I received my training in 1992 at Midwest K-9 Training Academy, the Midwest’s largest and oldest training facility, where I studied with Frank Catania, a former Chief Canine Instructor for the US Army.
Here is a small collection of my dog training school pics:
This is the first obedience dog I trained. He was my responsibility in Dog Training School. A very big very sweet American Tundra Shepherd. I learned more from him than he did from me.
Here he is again, being good.
In order to pass the class, we had to get a near perfect score in Basic Obedience. The two of us worked so hard. I would bring him treats and beg him to be good for me. And then we’d practice and practice and practice.
Agility training was really challenging. The dog I was given for training, another American Tundra Shepherd, was high strung and skittish on her best days. That she was more terrified of the course than I was says a lot, because it totally freaked me out. I had to go over each obstacle with her, and we bonded through our shared experience of the drama of it all!
The protection training was the most challenging for me. I never knew I was afraid of large aggressive dogs until I had to train my first one in protection.
The Rottweiler I was given for the protection training was a real bad ass. He loved the protection training so much! He was really strong and so determined to get the “bad guy” that I had to wear shoes with cleats. And even then, I got dragged (on my belly) more than once.
Once he had his teeth in the sleeve, he hated to let go.
Here we are at the protection trials. My dog got a perfect score. He really made me look good, but in reality it was all him.