Dog Training Tradition

winter_dog_swim_yellow_lab_asheville_harper

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_dog_obedience_training_asheville_sydney

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.

 

Rock Solid Training

Heeling with German Shepherd Gunnar

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.

Off leash heeling becomes a reality.

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.

Maggie being rewarded.

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.

Down Stay at the park

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.

Nobility, Companionship, and Love– Training from the Heart

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

Kabler Crest

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.

Maggie

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

Barry

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

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

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.