The Everyday Trainer Podcast

Road to K9 Street League: A Journey into Dog Training with Kris of Primal Canine Florida

July 07, 2023 Meghan Dougherty Season 2 Episode 21
The Everyday Trainer Podcast
Road to K9 Street League: A Journey into Dog Training with Kris of Primal Canine Florida
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this Episode, I'm joined by our very special guest, Kris of Primal Canine Florida. Kris  gives us a glimpse into the world of dog sports, including a newly introduced sport, Street League, which is designed specifically for personal protection dogs and how he got his start.

We discuss the intricacies of dog training from Kris's perspective and stresses the importance of connection, humility, and sustainable techniques in the canine training industry. We also take a moment to appreciate how the industry has significantly evolved over the years, particularly the need for individualized attention to each dog and explaining progressions to owners who may have strong opinions about certain training methods.

In the final snippet of our chat, we throw light on Kris's training philosophy and the value of knowledge and empowerment. We chat about the need for resilience and patience when handling dogs and their owners, and the necessity of equipping owners with the skills and know-how to walk their journey. Kris gives a candid take on rescue responsibilities, emphasizing that education can play a massive role in reducing the need for rescues. We wrap up discussing the importance of maintaining physical and mental health in dog training, and hear Kris's take on decoying as his form of working out. You know the drill, grab yourself a tasty drink and enjoy.

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Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome back to the Everyday Trainer podcast. My name is Meg and I am a dog trainer. On today's episode, i'm joined by Chris from Primal Canine Florida. So excited to have you here, chris. We are talking all about dog sports and everything that goes with that, so you know the drill. Grab yourself a tasty drink and meet us back here. Hey, chris, hi, thank you so much for being here. Of course, i appreciate you. I'm really excited Me too. Welcome to the doghouse. I love it. I love it.

Speaker 2:

It's the best right, it is The vibe. I love the lights. Thank you, thank you. Is that the Himalayan salt lamp?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you gotta set the vibes right. Yeah, okay. So let's just go ahead and start off. You are a dog trainer here in Florida. You work for Primal Canine, So there's one here in Florida and also one in Gilroy California, gilroy California. So let's just start by telling us a little bit about yourself.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I'm a dog trainer.

Speaker 1:

I need a little bit more than that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah yeah, you know my day to day I like to really dive deep into working dogs primarily, but pets pay. So basic obedience, advanced obedience, puppies to police canine, you know I'm more of that. What would you like? the artisan kind of like shops Like, not your like big box stores, but you know like you want quality. Yeah, you're like white glove service, I would say Michelin Star just yet. but you know I'm not gonna. It's not the generic thing that you get off Amazon Like if you want, like specifics and something more tailored to, you know, your day to day needs. That's what I like to dabbling.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and how did you get started in the industry? Oh my gosh.

Speaker 2:

Let's take it back. Let's take it back. So you know, the running the mill record. In a way I did time in the service. I kind of developed a passion for working dogs. I was not a dog trainer or a handler in the service. I befriended a few when I was overseas. Saw the passion, the motivation, the bond that they had with these dogs. I'm like, oh my gosh, they can walk off leash. What is this voodoo, magic, magic, especially in the desert, like as hot as it was. They're picking their dogs up and put them on their shoulders. They're sitting in the child hall. They're eating with them. I'm like, man, this is a career. I got out, and you know, working odd jobs. I wasn't happy with the jobs. I felt like I was not going anywhere. You know insert, you know, going to a formal training school which was in Georgia, in Carsville, georgia. Phenomenal. They've since grown really good curriculum and development, very small classes. So you're not getting lost in the sauce, right? You're not just a number. I cut my teeth, you know, in that course it was about four months Came back home and I was like, all right, i'm going to put this knowledge of use. You know, thought about being a first responder. I don't like being hot.

Speaker 1:

I'm not a good place to be.

Speaker 2:

Obviously fire. I love firefighters, but I did not want to be a firefighter So I went in law enforcement, you know, thinking that I can put that knowledge to use, did a short stint as a cop. I didn't have the opportunity to be a canine handler when I was in. I was able to do another type of special duty when I was in, again for a short amount of time. I got out and decided to do it. you know, full time. I feel like my mic is going out.

Speaker 1:

I tip talk more into the front a little bit.

Speaker 2:

There we go.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you can hear it. Yeah, i know, i literally like all of my podcast episodes. There's like a coaching portion where I'm like just the microphone a little bit, yeah.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, i wasn't. I don't know, i was burning the camera on both ends as a cop. It was very demanding career field. After speaking with my other half we've you know we decided that that was something I was going to step away from. Everything just worked out the way it did. I got out, you know, decompressed, took another course, few courses, kind of re solidified the fact that I wanted to do this full time, enjoyed it and then came back home and, you know, full tilt, burn the ships.

Speaker 1:

How would you, how would you get involved with primal Funny.

Speaker 2:

So I followed Mike, like back in 2008,. Like when I, when I first joined the service I'm still in the dogs, like I've always been around dogs Saw this dude you know skinny dude. Tattoos fit my persona, like I like this guy. Yeah, something about him, hence why that kind of like drew me to the dogs when I was in the service. But I took the first. So after I got out of law enforcement I took the first street league seminar decoy seminar that Mike hosted. It was out in LA. When was this like three years ago? Okay, right, and it was at Oscar Morris. Elevator K9 Oscar Morris.

Speaker 1:

Another person that I need to get on my podcast.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we'll, we'll talk.

Speaker 1:

Hook it up, hook it up, we'll talk. He's I'm going to like insert I am your phone book I'm going to insert this a little bit that I am a Mike Jones fan girlie. He like taught me everything that I know about, like training my Mal. He was like. I watched all of his videos. I'm a true fan girl.

Speaker 2:

He's your dance teacher.

Speaker 1:

when it comes to dog, Yes, makes it so much easier. Oh yeah.

