & Zoey
Daisy out practicing her loose leash walk in the neighborhood.
Many of todays trainers are eschewing the idea that our modern dogs are pack animals. In spite of their best efforts, the idea that our dogs are pack oriented continues in the mainstream consciousness. Why? Possibly, it is because dogs often display many of the same traits that their wild relatives do. It’s easy to see the similarities between wild and domestic canines. I would suggest that the idea of pack oriented behavior is often misunderstood and stereotyped. Ruthless aggression, and young dogs rising to the top position through dominant violence, are all outdated ideas of pack behavior that have been disproven by modern science.
Thor and Vinka are easy to walk after Kabler training.
Perhaps, it would be better for todays trainers to say that the modern understanding of pack behavior has changed, rather than throwing out the pack paradigm altogether. I believe that dogs respond positively to being a part of a strong family unit. In the wild, wolf packs are primarily made up of family members. The mother and father are the Alpha female and male. Their children are their followers whose primary job is to learn how to successfully hunt as a pack. Juvenile’s often play wildly, lacking the focus needed to successfully lead, and it is the pack leaders responsibility to clearly guide them.
A pack is a strong family that spends time together: The Kabler living room.
The canine family pack is misconstrued as being a cold and violent place where the Alpha pair lead with impunity. The reality is far from this popular misconception. The pack is actually a warm and safe place. The wild canines have extremely close relationships with the Alpha pair and the other pack members who are often their siblings. The strong family provides security, safety, and assures the canines ability to hunt large game. If a wolf in the wild loses their pack, they also lose the security that comes with it and suffer from intense survival stress– the wild dog instinctively knows that their future is no longer certain and their anxiety levels increase. Wild dogs thrive within a family pack, but suffer extreme stress when isolated and alone. Through my training experience, I have witnessed countless pet dogs exhibit this same anxiety when they feel they are isolated or part of a weakly structured family unit. Pack survival anxiety can cause behavioral issues and problems for our modern dogs.
GSD Huck is so excited to be re-united with his family after his Kabler Residency.
It is vital that we provide our modern pet dogs with the security of a strong family unit. This will create a sense of belonging in the dogs mind that simulates the natural need for a dog to have a pack. The strong family unit provides a blanket of security that decreases anxious behaviors and fosters clear communication. Strong families have routines, group activities, and expectations of each member providing all involved with purpose and love. The Kabler training method is designed to teach human guardians how to create a strong sense of a structured family for their canine companions.
Call David to find out more about his unique training approach at
828-337-5792 & to schedule your dogs free consultation.
Gus and his guardian practice a loose leash walk at the park.
Call (828) 337-5792 now to schedule your dog’s FREE consultation
with Master Trainer David Kabler.
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever pup Reagan.
Reagan is a perfect puppy– found through the Kabler Breed Search.
The year started out right when I helped a client find her dream dog. After meeting with the guardian, and discussing her lifestyle and breed preferences, we determined that she was looking for a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever puppy. Working together we located several breeders that might provide a suitable candidate for her new companion. I called the breeders on our list and politely questioned them about their breeding programs and explained exactly what we were looking for– after several calls we located the perfect litter and made arrangements for purchase and transport. The pup that arrived had the perfect temperament. Breeder selection is incredibly important when buying a pure bred dog. Things to avoid are puppy mills and novice breeders who may not understand all that goes into responsible breeding.
Shadow greeting the video store clerk for a reward on one of our outings.
Later in January, I received an urgent call from a prospective client. She had just adopted a 6 year old German Shepherd Dog named Shadow. “I just picked him up and took him to the veterinarian and it didn’t go so well”. “What happened?” I asked. “He bit the Doctor in the crotch.” She dropped Shadow off that day for his Kabler Residency training program. I had an incredible time teaching this strong willed, dominant older male to successfully follow through with his obedience requests. He was very stubborn about his down request and it took me about a week and a half to win him over and get him to down for me. Going slow like this is the best approach for older dogs, especially older rescues who may have found themselves homeless when they exhibited one too many problems. By the end of the program Shadow was my constant companion around the house and on outings to parks and restaurants. His guardian called me after our private go home session so excited about the results of his training. He has been a perfect companion dog ever since with no more problems on trips to the veterinarian.
French Barbet Truffles practicing his down stay request during his Kabler Residency.
In 2013 I helped a relatives family locate a Barbet puppy. They named the pup we found Truffles and he was a year old and now ready for his Residency Training. This is a rare French breed that has been winning people over with their exceptional personalities. My relatives found out about the breed through a New York Times article. Over the next three weeks I learned lots about the character of this powerful breed. Truffles was very smart and quick in training. Barbet’s are very athletic dogs and this boy needed plenty of exercise. It was so much fun earning this dogs respect and trust which was vital in handling him on a day to day. By the end of his course we were having a great time going for neighborhood walks, visiting friends homes, and eating out at restaurants. It is so exciting when I see the smiles on clients faces when they see how much their dog has learned during their training stay.
