St. Petersburg, Florida (December 5, 2016) – K9 Holistics, a St. Petersburg, FL dog training company, started the 2016 holiday season off by giving the gift of time to the Great America Teach-In, held on November 16th. Six of Perkins Elementary’s 20-plus classes – more than 170 kids! – joined Christine Fasan, K9 Holistics’ founder and lead trainer, in the school’s courtyard amphitheater for canine safety and dog training demonstrations.
Christine took time from her packed training schedule working with all breeds but mainly German Shepherds – also known as German Shepherd Dogs, or GSD – and being an SPCA contract trainer because she’s eager to share dog safety knowledge, and wants to make sure kids know working with animals is a career they can do, too. “I love working with kids and want to help reduce the number of dog bites involving children, who are the number one victim of dog bites – mainly because they simply don’t know how to approach dogs in a way dogs understand,” Christine explained before the 2:00p program started.
Christine’s companion and the star of the event was Ace, a loveable 10-month-old English Golden Retriever with a calm demeanor, shaped in part through Christine’s training. Christine began the 30-minute program by asking the enthusiastic 4th and 5th grade kids questions and demonstrating appropriate behavior around dogs, such as how to approach a dog. “My goal is to help reduce bite prevention and, ultimately, improve human-dog interactions. These kids already knew a lot, which was fantastic!” Christine enthused after the event.
Then it was time for audience participation. Christine used components of her Pups & Kids training program with six volunteers to do hands-on training with Ace, including sit, stay, leave it, and come. And since so many children wanted to work Ace, the program ended with Ace walking down a line of 20 kids, each giving him a small piece of hot dog reward.
Christine, a certified professional dog trainer assessed by the CCPTD, couldn’t have been happier with the Teach-In. “It was great to see how enthusiastic the kids were and how much joy they received from being around a dog,” she replied when asked how she felt the program went. Showing people how dog-human interactions can be safe and stress-free has always been one of Christine’s passions. “The more I can encourage safe interactions between children and dogs, the more harmonious that relationship can be,” she said. “Though kids usually love dogs, dogs don’t always love kids. Maybe they’ve never been around children or are scared by kids’ exuberance. I really love opportunities like the Teach-In to help kids learn how to act around dogs.”
And while she’s known all along that children can play a legitimate part in training the family dog, she came away from the Teach-In realizing that, “Kids are the greatest untapped resource in dog training. It really reinforced to me what an asset children are in dog training. They share the dogs’ playfulness, which makes training fun for everyone!” If you live in a family with a dog, Christine and most dog trainers recommend dog training that incorporates your kids.
Packing up Ace’s water bowl on her way out, Christine added, “This experience really showed me that kids are naturals when it comes to dog training.” Who knows? Maybe by being at the Teach-In, K9 Holistics inspired a child’s future career.
About K9 Holistics
K9 Holistics helps dog owners learn to communicate with their dogs so interactions can be about connecting, not correcting. K9H has trained hundreds of dogs and holds five training certifications; they’re skilled in delivering dog training that motivates dogs to be compliant and creates ideal canine companions. At K9 Holistics we speak dog – and you can too!
Christine Fasan, CPDT-KA