Speaker 2:

So we I booked the flight, paid the cost Me and my friend Dan. He's up in Wisconsin, titletown, k9. Awesome guy Him and I flew. I flew from Florida, he flew from Wisconsin. We met in LA, spent four or five days. It was in Oscar Morris training facility, which is like between these two overpasses in the middle of LA. You never noticed that it's even you would not notice it was out there If you weren't looking for it Halaeiously hot And it was like a very subtle, slow introduction And then it was like a smack in the face. You know, we're in our suits, we're running for like an hour and a half as he's slaying us, we're slaying ourselves as he's telling us what we need to do And he starts bringing dogs out And it just like Chris Sykes said it the best He's like. At that point it's no longer about like The dogs, it's about like, just surviving. It's just about surviving. And Mike does this thing about his seminars. Like a Little, like a little teaser, little nugget of information He'll bring in food vendors and those food vendors are not necessarily prime for what you're about to get into. So you like, you need to like be mindful what you take in. Wait what he got? a taco truck, it was okay, okay, okay, but I knew that I understand me and Dan, we're sitting there, he brought this dude, pulls up in his van and he starts bringing out the griddle. I'm like, oh man, tacos nice. And we're like, wait a minute, we're here for a certification. This is no, i'll eat one, right, i'll take one. We're gonna be in a suit all day and it's heat, i don't want to pass out or I don't want to hop at the suit and Care business. So, but yeah, went through the certification, i got through it. There was a good amount of guys that showed out, guys and gals, phenomenal decoys. He selected a very limited number of people And that's where, like, the relationship started to to build. You know, phone call here and there, to some additional phone calls, to where, like, we're reaching out to each other a lot more. You know, down the earth, dude, you know, give a shirt off your back Him and Aaron, his other half, phenomenal. And then it turned into, you know, the streetly things picking up and people are like, oh, this is streetly thing, you know. And obviously Confessing their love for the other sports out there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, okay, so pause, talk us through what canine street league is so.

Speaker 2:

It's a newer sport. It's geared towards more personal protection dogs, like law enforcement, personal protection dogs and their applications. With any sport, if you dive deep into it and you have a deep passion for it, you know your dogs can get Savvy on the training right And you'll see some dogs that are phenomenal with the application of sports. But when it's maybe time or if they're utilizing that sense of personal protection, there's going to be some conflict in the overall right. Like you got a dog that's Pushed through his routine So much, there may be an opportunity to where there'd be failure to engage right. Not saying that. You know there's not balanced dogs like that. You just got to be more mindful with it. You got to be very constructive. But with street league, like what we're geared towards to developing it is making sure that, like the pictures that we teach these dogs, we show, these dogs aren't really gonna conflict with You know what personal protection dogs are right. So carjacking, picnic table More of a lax presentation from the decoy, not all you know clatter and stick right Like that's never going to happen in real life.

Speaker 1:

I mean, let's be realistic. No one is gonna knock on your door and you know a Broadway number.

Speaker 2:

Everybody sing together, right, i'm gonna break it. Like they're not gonna sing, i'm gonna break into your house, right? People are very, very conniving, very subtle, very mischievous and and Sketchy. Yeah, right, it's one of the bigger pictures that you really need to show your dog. Especially in those applications You need to be mindful. Like again it's this, it's a, It's a wormhole. Yeah of a topic, but so.

Speaker 1:

Personal personal protection dogs. The difference between sport dogs and personal protection dogs. Personal protection dogs should be able to Do like a live bite. They should be able to bite somebody without equipment. The picture should be painted. Yes, there's a new.

Speaker 2:

Trouty, but yes, when. When presented the opportunity to engage with somebody, regardless of their temperament Or the overall Environment or the picture that's being presented, they should have little to no issue with engagement. We're gonna so like what material the person's wearing, right, right. So regardless if it's a puffy jacket, a t-shirt, nothing at all right, that'll really like I'm testing your dogs. You got a Bear back person. Yeah, send your dog. Yeah, i'm not saying don't, please don't do that, okay, so, like with PSA, that's where you see decoys wearing the full suits, igp is just sleeves.

Speaker 1:

But in those sports, you know the dog, there's not really necessarily a practical application to it, like it's literally a sport, you know, like anything, like you're practicing the sport, obviously there's like some practical. But you're not gonna like send a PSA dog to go and like attack somebody that's not a dog To go, and like attack somebody that's like breaking it into your car you know, like you haven't prepared them for that type of situation.

Speaker 2:

Yes, like it's not there. There's a point in time. Just like us as human beings, like there's people that You know talk a big game and when it's time to put you know brass tacks, they fail to complete that task. There's dogs out there that have that balance and there's phenomenal trainers out there Who can develop a well-rounded dog to be able to dabble in both in any sport. Yeah but it's. It's a very diligent task for anybody to take on. Um, to have that duality. For the dog to understand it. I mean sports, sports, personal protection, personal protection You just got to make sure that You're checking all the right boxes. Um, not saying that street leagues a fix all, or like the caveat to sports, to where you know it's not gonna Conflict with day-to-day things, but it's. It's more freeform.

Speaker 1:

But let's also talk about, like, the downside of sports. I was touching on this a little bit earlier. Like I tried so hard to be a part of an igp club And you know, like it's older the people in it are older, it's very clicky. It's kind of the same thing with like psa. Like it's hard to like get involved because it's like so clicky, and I don't get that from street league.

Speaker 2:

You know, yeah, that's, i mean, that's Right now what. What we're trying to do with the environment is allow it to be open right to, to allow constructive criticism from all levels, new to Old, like yeah seasoned um, open the books in a sense of resources and allowing it right. But just, you could be a mechanic, right, i can hit, i can be a mechanic, i can hand you all all the books on how to fix your car, all the parts doesn't mean you're gonna do it well, right. So being comfortable in your craft, right, opening yourself up to being questioned to you know, being able to give that constructive criticism or take it, is a big thing. When it comes to sports, i think that it's. A lot of these sports are steeped in tradition and it's hard, right, it's hard, just like if your routine, your day-to-day routine, every morning you wake up, you go to Starbucks and you get a coffee, and that one day you don't, you feel like your whole day's to shovel right. I think a lot of people who put their life into these sports, which you know is all due respect, It's their tradition, right? And then for somebody else to be able to come in and start questioning why you're doing this, These newbies, Yeah, who's this new guy Gal Right asking me these questions? right, Assuming You know why am I doing this and doing that, Like you should know that if you wanna do that, It's unrealistic expectations. Now, today, like, be more open, you know? Allow, if not, then it's gonna be a dying breed of a sport. Yeah, yeah for sure. Who's gonna take it on, right, Like you were saying. Hey, I need you to before you can start working your dough Mow the lawn. You're gonna have to mow this lawn. I got 30 acres. I got 30 acres. You're gonna mow it, literally. I can understand that right, coming from military background. There's things that I did that I look back on, like why did I?

