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founder of rising canine dog training & Co-Founder of Canine Stability center

heather mach

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the dog who led me to channel her drive in order to train...

gracie

My Journey

Before graduating with a training certification through Animal Behavior College, I received my Master's Degree in Teaching English from Union Graduate College.  I was part of an innovative and experimental program that brought English and Math Teachers into "Emotionally Disturbed " classrooms in an effort to foster and nurture a love of learning.  

This fire and curiosity in me to connect with students perceived  as difficult, ostracized or often overlooked, found a place in trying to reach the particularly problematic dogs.  Boy oh boy did I own one of them. She was an aggressive, snarky, stubborn, full of energy border collie that was the love of my life.  Deep down however, I felt a sense of shame, guilt and embarrassment because I knew I was not reaching her. In an effort to help us, I received my training certification and began a journey of trying all training styles out there.  You name it, we did it. We went sheep herding, ran 5 miles a day, tried positive reinforcement training, compulsion training, be the pack leader, and nothing was helping. She was a perfectly obedient dog, but still had deep dark issues that I could not reach. As my disillusionment with the training world grew, I discovered Natural Dog Training founded by Kevin Behan.  Gracie and I packed up to go meet Kevin. During a workshop with 20 people and their dogs standing in a circle, Kevin threw Gracie a bite with a big bite toy. Suddenly, all this panic and rage surfaced. All this "dark stuff" that she had been repressing her whole life shot out of her like a cannon and she bit that toy with such conviction. Kevin had me cheer and love her up for being such a "brave girl" in having the courage to finally let out what she had been holding back.  For the rest of the weekend, I witnessed a completely satisfied and tranquil girl and knew I had reached her!

Today, I am proud to say I have been studying under Kevin for the past 6 years, learning how to help those "unreachable pups."  I can stand here and tell of you there is a place for your dog in Natural Dog Training. Slowly we will change the perception of aggression in society. None of you own "bad dogs!!" We just need to reach and channel all that energy they hold back from us.