Over the years, we’ve taken our dogs to what I consider to be the premier dog training facility in our area: Paws-Abilities. I’ve referred literally dozens of clients to Dana Babb, the owner, whenever doggy training of any sort was needed – behavior issues, puppy manners, agility classes, companion classes, and so on. Some folks just bond with dogs and know how to get the best from them; others, like me, are loyal followers hoping to glean another nugget of technique on why my dog does what he/she does and what the heck I’m supposed to do about it.
One of my favorite techniques was learned while we had a very stubborn … and busy! … dalmation named Gateway. Oh my, Gateway was one of those training challenged dogs. Think Marley and Me, except covered with spots! Anyway, Gateway had a habit of jumping our six-foot cedar fence. And she was really really good at it. It was amazing how she could go up and over the thing with a leap, a slight catch with her back feet on one of the runners, and then over she’d go.
We were in classes with Dana and Larry at Paws-Abilities at the time and I was totally frustrated with trying to get this dog to STOP! Gateway wouldn’t stop going over the fence and the neighbors were calling because there she’d be. Running all over the neighborhood wagging her tail and just generally happy to be out of her own very lovely and large back yard.
Larry’s solution: teach her to jump. Say what??? “Teach her to jump. That way she’ll only jump on command.” The weirdest thing was … it worked! Once Gateway had mastered jumping hurdles she never again jumped the fence. These guys know dogs!
Over the years and especially after Larry’s passing, Dana and I have become trusted advisors to one another. She calls when she has a real estate need. I call when I have a doggy issue.
Yesterday I received a call from Dana explaining that the dog center needed a new location and looking for some advice and thoughts both about leasing a new facility and valuing her home. Bless her, Dana will be undertaking a challenge now as a service dog trainer in the Wounded Warrior Project and Warrior Transition Battalion at Joint Base Lewis‐McChord. I couldn’t be more delighted for her, although it means that Paws-Abilities will be moving along to new heights! She’s hoping to begin offering classes again sometime in the future, but for now will be focusing on being part of this very rewarding and needed program.
Best wishes, Dana! Visit Paws-Abilities to keep tabs on training opportunities. They’ll be open again soon!