"I cannot stress this enough: get enrolled in a class/program. Do things with your dog. Most people struggle due to an unfulfilled relationship. I teach people how to stop bad behaviors and create good behaviors. This gives them the freedom they were dreaming of when bringing their dog home."
Graham's K-9 Training
Jon was just 12 years old when he trained his first dog, Violet. She was a rescue pup from Metro East Humane Society in his hometown of Edwardsville.
"We always had dogs in our house growing up," Jon says. "Once we rescued Violet, I wanted her trained. Partly because she was returned twice for unruly behaviors like jumping, barking and pestering the 'other dog.'"
Jon started with the basics - crate training and leash walking. Back then, YouTube videos and books were his main source of knowledge. But with time and patience, it worked!
Once he was old enough to work, he put his skills to the test. He started a "doggie daycare" he named Traveling Tails Inn. He also ran playgroups for 15 to 65+ dogs and assisted in running Basic Obedience classes too.
All these experiences taught Jon a lot about dogs and how they communicate with each other and with humans.
"In class, I learned quickly that my focus needed to be on the owners - the people who care for this dog every day!" Jon says.
Since those early days of training Violet, Jon has honed his craft as a dog trainer, and completed his certification to become an Animal Behavior College (ABC) Certified Dog Trainer. He has attended seminars across the country, including the International Association of Canine Professionals conference.
He has even learned from the famous Monks of New Skete - an Eastern Orthodox monastic community in New York state who advocate the philosophy that "understanding is the key to communication, compassion, and communion" with your dog.
"I take pride in what I do," Jon says. "There is something special about helping owners better understand their furry companions. I know how challenging owning a dog can be. Especially a rescue/older dog that is, 'set in their ways…'"
Sometimes people think puppies will be easier but that's not always the case either. It's about teaching owners how to communicate effectively with their dog.
"A young puppy can bring so much stress when misbehaving. However, we must teach before we can expect good behavior(s)," Jon says.
Jon has four dogs: Arrow, a blue heeler; Buns, an Aussie/German Shepherd mix; Raisin a border collie; and Rosie, a red heeler.
"I love having high energy/active dogs. They are entertaining, smart, confident, and simply fun!" Jon says. "However – we teach them how to turn 'on' and 'off.' We consider these boundaries: teaching a dog when to be playful/excited while also teaching a calm mindset. Once you find that perfect balance, you can expose your dogs to different environments. I will help you find that balance."
Is your dog in need of some basic training?
Three Tails is now offering Basic Obedience Group Classes by Graham's K9 Training in both our Columbia and Waterloo locations.
You and your pup will work on basic commands like sit, stay, down, place, & loose leash walking. The six-week courses are held once a week.
Classes are $200 (Cash or Check Only)
Your pet must be current on vaccines to participate in the class.