Gorgeous Standard poodle Diva practicing her sit stay request.
Diva’s guardian is disabled and decided to send her to me for her obedience and basic support dog training. I had an amazing time with this adorable standard poodle mix. She was so excitable but very smart. Using my unique training approach I was able to turn around her bad habits and successfully teach her manners and advanced obedience training. Diva’s daily work and play sessions gradually became longer and more focused. I had so much fun transforming her behavior, from a wild jumper, puller, and a dog who would run away into a dog that politely greets guests, walks politely even next to a wheelchair, happily performs long sit and down stays, and comes when called off of the leash every time. She was such a pleasure to have around the Kabler house– I miss Diva!
David out to dinner with Tundra, practicing a long down stay in West Asheville.
Some old time clients from back in the 1990’s called me about their new German Shepherd Dog Tundra. I had trained their last German Shepherd and they were excited to tell me about their new puppy. In 2013 they enrolled him in a week of puppy Residency training at 16 weeks old. I fit him and acclimated him to a Gentle Leader collar and worked on his obedience, house training, and manners. At a year of age he came back for his adult training Residency. I just love German Shepherds and Tundra is a handsome and athletic white one. It was so rewarding guiding him and his human guardians from puppy all the way to adult. The Kabler approach raises highly social, confident, happy, and obedient dogs with maximum personality and Tundra was no exception. He graduated through the program excelling in all respects. He was such a pleasure to work with.
Tundra reunited with his family after his Kabler Residency.
Mother/daughter training together, preparing their dogs Arabella and Triton for a family move to Japan.
I also completed many private courses of instruction this year. My private classes are very effective and fun– each session builds upon the last and the relationship between dog and human grows ever stronger from session to session. I guarantee all of my work and structure each program so that we are never in a rush.
It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to work with clients from all walks of life and breeds from all the different groups of dogs. I had an amazing year in 2014, my 19th year of professional dog training. If you are interested in bringing your dog to me, I offer both private lessons and Residency training courses. I hope your 2014 was as awesome as mine. -David
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French Bulldog Dilly had an amazing Kabler Residency with fabulous results.
Rescued Dogo Alistair successfully worked through intense dog aggression in Kabler training.
When I first met Alistair and the Guthrie’s they were struggling to contain a dog that was highly aggressive towards other dogs and cats. He was a rescue and suffered an abusive puppyhood. After our consultation I knew that I could help this incredible and handsome boy that was loved so much. Over the course of my on leash program I was able to successfully teach him and his guardians using the Kabler approach to training. The complete transformation in Alistair’s behavior was an amazing experience for me. I just love receiving referral letters like this. Happy training! – David
I cannot recommend David Kabler enough.
When we adopted our 5-year-old, male Dogo Argentino, Alistair, he could not be anywhere near other dogs. Any dog within 50 yards would send our otherwise sweet, 100 lb. boy into a lunging, snarling fit.
We did our best on our own for two or three months until he burst through our front door and attacked a dog walking with its owner 30 yards away.
Practicing a sit request with Dogo Alistair during a private session.
When we called David he assured us that he had experience with large, powerful, hard-headed breeds, and that he was confident he could help us. The best part was that David set very realistic expectations and never promised us anything. In the end the results were far beyond anything we could have ever expected.
Over the course of roughly 10 sessions, spanning three to four months, the transformation in Alistair was incredible. David helped us build a strong foundation of obedience and boundaries while giving us the knowledge and skills we needed to continue Alistair’s training. Instead of every walk being a game of “dodge the dogs” for fear of a chaotic meltdown, Alistair can hang out at the Wedge and play with his many new dog friends.
Regardless of the issues any dog is having, I would confidently recommend and trust David to help anyone through it.
CALL NOW TO SCHEDULE YOUR FREE CONSULTATION (828) 337-5792
The new Kabler School For Dogs crest.
The new Kabler School For Dogs crest exemplifies the Kabler philosophy of teaching and training canines. The imagery within the design communicates the ideals that have always been at the foundation of the Kabler canine training method. The crest radiates a sense of nobility, respect for our dogs, companionship, listening to the heart, obeying the intuitive side of our nature, the attainment of lofty training goals, and the love that each canine companion gives freely to us every day.
German Shepherd Maggie Kabler retrieving car keys as apart of her Assistance Dog training– Officially the best baby sitter in the world.
When I look at this crest, I am reminded of all the challenges that I have overcome to learn this knowledge and wisdom of training dogs. I am thankful for all of my teachers and their different styles– ultimately training is a tradition passed from one trainer to another. I remember all the hard work, the hundreds of dogs that have taught me so much over the years, and the dedication that it took to find success. In my minds eye I can see the beautiful inner spark of each individual canine that I have trained. I am thankful for all the Guardians I have taught whose families will be forever enhanced by sharing their lives with a well trained dog.
