Intertwined K9 dog training classes began in January, offered by local trainer, Kaylah Locklear, in coordination with Henry County Parks & Recreation.
Rather than focusing on one particular type of training, Locklear follows the LIMA method, which means “Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive,” according to the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT).
“LIMA describes trainers who use the least intrusive, minimally aversive strategy out of a set of humane and effective tactics likely to succeed in achieving a training or behavior change objective,” the website stated.
Locklear said many dog owners do not understand the language behind dog behavior to identify a real problem. Aggression is a typical issue for many owners because they can misidentify the behavior. This is where it’s helpful to have a skilled trainer to guide the owner towards helping the dog become and remain calm.
Successful training sessions are facilitated by identifying the dog’s strengths and the owner’s areas of improvement, according to Locklear.
Most dog owners lack the necessary knowledge about dog behavior to identify a real problem. Aggression is a common issue for many owners because the behavior is easily misinterpreted, according to Locklear. This is where the owner’s ability to help the dog become and remain calm may benefit from having an experienced trainer by their side.
Locklear said the current class is learning “look, place, come, and marker charging.” While many know the meaning of the first three commands, marker charging may not be as commonly known, according to Better Dog Behavior Now, and is achieved by giving a treat or other highly desired reward is delivered at the marker word “yes” or the sound of a clicker. (https://betterdogbehaviornow.com/the-magic-of-markers.)
“Ensuring the dogs attention on the owner is vital to successful training,” said Locklear, and added that each session focuses on teaching two or three commands, with the owner practicing at home before the next lesson.
The next sessions will focus on getting the dog into a “heel” position and move on to “loose leash” walks. Locklear said. Heel means having the dog at your left side while walking, and loose leash walking works by having the dog walking calmly beside you without pulling. The goal is for both the owner and the dog to have a fun, successful walk with the dog focused on the owner.
Depending on participation, future courses include the current class of adult dogs, puppy classes, and AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and testing.
Henry County Parks & Recreation is providing the space for the six-week weekly course at a cost of $75 payable to Locklear.
Locklear also is seeking additional venues to be able to offer more dates and times, and she is available for private lessons or consultation. Learn more at email@example.com or on Facebook at Intertwined K9.