Forging a Strong Relationship with Your Best Friend

Excited to go!

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.

Golden Retriever

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.


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!

German Shepherds love to bike

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.

Puppy swimming

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

Dog Training Tradition


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.

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.