Here at Olympia, we have a great cross section of talent and experience. Gina has owned and loved dogs for over four decades. As a child, she had a family dog and since her teens has always owned and trained her personal pets. She has had a couple of Great Danes, and a few German Shepherds that she got through me at Olympia. Her first was in 1991. I was her teacher, but I learned a lot from her as well.
Lil Mike came to us from the Navy, and that discipline helped him learn and hone his skills. Mike's love for dogs, and passion for training is second to none. He trains his heart out day after day, and has made most of the Olympia videos featured on our site. Like the Allstate commercial says, "You're in good hands with Allstate.” Your dog is in good hands with Lil Mike training him. He is our full time professional trainer who handles the Board & Train dogs, as well as gives turnover lessons to our clients.
Anes came to us nine years ago as a teenager seeking to learn Schutzhund training with his GSD, and with his keen intellect, and physical prowess, has become our Training Manager, and competition dog instructor. Anes runs a competition-training club at Olympia, and has a loyal following of people that are serious about bringing their dogs to a high level of skill and performance. He is respected nationally as a top helper/agitator in Protection work, and believe me, you don't want to fool with someone whose dog was trained up by Anes in bite-work!
Dan is a successful real estate developer who has been a loyal client for many years. Looking toward the future and eventual retirement, he decided to take our apprenticeship program, and become a Professional Dog Trainer. With the drive and ambition that made him the successful businessman that he is, he applied that to learning dog training, and is now a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. He is now part of the crew here a Olympia. We were so impressed with his improvement and grasp of dog training/behavior, that he earned himself a position on our team.
I have spent my life with dogs, started out in group classes as a teenager, and the rest is written in my biography under our about-us section.
I learn all the time from my people, because we are all students of dog training our whole lives. We never stop learning and discovering new ways to approaching a dog problem, or technique, which keeps our drive and motivation high all the time.
There are certain criteria that I have laid down as a base to go by. Like us here at Olympia, if you understand and follow these truths you will be successful with your dogs. I came to understand these guidelines over a lifetime of training dogs and working with other people: listening to their thoughts and experiences, and most important, reading the dogs. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of paying attention to your dog’s behavior. You can learn volumes from the dogs themselves. People have the opinions, but the dogs have the facts,
Firstly, we must understand a dog’s life cycle. We are children from birth until twelve years of age. Then we are teenagers until we turn 21, then we become adults and society holds us accountable for our actions and expects us to become a part of the community. We take on certain responsibilities, both at home and at the work place. We generally go to school for twelve years, then hopefully on to college for another four at least, totaling 16 years of schooling, or training, to prepare us for the rest of our lives. We usually are about 21 or 22 by this time. If we live until we are 75 or 80, this means that approximately 25 percent of our life, we had schooling, or training to prepare us for the world we live in.
When I was young, people told me that for every year of a dog’s life, it was 7 years of human life, meaning a two-year-old dog was 14. Wrong! The German dog behaviorists determined back in the 1970's that this was false. Their correct conclusion was that a one-year-old dog is approximately 16-17 years old, and a two-year-old dog is 21, an adult. A three-year-old is 24, four is 26-27, five is 32, six is 36-38, seven is 42-45, eight is approximately 50, nine is 55-60, ten is 60-65. These are approximations, but pretty accurate, and if you have lived with a few dogs, it is pretty much the way it is. So if 12 to 14 is a normal life expectancy for most breeds, than we can say that tells us that 75 to 80 is around those ages.
Going by these numbers, if we compare dogs to people, and agree that people spend 25% of their life on education, then that tells us that a dog would be around 2-3 years old before his education is completed… How many people recognize the fact that a dog needs about 2 to 21/2 years of consistent training to become a predictable, reliable, and enjoyable member of our family, our neighborhood, and our community? Here at Olympia we do. I have impressed this on my trainers and our clients, so that they understand the importance of helping their dog through the life cycle, knowing the difference between distracted and defiant. I developed the Board & Train Program as a solid foundation to start the dog’s education by instilling in them certain principles that will help them to learn what we want and need from them throughout their life. Equipment: why the Prong Collar? Because in Germany in the 1800's they decided to formally train dogs, so they observed them playing together, and watched a mother dog with her pups. They then saw that dogs communicate by biting each other on the neck. The prong acts as your set of teeth, so you can convey your wishes to your dog. It's natural. I will go it to this further in a separate article. Food: puppies go to their mother for security, comfort, and nourishment. When your young dog comes to you, you praise, pet, and offer a food treat. This simulates the mother dog. All natural! 15-foot long line. Your dog needs you to protect him from danger, ex: getting hit by a truck. By keeping them on a line you can control them and keep them safe. Our dogs can't measure. The line could be 15 feet or 150 feet, the dog does not know, but it feels you are in control. We use the long line, the prong, and a treat bag every day when your dog comes to us for training. These techniques can be used from time to time throughout your dog’s life to sharpen them up in the commands when needed. We put in a rock solid foundation that will stand the test of time. Once you do what we do, your dog will respond reliably again.
Dogs are naturally obedient when you employ pack behavior. Our dogs cannot cross the bridge to human understanding. We must cross the bridge to canine understanding. Act like a human, and your dog will not understand what you want. Act in the canine way, and they will always understand what you want- they will also comply. When in Rome…
At Olympia Kennels we teach our clients how to use pack behavior to control your dog in any situation. It's amazing to see how reliable they become when you know how to speak "DOG." Your relationship becomes a joy! Your dog is happy that you understand him or her. They feel that you are a foreigner now, because you don't know how to communicate through their language. Once you learn from us, your dog will become much more reliable, predictable, and most importantly, enjoyable! The Board & Train program usually runs between two to ten weeks depending on what you want from your dog, age, breed, and existing behavioral issues. An average stay is 3 weeks. Medium and large breeds such as German Shepherd Dogs, Labs, Goldens, Boxers, Pit Bulls, train up pretty well in a normal length of time. Small breeds and giant breeds sometimes take longer, because of their size and lack of natural ability. There are always exceptions, but this is the average. Most dogs that are hyper simply lack direction. Once they are taught, they calm down. But dogs are like people in some respects. Not all dogs are created equal in trainability. If a son or daughter goes to Harvard University, and does nothing in life of any value, chances are it was the individual, not Harvard. Harvard is still an exceptional college, but the students did not apply themselves or lacked the ability to learn… it happens. But for the most part, Harvard produces outstanding professionals who are at the top of their careers. We offer the best training possible for you and your dog, but you must practice what we show you from time to time to keep the dog obedient and reliable. This is true of many things in life. If you buy a brand new car and never service it: change the oil, rotate the tires, etc., pretty soon is does not run as well anymore. If you go to Karate school and earn a black belt degree, and then never throw a kick or punch for a long time, your skills will erode. Training and maintaining our dogs skills can be fun, not a task, the way we show you at Olympia. We have developed a system of play training, where the dog thinks you are playing with them, when actually you are teaching them valuable lessons that will create a willingness to learn, and a happy attitude in the work.
Dogs use their nose more than any other sense. This is why they get distracted, and people think they are disobedient, when more often than not; it's really only curiosity. At Olympia we teach you how to deal with your dog’s need to sniff and use their nose, and still get them to be obedient. Our program is not magical, but it can perform a miracle on your dog, and it has proven itself time and time again!
Look for my new videos that will be posted each week! I hope you will enjoy them and learn a lot about dog training and behavior from puppy through adult hood, covering all kinds of interesting topics!
"HOW TO BEHAVE WHEN YOU OWN A DOG" starring yours truly, OLYMPIA MIKE.