December 31, 2012
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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.
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.
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.
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.
In the Fall I started my Residency Training Courses. 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!
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.
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.
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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December 16, 2012
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.
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.
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.
November 24, 2012
In 1995, I graduated from National K9 School of Dog Trainers where I had the pleasure of being taught by school founder Scott Mueller. Scott pioneered the use of dogs for handicapped support service, having trained the first dogs for this purpose in the 1970’s.
I am very proud of the education I received at National K9 and am thrilled that Scott was recently inducted into the International Association of Canine Professionals Hall of Fame. Scott is in excellent company; with the likes of the Weatherwax Family who trained Lassie, The Monks of New Skete, Dr. Ian Dunbar, and Cesar Milan; all having also won this incredible honor.
My experience of being taught by Scott gave me an incredible foundation of knowledge about dogs and how they think. He encouraged me to work extremely hard towards my Master Trainer Certification.
Scott was the first to suggest that I start my own business, giving me the confidence boost I needed, telling me that he believed I would achieve tremendous success. He helped design my school logo and inspired my professional career.
While at National K9 I learned how to properly raise puppies for service and family, how to effectively train handicapped support dogs in all manner of assistance work, scent detection for Search and Rescue, protection dog training, and so much more. While at National K-9 I was instilled with a strong sense of professionalism and respect for all the trainers who came before– pushing the field to higher levels of understanding and achievement.
Scott gave me a strong start in canine training and has been a mentor to me through my career– over the years I have been taught by the best of the best and am thankful for all my teachers that have given me so much. -David
July 16, 2012
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 dogs, 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.
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.
Thank you David.
Gerry and Fred S.
“Toby & Blaze”