Speaker 1:

even do that.

Speaker 2:

But, like, i think it builds character. But there's a right and wrong way of doing it And here's the difference. Here I'll give you the best piece of advice that I've ever gotten There's a difference between a boss and a leader. All right, boss is behind the sled, whip and whip Your leader's in the front, pulling the weight with you, showing you how to do it, when to do it right, with what intensity and motivation. Like being able to show somebody and have them follow suit makes it so much easier to comprehend, to absorb information, than it is to kinda like do as I say and not as I do. Right, they don't want that clickiness, they don't want to be questioned, but they want to question you when you're craft. Like do you know this? Why are you doing this? That's wrong. What?

Speaker 1:

is it wrong?

Speaker 2:

Right, there's many ways to address a problem. There's a million ways to train a dog, yeah Right, i don't think there is a right and wrong way. But there's a lot of different ways to achieve a certain task or behavior or, you know, an obedient structure, whatever may have you. So it's tough. It really is tough in sports. It's just finding what fits right. Some gyms you go to a gym I don't like this gym, but this one I like the vibe there. So it's about finding what fits. But overall, i think if we drop some of our ego, right, it's very hard because you don't want to be questioned, because you put your life into the craft and you feel if you get questioned, people don't have faith in you. And for us not to feel like we can be counted on, i think that kinda destroys our inner voice, right, and we don't why, are you doing this Like get out of here? You know I don't want you to question me. It's like they people feel like it's a toxic trait to question. There's again, there's a right and wrong way of questioning it, but I think it's steeped in tradition. But we need to be able to open up these doors and allow New perspectives. Yes, it's always good.

Speaker 1:

The industry is constantly changing, for like the better, i would say, you know, and there are new trainers coming in and we're just doing things differently And I think it's like, i think it's super cool to see you guys doing this, like literally creating a new sport. Yeah, you know.

Speaker 2:

It's tough.

Speaker 1:

Oh, i can only imagine, tough, i can only imagine.

Speaker 2:

I mean with any sport, i mean regardless of what it is, but like to maintain the structure, the expectation, the value and what people get it at right. When people are gonna invest money into it. We wanna make sure that we can provide that outcome, that return of investment, that ROI in it. So there's many sleepless nights. You can ask my wife, you know I'm on the phone at midnight 2 am with Mike and he's three hours difference on time, so like we're back and forth. I got notes in my phone between him and G Baines and Edmund and everybody on the media staff over there too. Like it's, we're chasing our tail at times, but it's a cool thing.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's definitely worth it and fulfilling 100%. Good, good, yeah, okay. So what do you currently do? You kind of touched a little bit on how you do pet dog training. Here You're doing street league. What else you got going on?

Speaker 2:

Surviving.

Speaker 1:

I mean okay, yes, i got you As a dog trader surviving, but like how we met.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I mean.

Speaker 1:

You coach people through you know? Yeah, i mean yeah, bite work.

Speaker 2:

You know foundational things. It's a. It's a, it's a very integral part of of training. I mean you can say skip steps, you can rush through things, but ultimately those holes are going to present themselves again. I'm a low and slow kind of guy, yeah, so you know, fill, fill what we can, strengthen what we can. You know, get, get the handler comfortable with the dog, the dog comfortable with the handler, building that bond and structure, and so many things come easier down the line. Yeah, It'll take a little bit of extra time but ultimately those, those harder tasks become a breeze Once you have a strut like you're just plugging in pieces. And if you don't have those pieces, then you're going to be like, oh, what am I going to fill it with? Cool, hard correction on the collar right, listen, yeah, versus building the structure and bond and communication that you need with your dog. So yeah, i mean I know we do. I do bite nights. We have a street league club down here that meets once a week as frequently as we can. I mean we all have lives and crazy schedules, but I do private lessons, i do board and trains. I keep very small numbers. I try to keep my numbers low when it comes to dogs that I take on. I just I like to provide quality. I want to provide quality, i would want quality. I want people to get quality out of their investment.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, yeah, for sure. And what is like the most fulfilling part of it for you?

Speaker 2:

That's a good question. I like to see the light bulb turn on and the owner's heads like, once they, once they understand what they have between the, between the relationship, like once they build the relationship with their dog and they understand, dang, like it's this, like it's this easy, what do you mean? Right? And then you see the motivation and then you start getting the text messages and the photos and the videos after the dogs been home, like, oh, we did this today. You know we weren't able to do this, like two months ago, so like that's that's the most fulfilling And it's hard work. I mean anybody, all of us, right. Like we know, sleep, eat, sleep, right, and that's a whole Yeah.

Speaker 1:

That's a whole. Let's talk out after this podcast.

Speaker 2:

Let me tell you, right, like, it's always a thing Like and I got, i have puppies back at my house, so it's like those schedules are a lot more frequent and tight, you know, because if you again, if you skip a step, you're just it's going to be two times worse down the line. So, yeah, i really enjoy educating, providing the knowledge, providing resource. I don't have, i don't have everything to give to an owner, but I, you know, we develop connections and build bridges. I think that's what we need, a lot of us need to do in this community, or we're going to lose it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, right. So, and that was one of the first things that like So Marcella came down here to work for me and help me out with everything going on here And she just happened to like find you So random. Yeah, she found you And she was like Meg, they were so nice to me Like literally nobody made me cry And I'm like the bar is so low.

Speaker 2:

That makes me Yeah. Right, he made me. Yeah, it's.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, He was so patient with me And I'm like where did you come from?

Speaker 2:

Because I told you I.

Speaker 1:

I learned from Yori and like I didn't know how spoiled I was, yeah, and so I like ended up texting him. I'm like, oh my God.

Speaker 2:

Thank you, thank you.

