Certified Professional Trainer
(614) 987-7495 (614) 987-7495 Dog Training and Behavior
1981 was the beginning of my full-time career as a firefighter/paramedic with Worthington Fire. Today marks my final day after 33+ years. It's been a very rewarding, challenging, and interesting career. During my time in the Fire Service I watched many changes. In the 80's infection control became a daily challenge as AIDS was identified and spreading. In the 90's, departments began adopting better Incident Command procedures, which helped coordinate multi-jurisdiction responses. And when 9-11 demonstrated the reality of evil in our world, the fire service evolved to better protect our members and communities. I will miss the challenges, excitement, and many of those who I worked shoulder-to-shoulder with for decades.
I began my dog training career in 2007, after attending an accredited school and receiving certification. My plan was to develop my business in preparation for my fire service retirement. However, by 2010 training dogs had actually become a 2nd full-time job. This was a very good thing, as I enjoyed both careers (fire and dogs). Still, I have been working 80+ hours each week for the past 5 years. Now retired from the fire service, I'm looking forward to getting back to a 40 hour work week. I'm also looking forward to getting a little more sleep, spending more time with my own dogs, and revisiting several hobbies that have been "on hold" for the past many years.
So to any that heard I'm retired - that's true, but only from the Fire Service. I'm grateful for the years I was able to serve my community as a Firefighter, I'm also grateful to all the clients who have had me into their homes over the past 8 years to help with their dogs. The K9 Guy remains open for business! I'm looking forward to helping many more owners live better lives with their dogs, for many years to come.
Recently, I attended a graduate seminar at National K9. The 2 day event featured 2 speakers, the second of which discussed service dogs. I found her presentation very informative, not only for the information she offered, but because she offered many unique perspectives using a service dog herself.
One point she made was that there is a great deal of misunderstanding regarding laws and regulations specific to service dogs. But the bottom line is that a service dog should not be a nuisance. I invite visitors to watch the 2 videos posted here. The dog above dialed 9-1-1 for its owner during a house fire. The dog below was trying to bite people. One area of agreement in the law is that service animals cannot be a nuisance or hinder business. While laws need better clarity and enforcement (both of which will likely come with time), for now there's a tremendous amount of abuse.
I spent time this summer discussing how an owners attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs, etc. can play a large role in training of their dogs. I've also mentioned before how one of my instructors would say "everyone wants a trained dog, but not everyone will do the work". That's true, and that's human nature to a large degree. But today I'd like to discuss a few final details influencing results when it comes to training dogs....
I spend a lot of time talking with owners about reading and understanding their dog(s). Over the years I have come to appreciate that no 2 dogs are the same. Every one is an individual, with a unique personality, aptitudes, responses, etc. A fellow trainer recently posted on social media that not every dog can be a service dog - absolutely true. But I find it interesting how often owners don't take a dog's unique attributes into consideration. Doing so can be very helpful.
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