Dog training, owners learning new tricks

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By Kelsey Banas
The Meridian Times

The Parks and Recreation Department is offering First Class Dog Training classes held by Hector Hernandez.

Hernandez is a former law enforcement officer, police K-9 instructor and professional dog trainer for all breed groups. Hernandez led the second day of basic obedience training, having the dogs learn with verbal commands to heel, sit and stay.

Hernandez had owners, as they arrive, put special training collars on their dogs. After, he had the owners walk their dogs only on their left side. The purpose is if the owner is walking their dog somewhere and another dog passes by then both dogs will be in the opposite direction when walking and this will hopefully prevent anything from happening.

Hernandez continued to have the owners and their dogs line up to learn commands: forward, u-turn and stop. When stopped, the owner would say the command and correct the dog if needed. Owners would walk their dogs around, practice a command they just learned or have their dog interact with others when there was a break in between different exercises.

The class focused on the dog and owner relationship combining leadership and respect. The basic obedience training taught dog and owner interaction at home and when out together.

The trial and error exercises Hernandez had the owners try with their dogs taught owners how to give proper corrections. Most owners said they saw improvements with their dogs.

The three-day classes have different stages for training commands. The first day consists of heel, sit and stay without any verbal commands or food. The second day teaches down, distraction and training come commands with verbal and non-verbal commands. The third and final day teaches the off command and food refusal.

The three-day veterinarian-approved classes run until Dec. 15 at the Meridian Township Service Center. The basic obedience classes run Saturday, Sunday and Saturday from 2-3:30 p.m. There is also a Monday, Tuesday and Monday class from 6:30-8 p.m. Minimum age for puppies/dogs is 4 months.

Owners need to bring a 6 foot leather leash, training choke chain and proof of rabies and vaccinations. Classes cost $150 for the year.

For more information and class registration visit http://www.firstclassdogtraining.com.

-Kelsey Banas

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