I believe the connection that we share with our dogs is a link with our collective human past. By feeding and nourishing the canine/human relationship we are rewarded with a strong sense of healing love as well as a direct connection to the natural world. It is my goal to foster these gifts by teaching all my clients, human and canine alike, with a patient and intuitive training approach. In sharing the Kabler training method with my clients I strive to create positive alignments and meaningful relationships between canines and their Guardians. – David
Belgian Malinois Barry Kabler, PH1,CGC clears a 5 foot fence. A well trained canine companion add so much to our experience.
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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.
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.
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!
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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.
CALL NOW TO SCHEDULE YOUR FREE CONSULTATION (828) 337-5792
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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Toby, Blaze and their Guardian Fred learning to work together.
When I went out for an in home consultation I met Fred and his two handsome dogs Toby and Blaze. Both dogs were incredibly high energy. Fred was suffering from back trouble and could not walk his boys without them pulling and lunging uncontrollably. The dogs leapt all over me, scratching me with their strong paws and it was clear that Fred needed more control over them than he had. We started with basic training and advanced until Fred was able to walk both of them politely down his street. Both dogs learned to listen to Fred for direction, walk slowly with him on loose leashes, and to sit or down stay upon request. Now, after going through my Basic training course, Fred has a stronger relationship with his two dogs, and has a higher level of control at home and when taking them places. Toby and Blaze, both working breeds, have their need for a job satisfied— It is incredibly rewarding for me when I see a new bond of trust, respect and communication grow between dogs and their humans. Following is a letter from Fred describing his experience training at Kabler School For Dogs. Happy training! -David
I was referred to David Kabler at Kabler School For Dogs by Aaron Bales (Owner/Manager) of Happy Tails Country Club in Fairview. I was looking for training sources for my 2 dogs, Toby, a 9 month old Labrador mix adopted from Brother Wolf, and Blaze, a 5 year old Shepherd mix from Asheville Humane. Blaze had been to obedience classes for 18 sessions during the 5 years before meeting David.
I called David and he came out to our house to meet Blaze and Toby. I had called David primarily to work with Toby (the puppy). We made arrangements for David to work with Toby for 5 sessions at our house beginning the following week. As it turned out David told me to include Blaze as well, which I thought was great for them to get some training together. We began the following week with basic beginnings.
Toby and Blaze are handsome boys– practicing Down and Stay upon request.
What I have truly learned the most, is how to change my actions with dogs and how to positively guide them in situations, versus scolding them for unwanted behavior. I have seen vast improvement in both dogs and I have learned how to actively work with each dog on their strong points and their weaknesses.
Kabler Dog Training is not just dog training, but people training as well. I had to learn how to teach and communicate with both dogs even though Blaze was further along than Toby. After about the 3rd class we would go out to wait for David’s arrival and both dogs were very excited to see David even though he was a very firm instructor. They enjoyed their time with Kabler School For Dogs, as did I. I highly recommend his classes.
The recent Hatteras Island training class was a great success. Eight dogs participated in the class and David had such a wonderful time teaching everyone, human and canine alike. Out of the eight dogs, six were Labs— the Islanders love their water dogs! David just received the nicest letter from one of the class participants:
“I was pretty skeptical when I heard about David’s dog training. I actually completely disregarded it. Wyatt is an enormous 5-yr-old lab who we rescued from the pound when he was 9 months old. He’s got a few issues (don’t we all?) but he would sit (for a treat), came when he was called (eventually), and is the most gentle, patient and loving animal around
Good boy Wyatt!
my 18-month-old son (if your Boston Terrier steals his ball on the beach you may see another side of him). He was a chronic puller (he just gets so excited! And he has 15 pounds on me), but he would eventually get tired and walking him was no problem. What a great dog. Dog training was a nice idea but probably a waste of money since Wyatt was already trained.
However, when my husband suggested it, I decided to give it a go. If nothing else I would get to prove to myself that I had done such a great job with Wyatt all on my own. The first thing Wyatt did when we arrived on day one was drag me 15 feet across the driveway to sniff another participant. I mean, dogs do that sometimes, right? By the second class I was stunned to see Wyatt taking on a whole new level of obedience. By the third class Wyatt was walking right at my side and staying for up to 15 minutes at a time. At the end of the two weeks my husband didn’t recognize Wyatt’s behavior. We still have work to do, but I feel like I’m finally equipped to help him get there and I have faith in both of us that we can do it.
David’s training is straightforward, easy to do and unbelievably effective. He is patient and encouraging. From David, I learned that I need to command my dog’s respect and I have the skills now to do that. But even more amazingly, I have a newfound respect for my dog. A pretty unbeleivable gift. I would recommend David’s dog training to anyone. Wyatt was the oldest, largest, most stubborn and most aggressive dog in his class. David helped me turn around 5 years of bad habits in just a few days. I’m beyond impressed – I am sincerely grateful.”