K9 Trainer Philosophy and Training Methods
Most people attribute a
particular event or reason they turned to a profession or occupation in their
lives. My life is no different in this regard. I had
no idea I would embark on this profession. I had just left the downtown
Toronto corporate world in favour of starting my own health care management
consulting firm. Everything was working out, life was good ...... until
I came across the one dog that would turn my whole life upside down.
I had had many dogs in the
past – having selected ‘my’ breed – Belgian Shepherds back in the 80s.
Through careful research and consideration of my lifestyle at the time
(as well as fortuitous timing and availability of litters in my immediate
geographic area) I had concluded this breed was for me.
My first puppy was a black Belgian
Shepherd Dog (a groenendael) with whom I developed a beautiful 13 year
relationship. This dog was my hero
– quick to learn, eager to please and a cute-as-a -button puppy that turned
into a gorgeous and handsome adult dog. I
rarely had problems with “OJ” (this was the 80s – well before the infamous
trials!) and when I did, a simple correction was all that was required to bring
him back onto the right path. I
learned a lot with this dog, or at least I thought I did …..
By the time “Zorro” rolled
around, I had toyed with the idea of giving a ‘rescue’ a chance.
After looking at a variety of options that included switching to another
breed, my wife suggested (with rather persuasive arguments) that if we
were going to rescue a dog, we should stick to the breed we knew best.
Having been convinced, it just so happened that one of our breed needed
to find a home quickly. This was a male Belgian Shepherd – of the Malinois
They say “ignorance is bliss” and that definitely applied in our case. We decided to take in this lanky and undernourished 3 year old male on a trial basis for two weeks. We didn’t really know anything about the ‘drive’ of this particular variety of Belgian Shepherd and the fact that the word best used to describe them was “intense”. Soon after we picked him up from a breeder who had been kind enough to hold him for us, we brought him home to the two black Belgians we already had by then (in picture Koal – left; Koukla - right).