‘It just doesn’t listen!’ Anyone who owns a dog, or knows someone with one, has probably heard this exasperated cry at least once. But, perhaps you, the owner, are barking up the wrong tree. Because according to Karis Bryen, world-class animal behaviourist, who has heard this more times than she cares to remember, her response is always the same, “Dogs don’t speak English. Have you taught it any words?”
They’re supposed to be our best friends, so why wouldn’t one want to learn to better communicate with them. It’s really not much of a friendship without a dialogue. Bryen and her company Happy Dogs, offer private, individual, pet behaviour consultations in the comfort of your own home, weekly puppy training classes and regular 5-week dog obedience courses. And now they’re presenting you, Rover and Fifi, the opportunity to participate in the most fun you can have with your dog: Agility Classes!
“The best way to build the relationship with your dog is through training and exercise, because dogs love both. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Pug or a Great Dane, or anything in between, its what dogs love. It’s one of the best ways to channel a dog’s intelligence and energy and create an unbreakable bond with their owner. It’s an absolute joy, you never see a dog happier than when they go to agility classes,” explains Bryen with a grin that emphasises her passion for what she does.
From tunnels to jumps and figure eights, the class is like a mini-fairground of fun for your pup. And the expression on both owners and dog’s faces during the classes is truly a delight to behold. The classes are running in in Knysna, Sedgefield, Hoekwil, Wilderness and George. Connect with your dog and allow it to show its true talent and versatility.
She is quick to point out that these classes are for everyone, “You don’t need any experience or previous prior training. You’ve got to start somewhere. We start with basic directional control – left, right, stop, start – and once that’s mastered, then we move onto the various apparatus and tricks. People are always welcome to come watch a class so as to get an idea and little dogs are just as welcome as big dogs.”
“You are always training your dog whether you are aware of it or not,” she says. “So you may as well have the tools to ensure the training is going in the right way.”
For more information regarding the classes or private consultations, contact Karis at www.happydogs.co.za or on 072 518 2577. Follow her on Twitter for the latest tips and exciting animal adventures: @rogzwrangler
Press Release by Gareth Pretorius
Photos by Eytan Nafte