Speaker 1:

I'm so spoiled and I had no idea.

Speaker 2:

But like you said, with him, with Yori. Like you, not knowing who you were in the presence of Right Shows the quality of the person that that is.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

Not just like excuse me as I take the next 15 minutes in my presentation to show you.

Speaker 1:

Let me, like, push my medals out of the way. Yeah, yeah, yeah, let me go through my resume.

Speaker 2:

There's, there's just listen. So there's justification and kind of like expressing what you can do or what you've been through to validate what you do.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

But then there's, it comes to a point to where it becomes more of a egotistical thing Like allow me to go through this script. I'm going to tell you all my accolades to justify what I'm about to tell you, and tell you that it's God sent like this is the Bible.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Right.

Speaker 1:

Which is very common in the dog training industry. I talk about this all the time. I will literally shit on like people's egos, yeah.

Speaker 2:

But listen, we just need we all we all need to humble ourselves, right, right, there's room for improvement in all levels, right, and anything that we do, we can always tighten up and do better. But, yes, like, fortunate enough to have phenomenal people want to come in and trust me to to teach them. And again, like I pay a lot of respects to my mentors previously and the people that I work with and the clients that I've had before. You know, i don't know if you guys ever done this before, but as you start to build onto your knowledge and know how and practical application, i feel I feel bad for the dogs that I've trained before, because I'm like, dang, if I would have known this, right, yeah, and like if I could one day. I'm going to I'm going to fulfill this. I'm going to I'm going to reach back out to every one of my clients at the stage that I'm at and in developing myself and like, bring them back in so I can show them the new techniques and the new right, because I feel like the handling.

Speaker 1:

I'm very, i'm very fortunate in that like a lot of the clients that I've worked with, I still have relationships with you know so like they board their dogs with me or I see them. So, like a lot of the dogs that I trained, you know, five years ago, I still get in for boarding and, like I used to have every single dog on a prom collar and E-collar And then I realized like everything that I kind of do is catered around what is sustainable for the owners, You know. So then I kind of like switch the slip leads because nobody was using their prom callers anymore And they're like Oh my God, don't beat me up because I'm not using my prom collar. I'm like when's the last time you've seen a prom collar on my head? When's the last time you've seen a prom collar on my dog Right? When's the last time I've charged me a?

Speaker 2:

collar Like there's specific applications. I can train a dog to what I want it to be. Yeah. To be a client's dog, but that again it's not sustainable for the owner.

Speaker 1:

Yes, whatever is sustainable for the owner is what works for the dog.

Speaker 2:

There's so many filters you have to put these dogs through. It goes into a detailed consultation like making sure that you're putting the right effort into the right categories for the dog. Right, Like I said, gone are the days of yanking crank. Right, Like we're starting to become more precise in how we address dog training.

Speaker 1:

Right, It's not like Owners have no idea that that's what's going on or what like. The industry was kind of like.

Speaker 2:

No, They have no idea, But they do because they look at it and then they see it and they have a very inclined opinion about certain things. And you gotta like listen, let's take a deep breath. Let me explain the progression and why people were using this and why sometimes we still use it, Cause there's dogs. There's some dogs out there that need a little- Oh yeah. You know, just like anybody, for sure, just like us as kids. I'm not the anthropomorphic size, but just like us as kids.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

You know I was a little knucklehead as a child, right, I needed a firm foot every now and then.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I don't need that firm foot anymore. I think dogs are the same way, Like with enough structure and routine and relationship building that you build, you can start to exclude certain pieces of equipment, right Or means of communicating with your dog and allow it to be more free form and open for that right. Like I don't. I love Mr And he's my wingman. I wouldn't have trusted him with an inch off of that six foot leash. I fly with him now Like he's around kids, He's around other dogs. I got him off leash And in front of my neighborhood around other dogs, like and he's like cool And I would have never, never would have thought that. But there's always progression with it And that's the tough thing, Like when it comes to educating correctly, you know, making sure people understand. I'm not afraid, I'm a balanced dog trainer, I'm not afraid of it, but I'm not going to overuse it. But I'm not going to hesitate to build knowledge, not just for myself, for the owners. So they have more tools on their belt. So if I'm not available or if they can't get in contact with the trainer, they at least have the skill set to maintain what they have. So they're never going down the scale, Right?

Speaker 1:

So Yeah, yeah, for sure That's awesome And what like not to get into like too nitty gritty. But what's your kind of like philosophy on training? So, for example, for me my goal is always to make it like as simple and user friendly as possible. I think a lot of times dog training can get really over complicated And I've kind of recognized this with you. You're very good at explaining things and making it very like simple and digestible. So what is your like main philosophy as far as, like your training goes?

Speaker 2:

So I like, i like your application of it, right, I like to keep it as simple as it can be for owners, but I like to empower. I'm not saying that like, this is like how I do it, right, i know other trainers do it. I like to provide enough knowledge and know how. Like, knowledge is key. I am in the business of putting myself out the business. Plenty of trainers have said that, right, i want to make it so. Ultimately, my clients become my peers, right, you give them enough, they'll be able to you invigorate that, that passion, that motivation they want to take off. I'm like you know what? I'm going to sit in a seminar now, right, like that I love to hear that from. I love this so much. I didn't know I can enjoy spending time with my dog now, right, and you know what, what, what seminars, what classes, what courses, right, kind of reach out to. And then they come in and like, oh, can I, can I show you this? When I taught my dog, like, oh, yeah, show me, let's show me, are you training? you're training me today, let me see it. Right, i love it. I just love it because, like, that's that's how I feel. There's tough days. There's always tough days as dog trainers. Like it's it's, it's a lot of being able to have tough skin, let it roll off your back and be patient. There's times where our patients are tested right In between dogs and clients. And it's nothing against either, or It's just, you know, it's You. You see the outcome in your head when you get the dog. You build the outcome with the dog and you know and you have Faith that the potential of this dog and this owner is going to do great things. And then, when you meet, when you're when, when you're shown or when you run into a shortfall, you feel like you failed right, like there's a disconnect somewhere. So I like to provide as much as I can For the owner to be able to take each step that they need to to to ultimately reach their goal. So we, we, we build the dog as much as we can, you know, for a solid foundation, very simple, right, user friendly, and then, as they show motivation, then I'll provide, i'll open up more doors for you. But plenty of times, and I think everybody, all the trainers who are listening, right, like we do so much in the beginning because you're like, oh man, i'm going to, you just want to place and a and a heel. I'm going to put sit down like I'm going to do thresholds. I'm going to have this dog jumping on fire hydrants right And they go home and you're like they even use one goddamn thing.

