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.

Training is About Creating Aligned Energy

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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.

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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.

-David

Call (828) 337-5792 to schedule a FREE consultation.

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

Kabler Training is Healing for Daisy

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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.

-David

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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.

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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!

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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.

Daisy out practicing her loose leash walk in the neighborhood.

Strong Family Units: Understanding Pack Survival Anxiety in Companion Dogs

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Happy Training!

-David

Call David to find out more about his unique training approach at

828-337-5792 & to schedule your dogs free consultation.

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Gus and his guardian practice a loose leash walk at the park.