When I was a kid I grew up not knowing that a dog should be trained. I thought that Lassie, Old Yeller, and Rin Tin Tin were just plain smart dogs. TV has a funny way of encouraging the way we think and believe, and life has a way of educating all of us to what reality is. So, when "Little Girl," whose mother was a Dacshund and her father a Pitbull, came into my life, I believed she could do anything. Well, she did and she didn't. She didn't talk like me and she didn't eat everything I ate, though she would have loved to. As we grew up together, I would talk to her and she would just look at me as if she knew exactly what I was saying. She also liked to bark excitedly when we came home, jumping into anyone's stomach she was glad to see. Talk about getting the wind knocked out of you!
She also loved fireworks. She would chase down bottle rockets and catch them. When they exploded in her mouth she would shake it off and bark for more. Fireworks were not the only thing that excited her. She loved to fish with the family and was the main reason we lost a few fish. Every time we cast our corks out, she would swim out and bring them back. We often had to tie her up if we were going to catch anything. She loved to bark at the fish and would dance back and forth while the person who had the fish was trying to unhook it and dance back and forth dodging her. The look alone she had was priceless. It was screaming, "Oh give it to me!" The whole scene usually ended in the fish flipping out of our hands and landing back in the water. Thus, if hunger was an issue, we were gonna starve. Then there was the time we caught a snapping turtle that made the mistake of "honking" Little Girl's nose. Needless to say she got even by cracking the turtle's shell and eating it. From then on we renamed her "Turtle Girl.”
We never trained Little Girl, but she just learned what we showed her and allowed her to do. Take for instance, the three growl warning. She growled three times and then someone got bit. My Dad taught her that when she was still a puppy. One night she kept on whimpering and Dad told her three times to stop and finally after the third time he picked her up and threw her into her doghouse. From that time forth she gave three warnings and then "chomp." I believe had we taken Little Girl in for training, she would have been a better dog for it.
Since 2010, I have been a Certified Dog Trainer and have trained a thousand plus dogs. Recently a growing demand has caught my attention. I have been asked many times if I will ever offer advanced training. Well, everyone, I have some news. I can be a stubborn man when it comes to change, and after much prompting by friends and family, I have moved up on the technology board. No longer will you have to find me by tracking smoke signals, Morse code, or sending me a message by bird. I can now be found on Facebook.
Here is what we are telling people from our newly born Facebook page: "Alexander's Kingdom of Training offers dog training from the very basic to the more advanced skill levels. Basic classes are $75 for a 4 week class, covering Loose Leash Walking, Stay, Sit, Sit and Stay, Come, Down, and Down and Stay. Intermediate classes are $100 for a 6 week course and covers Stop and Go, Stay, Come When Called, Bring It and Drop it, and Leave It. Advanced classes are $125 for a 6 week class and covers Too Far, Formation Walking, Hand Signals, No Leash and more." We are currently working on a web page where pictures and videos will be available from these sites.
Now ask yourselves, "Does my canine family member need training?" "Do I need training?" "Is my dog like Little Girl?" I believe there is no dog that cannot be trained. Sure the dog(s) can be stubborn and reject the training, or they may even take to part of the training. All training takes time and direction. Besides, training is an investment of the heart and mind. Plus, the prices listed give less of an excuse not to train that canine family member.
So, sit down with your family and make a list of what you would like Fido/Fidoette to do. Family meetings are important because without the entire family sharing the responsibility of training the canine family member, training can become difficult.
By: Joel Allen