Speaker 1:

We talk about this all the time.

Speaker 2:

Right. So I sometimes struggle with that right Cause I want to put my best foot forward. I want to show that I'm of value to this owner. I want to show that this dog is valued, of value to the owner, right Cause we don't need any more dogs and rescues, and all that as a community, as a, as a, as a human race. We need to slow down and and do research on dogs before we get them. Hmm, what a concept, listen right, like fit your lifestyle to the dog that you want, or find the dog that fits your lifestyle. Yeah, people want all these hard charging, hard biting, big bad, you know, sharp teeth dogs, see you probably get a lot of that.

Speaker 1:

I get the rescue mommies who are like I needed to save this dog And don't get. I have a dog in there that I did that show in. You know, like don't get me wrong, that's like me, but that's what I get. A lot of is like this poor dog was in the shelter and now I have it And it's like a huge bite risk, like but that's that's now.

Speaker 2:

We got to hold the responsibility into the rescues.

Speaker 1:

There's good and bad rescues, don't get me started.

Speaker 2:

That's a whole other. That's all other episode, but it's unfortunate right, and this is where like this as training, like this is something that I definitely want to do. I want to reach out to rescues and I want to help educate They should they should be as as open, as open and constructive as they can about the dogs that they're, they're potentially wanting to place, because all that's going to do is allow us to cut back all the smoke and mirrors or fog and be able to get those dogs to help that they need immediately versus oh well, i took Sally out for a walk And today we found out that he doesn't like small dogs. You know, like he bit the other dog. And now you, now you, now you figure that out. And now you're you know, owners not trained, a potential owner who's fairly new, and they're like I just bought a house, or I just got a, an apartment, and you know I wanted a furry friend, and now they're walking around on eggshells with the dog, with every type of muzzle and halty and harness that they could find, because they they have to manage this now instead of addressing the behavior, because they weren't told that in the beginning, right? So there's a lot of balance and expectations that we need to hold everybody accountable in the training community, uh, breeding, right, and then the management, like rescues and shelters, to be able to, you know, i'm going to say save, save, place, educate as many dogs as we can. We're not going to be able to save all of them, right? There's, uh, inherently, there's dogs out there that there's, there's no options, right, and it's unfortunate. Just look at, like, look at us humans. There's people who cannot be out in public, they're behind bars for a reason.

Speaker 1:

I mean I literally have a dog in my kennel room right now. I adopted her because you know they're getting ready to put her down. The shelter wouldn't take her back. She had been in and out of family homes, bit like kids, bit people German shepherd, small German shepherd So I was like I can train her right. And I took her in and like yes, i can handle her now. When I first got her I couldn't but like her whole life is just completely managed. You know, like she's not a dog that I can like take out without a muzzle, cause if an awfully strong runs up to us or a person walks up to us like she's a serious risk. I can't adopt her out to somebody else, i can't give her to somebody else. That's like handing somebody a loaded gun, you know. So like for me, i'm like why did this shelter and this family a loaded gun?

Speaker 2:

It's kind of like no give backs. It's like hot potato Literally You got it, you can't give it back.

Speaker 1:

Literally. And now I have to make the tough decision. you know like, is her life worth this? You know like the life that she has to live, the life that I have to live.

Speaker 2:

Is it sustainable? Is it sustainable? Is it?

Speaker 1:

safe. Yeah, you know, like she snapped at one of my trainers the other day and I was like damn, like that's something that I really have to consider. And so it's like I'm in the position where, you know, unfortunately and like nobody wants to hear this, but like unfortunately, if I don't, if I don't keep her, she has to be put down, and that's you know that's.

Speaker 2:

That's the career we're in, right Any, any, any career, any job that you have my mother's in nursing right. So like there's good days, there's bad days. I was in law enforcement. There's good days, there's bad days. There's things that you can help and there's things that you can't control right. And you know, being able to provide what you can comfortably to a dog and understanding it at some point in time, you know, is this, is this a sustainable life for this dog? Right?

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

Yes, This dog is good with me because I understand what I need to do to manage the risk risk mitigation right, But outside of this, right. Who else? Yeah, i mean, i'm lucky trying to find somebody who's knowledgeable and understanding, to read the cues of the dog and the body language, to be able to, like, do what I do day in and day out. And it's not a lot of people out there.

Speaker 1:

And like who would want to do that Right, you know, and there's dog.

Speaker 2:

And here's the thing people, people need to understand that when you go through it, like, educate yourself, like, if you seriously like, go, go, go online. If you're thinking about adding a dog or another dog, please, please, please, please, take your time. Do the research right. Know what dog if you're adding another dog, know what type of dog you have in your home. Currently, dogs don't need friends, right, they really don't. They need well structured, like managed environments and and like owners ourselves. Like there's accountability in all aspects. Do the research and then go out and take your time. Okay, well done. Don't take the Broadway show that you get when you go to these facilities. Right don't like educate yourself, ask the hard questions And if you're not comfortable with the answer, you know ask again or ask somebody else. Like really, really dive deep. You're taking on that financial responsibility of a living like breathing animal.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah, for sure.

Speaker 2:

And like.

Speaker 1:

I had a phone call the other day with somebody you were there listening And this person was calling on behalf of, like, their girlfriend's parents who adopted. So there's like third party stuff. Yeah, yeah, yeah, who adopted this human aggressive pit, And the parents are older so they can't like handle the dog at all. The dog has like bitten people before, And so she was like I'm just looking for some help. Like I feel like I, you know, I don't know what we're supposed to do with this dog or if there's ever even like hope for this dog, And in my mind I'm like that dog's like Gretchen, you know, like your life is gonna be All managed, All managed, And I was like, look, I can take the dog, I can train the dog, but I'm training the dog for the management skills. Your life is still going to be creating that dog every time someone comes over because like, yes, you could put the dog on place. Is it worth the risk When you know that this dog has successfully bitten people, plus, you know, the probably five plus grand that you're gonna spend on a board and train because that shit is not gonna? that's not gonna be a three week board and train.

