Don't Make These Mistakes

Learn the top 10 Mistakes dog owners make when training their dogs, and what you need to know to avoid them.

IMG_1419Meet Jacque les Ombres Valeureux (or as we call him in the mini-hood, “Shank”…. Cut him some slack he needs to maintain his street cred).

At just 4 months of age, Shank was returned to his breeder when his owners and trainers could no longer handle him. A “Riot Dog” is how they regularly described him. Apparently, this puppy was displaying severe aggression towards anyone and everyone he met, even his owners.

When I saw him listed on my breeder’s social media, I was instantly intrigued. If you know me, you know I gravitate towards very strong, hard headed, and anti-social dogs. Of course I want a dog that has a high drive and work ethic, but I tend to lean more towards the dogs with a little edge. Call it personal preference or maybe just a little bit of crazy, but mean is how I like them.

When I went to visit him and see him work, frankly, I was disappointed. This puppy, although possessing excellent environmental stability and a great work ethic, didn’t seem to have hardly the edge that the past owners claimed. Writing him off for myself, I decided he would be a good fit for a client of mine, so I took him home with me so I could take him to meet my client the following week.

When we got home, all seemed normal. The so-called “Riot Dog” was simply an exuberant, driven, mouthy Belgian Malinois puppy – something I was no stranger to. He bounded around the backyard, investigating everything and climbing on anything he could find that posed a challenge. I liked him, but I didn’t love him. He seemed “too easy” for me.

As the days passed and he became comfortable in his new environment, things quickly changed. It seemed like overnight, this forward, feisty, driven malinois puppy transformed into a fiery ball of fury that began to live up to his title.

After his first outburst, as crazy as it may seem (and it is!), I was smitten and after my client declined to purchase him given his aggression, I knew he was meant for me.

These are the chronicles of his life and training with me. I’ll share with you the mistakes I’ve made and the successes I’ve had as well as the general mishaps he and I regularly embark upon.

Stay tuned for more from the “Riot Dog Chronicles”.


Meagan Karnes
Meagan Karnes

Meagan has been training dogs professionally since 2002, most recently working with private security, military and law enforcement to provide K9s for high level applications. She owns both The Collared Scholar, an online dog training academy, and 690 Security Services, a company that trains and deploys Executive Security and Protection K9s to private customers. She recently partnered with both Average Frog and SM Leaders, who repurpose the proven performance principles of the Navy SEALs for individuals and organizations.

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