Speaker 2:

Here's what a lot of I want people to like really dive deep and understand the quality, like there's quality trainers out there, good working sheep, right, right, you want this dog to get a sustainable life. It's gonna cost you.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And if you're not comfortable with understanding and parting ways with certain amount of money, i mean, try your best at some of these big box stores. Good luck, you know, cause then you're gonna get out of these little classes.

Speaker 1:

Just know that. I train all of those dogs. They all come to me afterwards.

Speaker 2:

And that's where the realization needs to come, like understand that there's dogs that you can provide luxuries and freedoms too and there's others that you have to manage. It's what you're comfortable with, but don't put yourself, don't be, don't put that dog in a situation to where you said yes in the beginning and then you realize it was more. You bid off, no pun intended. You bid off more than what you could chew.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And now you're like I need to give them up. And what I see as a trainer is like you know, i get people that have those dogs that need to be managed. They go through training and you feel like you've reached a milestone and you put a lot of effort and love and education into the handlers And I like sometimes I mean you guys are probably the same way I extend myself further sometimes than what I really should and need to.

Speaker 1:

Oh 1000%.

Speaker 2:

You know, but that should you know again. this is the passion that we have for it, right?

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I live, breathe and I don't eat like eat like dogs right. But they don't realize it. And then they're like hey, you know, you get that text like you don't hear from them for like two or three months and you get that text, hey. so you know, we've been I don't know if you know, but we're looking to like place Fido, do you know of anybody? I'm like I'm not why? Right, like why, why are we even crossing this bridge? Right, is it because it's too much? Well, welcome to the light. Like this is life.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Don't take that dog out of environment. Give them a taste of what a sustainable, structured life can be. And because it's too hard for you, you now want to like toss it off to somebody, and sometimes they hide some of the issues and get the dog out the house And it's just like a Oh, a thousand percent. It's like an oodle-loop from what the dogs did to rescue. Like well, again they're living, breathing animals. What do you think that does mentally?

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

You know it's an oodle-loop of a thing. The dog then has to go through a restructure and it's just crazy, it's crazy. It's crazy. It's honestly like good working sheep. Good working sheep, good trainers There's a lot of good trainers out there. There's like that infamous five year window for dog trainers like burnout right Cause. It's like our days like this look they're right now like you guys got dogs around here. Oh yeah, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, literally My wife and I have to schedule trips, like if we even take trips around the dogs that even my personal dogs, like you know that we can find a boarding facility that we trust, knowing what we know, like we're like we're gonna put this to a field trip. Right. I don't like how they do it right And it's the toughest thing because it's like people. I want people to understand that Like there's trainers that put their lives on hold for you and your dog And we give more than what we we shouldn't really be giving. Yeah, to better you. Yeah, and I find, i find that I feel some level of disrespect when I, when I like you, come to me because you want, you want to better yourself and subjectively right, like my clients, reach out to me, i provide you this expedited path through dog training. Right, i went through the hoops and flames.

Speaker 1:

You're providing your years of experience.

Speaker 2:

Yes, right, yeah. And there's that saying I'm not even gonna sit here and try to quote it because I'll probably butcher it, but like somebody can come in and try to fix it, and then I come in and I fix it within five seconds. I don't quote, i don't. You're not paying for my time, you're paying for my experience.

Speaker 1:

Right, yeah, right.

Speaker 2:

So when I provide you that And then you don't follow through and you don't take me serious, i'll reach out to clients. Hey, have you? You know where we at progression wise? like, what have you done this week? Oh well, i didn't have. I Can, i'll let that slide, but this is the benchmark that we're gonna touch on. Like let's get it done. Yeah, what can I do for you? Let's get it done. And then you don't meet that benchmark. Again, i find it a little disrespectful, because now you're like I put effort into this and you're just gonna drop it like I Don't want to. Like it's like a shirt.

Speaker 1:

I don't want to wear this any that is my struggle with board and trains, because we do both Like in-home training and board and trains and my struggle I am a board and train hater through and through, because one I love to focus on the owners. Obviously behavioral, severe behavioral dogs need a board and train, 100%, you know, and those are the dogs that do board and trains. But I like the in-home training because it really puts the emphasis on training the owner. And with board and trains with Just like a typical pet dog, i found myself like training this dog to my standards right. So I'm busting my ass, like waking up at 6 am To make sure that I can walk these dogs every day And then like they go home and the owners never gonna walk them, they're never gonna put them on place, they're never gonna do any of the things that I've trained the dog to do. So in a week all of my hard work like goes out the window.

Speaker 2:

It's like you don't use it.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to cry, yeah, but it's like why am I putting in all of this effort to spit out this like perfect dog When, in a week after this dog goes home, i know that you're not gonna be able to keep up with it, which is not necessarily like the owner's fault, because how they're living is so far.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but we care so much about the dog and that's where it is like right they paid for the services Right and and inherently we should be like I don't care what you do with the dog after you get it home.

Speaker 1:

But that would be so much right, but that's, that's the difference.

Speaker 2:

That's the difference between it. Right, because you care so much You want to hold one. You're holding yourself accountable to make sure that we hold other people accountable. Yeah right and that when they go home and they don't follow through with the structure and routine that you tailored to their lifestyle, Well, and for the dogs because you know they're gonna be right back. They're potential.

Speaker 1:

I know I see your potential like we have a little puppy in there who is like oh, If I know that we the little, is that the one? Marcella loves that dog. Yeah, it's so cute, though, right, we have a little like it kind of looks like a V-Shadow or like a lab mix puppy like. At first I didn't like him and I was like, oh my god, i would not, i would not want this dog. And then I started working with him. I'm like you're pretty, you're pretty dry like you're fun. You're a fun dog to train and it's like I know that you're going back home to a pet Family and they're probably not gonna do any of this like fun, like fancy heel and but like he's so good at it And he loves it, like he loves doing these training sessions And I'm like I'm gonna do my best to train these owners to like do little working dog sessions with them.

Speaker 2:

You know, yeah, that's what you gotta see this dog's potential. That's what you gotta do. Sometimes it's like anything, like you did coaches, sport coaches in high school, like you see potential in a student, yeah and you're like listen, i know you're comfortable with just this basic lifestyle. Can I show you What your what your potential your potential is outside of this right. Yeah and it and some people take it. They're like what do you mean? Like yeah, you got a golden egg of a dog here. Like can I show you? Yeah and you're hoping that they're like. They get his, you know like. Yeah, working come to the working time Structure, it'll be finesse right. Like you, thought the structure was tough. Now. Yeah and that's that's. That's definitely a tough thing. I think it's like we push. We push so much passion in it And I, you know, we feel we feel shorthanded, we feel I feel this, i put it out, i feel disrespected that you, you invest in this dog, you invest in my skill set, my passion, my effort. I Give it to you which it like dog training is a very emotional and like mental and physical Thing to give right like our cup. I have to fill my cup every morning and every dog requires a different cup From me, right, yeah, and by the end of the day, i'm spent and I still have a family to take care of, like a personal dog life, a life a body. I got to find enjoyment, yes, right. And then we start to neglect. You try not to neglect yourself as a trainer, you know. But then you find certain things like I need to do better. Right, am I giving too much to where I don't have enough for myself? And then you start to pull back a little bit but you're like that's not right. Right, because that's not. I've been so consistent on giving so much that I need to continue to do this.

Speaker 1:

See, that's where I've struggled, like this past year, i would say has been my burnout year, my fifth year, my fifth year.

Speaker 2:

I'm telling you rings.

Speaker 1:

I, i literally like I can't tell you how many times I've sat in that backyard and cried and be like I've done it in a shower.

Speaker 2:

I've done that like that seven-year-old like.

Speaker 1:

Like.

Speaker 2:

My wife comes in. Are you crying? I'm singing Like in the shower. Yeah, it's tough, it draws so much. Because here's the thing, like you guys seen it, like you get a dog right And they might not be as driven to do just the basic thing. So now you gotta, you gotta feed that to get the dog up to the base level. And then you're like, oh, the handler is either too much, hey, let's slow you down. Yeah or like, hey, we need to bring you up in order to get this dog up. Like you guys need to be a matching pair. And then, like you get there and you're like, oh my god, we just started right like just. What do you mean? And you're like I gotta keep going, right, i gotta find it somewhere now You're like Robin Peter to pay Paul on on everything that you got. And at the end of the day, you're like and then we were fueled by coffee and like gas station food and Right like. Doritos you're like. I know this isn't good for me.

Speaker 1:

I have no choice.

Speaker 2:

Sustenance over yeah physical health is the biggest, i think one of the biggest things that I need to continue to like chip away at. Hence why I love decoying. It's like my gym membership. Yeah, put all you do the right thing like a good hot day in a suit. It's like therapy for me, right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Working a dog or teaching out like I don't mind it.

Speaker 1:

Oh, i had such a burnout thing. I had to have My assistant, tori, put my workout blocks in my calendar. I'm like do not schedule me. You guys don't want to deal with me when I can't work out like I'm a. I'm no better than the dogs, oh you said.

Speaker 2:

You said either add your punching holes in your driveway.

Speaker 1:

See, my default is like sad always. So I'm like exercise keeps me happy, keeps me going, you know so.

Speaker 2:

I want to get one of those like Dummies that you know, those, those. Punching ones Yeah like cuz you can't. It's not morally correct. I like hit people good for you. But I haven't.

Speaker 1:

I wish, i wish I could muster up a little bit of like anger. But I, that's just not me. I'm like a big, big soft. I internalize, i get stressed and I cry. I cry as my get so frustrated you start tearing up.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's always. That's me I internalized to my own detriment. I internalize a lot of it and it's like imposter syndrome. You guys heard of that Yeah yeah, yeah. So much imposter syndrome. You sit there like it's social media age. You see all these dog, oh my gosh, oh my god. Like I start to think, like what am I doing? I'm not doing enough. I'm not doing enough, i need to like I need to do enough. So, like you start to internalize a lot of it and then it affects your work And I just like I need, i need to up my. I mean plenty of people probably told me this I need to like build a little bit more of my social media presence.

Speaker 1:

I mean it's honestly, like as somebody who has a social media, following like This is gonna sound horrible and like probably not what I should say on my podcast. I find more fulfillment. I'll say it this way I find more fulfillment out of my Trainers, my staff, like that is that's my thing. For me, yes, yeah, yes, i'm like I literally feel like a million years old. I feel like I've lived ten and dog years ten fucking lifetimes as a dog trainer and like okay, for example, all of my trainers, after they have a session, they always call me and they're like oh my god, meg, it was the best.

Speaker 2:

it was the best, like you like they had a they had a good day at school And they just call me like I love that, like that pictures and you're gonna hang them up on your fridge, literally.

Speaker 1:

Literally yeah, like that is what is fulfilling to me, is like teaching them to do something. That's like fulfilling for them. Like that is my end all be all and I kind of. So. I got burnt out this year And I kind of had to run away from my business for a little bit. I just like took some time off to travel and it's a tough thing I had to. I was like I don't want my energy to start affecting my business to affect my employees. Yeah, I'm like I don't. I don't even want to like be around you guys, like I don't want to hear a bark. I Don't want to like leak out like my anxiety and like how I feel about all of this to you guys, because it's fresh for you guys And you love it, and like I love that for you, i'm gonna go run away and no one's gonna know where I am, you know. But, um, i Always come back to like the, my trainers and like my staff and like I genuinely enjoy running a business and my clients too. Like when you have a good session with your clientry of a good go-home session, like it's literally the best thing ever.

Speaker 2:

I can stay up for a few more hours with a good session. Yeah get like broken down in a session, like I might have to clear my schedule for today. Yeah Yeah, it's tough. I mean I think it's, and it's even doubled down like from from my experience when it comes like working dogs, because those dogs, like you Need to know what you're doing at all times with these dogs.

Speaker 1:

They are not a pet that you can kind of yeah, that's a whole other, whole other world I'm I'm like obviously a newbie in all of the dog sport stuff.

Speaker 2:

That's all it is.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, is that.

Speaker 2:

Tisk-tisk.

Speaker 1:

That was my fault.

Speaker 2:

Let's turn it on, Do not disturb.

Speaker 1:

No, honestly this has been the quietest podcast that we've had thus far, because normally I mean. Minka, She was going off a little bit in there. She's like I heard you doing a podcast. now I need to whine in my baby. Yeah, i'm here. I have to be featured in every episode, being annoying crazy. Yeah, um, okay, so tell us a little bit. You got some events coming up? Yes, okay.

Speaker 2:

So right now There's still a little bit of finalization that we need to do. Okay, but I guess what's the word tenant tentatively?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, right Is that?

Speaker 2:

yeah, yeah so I'm having a Another street league canine street league a workshop slash problem-solving workshop down in Miami at the end of July. It's gonna be at Brian Piccolo Park.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

Okay, i'm just waiting for the media side of primal to finish what we need to be able to push it. It's gonna be two days. It's gonna be a good time. Sunshine's not saying we're gonna be on a Like a field that we rented Food truck there. It's gonna be a really good time. Go over the entry level and the ones and any, any foundational work that any handler, Any trainer that needs to come out, wants to come out. Kind of get their feet wet. You know, more the water, the more the merrier. And then at the end of August and or the beginning of September We're gonna have the first street league regional trial down here in Florida. That's gonna be Cross our fingers, um, at UCF's Nicholson Fieldhouse, which is pretty cool. So have a lot of good people in the background pulling the strings and doing all the hard work. Obviously I'm gonna make sure that they're taking care of what we can do. I'll do like a little shout out thing with them, but it's gonna be indoors. It's gonna be a good time. That's probably gonna be a three day event, So it's gonna be entry level. Whoever has their ELs can come out for their. It depends how many people who have already had their ELs come out for their ones. But it's gonna be a two day thing Music, vendors, food. A really good time, especially a good cap for the summer.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

And that'll be prelude for the bigger trial that we're gonna have ultimately up at Tom Davis's facility up in New York. So it's gonna be a good time.

Speaker 1:

Which I also need you to do. I know, I know. We're gonna get Again on my podcast Tom, if you're listening.

Speaker 2:

Mike, tom, mike, if you're listening.

Speaker 1:

Mike and Tom. I'm a fan girl.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, oscar, mike, oscar. Tom, I need you too, Yeah yeah, i would love that Should be a text.

Speaker 1:

yeah, We gotta get it happening.

Speaker 2:

But Phenom, it's a really good time, like, if you haven't been, if you've seen it like we're always tweaking and polishing, you know how we can build the quality of the trials itself. So if anybody I mean constructive criticism, anybody has any options excuse me, no options, constructive criticism, you know, reach out to us Street League page, mike's page at Primal or my page at Primal, k9 Florida. We would love to hear it.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, Well, i will definitely be there, i hope so I hope I'll be there in Miami. I'll make sure. I'll make sure that I'm there in Miami. I'll fly Marcella out to make sure that she can go too. Yes, yeah, she's like oh, oh, my goodness, finally I'm gonna have working slots.

Speaker 2:

Even if you're apprehensive of bringing a dog, you don't need to. I mean, bring your dog, but if you don't wanna work them, you don't need to. We'll have audit slots, Like it's not gonna cost a lot, Like we're gonna keep the prices low. I want people to have a good experience, Like that's the ultimate goal, right? It's a new-ish sport. We wanna get people invigorated about it and excited about it. So, and for those who are like competing, this will be a good chance for you to kind of you know polish what you need to, prior to the regional and or the larger trials that we're gonna have.

Speaker 1:

So Yeah, I'll definitely be at the one at UCF because that's where I went to school.

Speaker 2:

So Oh, that's awesome. It's gonna be a good time, full circle, full circle.

Speaker 1:

we're bringing everything together there.

Speaker 2:

I wanna try to make this like a yearly thing. If we can, yeah, if I can like solidify that with the campus. It's a beautiful campus.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah, i mean we're I have. I'm gonna start doing group classes there.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that's awesome. Maybe I'm so excited. I mean, college students need that.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah.

Speaker 2:

Their dogs are like in the dormitory. Yeah, hell yeah.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah, i'm excited that my if you're listening, july, july, yes, july 8th is our first group class, so Oh, that's gonna be awesome. Yeah, i'm pumped for that. All right, thank you like so much for being here.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and coming over And dress like what I could for you, you know.

Speaker 1:

I just love a good, good dog trainer conversation.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

That's all we need. All right, tell the people where they can find you.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so We're plugging socials, we're plugging socials, we're plugging your website and all the things. God, here we go. So for let's start from the top. So Primal K9, florida. on Instagram. Primal K9, k9 spelled out Florida. I think it's FL. Okay, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Also include all of this in the show notes.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we'll put the notes in So they're correct. My personal page nomad decoy Underscore. Nomad underscore decoy. It's K9 StreetLeaks page on Instagram, the website k9streetleakcom. You can download all the rule books for free. You'll hit the rule book, it'll put you in the basket. It's going to say no charts like $0, 0 cents And then it'll give you a download link. Ultimately, we're going to have our score books become digital.

Speaker 1:

Oh nice.

Speaker 2:

For the comp, so you don't got to worry about your dog eating your, your book or spilling coffee on it, or you know throwing it at the wall. Mike Jones on Instagram, You know Elevated K9. Another one Tom Davis. Ray Allen, one of our heavy sponsors for Street League. Hell yeah, Shout out to Matt Wilson. And then Primal K9 on the West Coast. So if you ain't winning, get on it. Trains leave in the station.

Speaker 1:

Love that Well. thank you so much for being here and sharing all your knowledge. This was wonderful. Love chatting with you. I appreciate it. And thank you all so much for listening. We will see you back here next week.

Dog Sports and Training Journey
Protection Dogs and Street League Sports
Dog Training Techniques and Progression
Training Philosophy and Rescue Responsibilities
Dog Ownership Challenges and Training
Sustenance, Burnout, and Dog Training Events