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Dog Training

Snap the Pit Bull

It has been an amazing 1.5 years since I added the fabulous “Snap” to my pack.

Snap (formerly Washington) was discovered at PACC (shelter in Tucson) during an excursion to find a small terrier to add to my canine team.  I saw this plain little reddish brown Pit Bull, and he immediately caught my attention.  As we perused the aisles of the shelter, Snap was bouncing up and down to peek over the divider panels of the kennel.  For some reason, despite seeing about a hundred dogs that day, he stuck in my mind.

Two weeks later, while perusing the shelter once again in search of a little terrier, I once again ran across “Washington”.  I was astounded that he was still at the shelter.  After all, dog reactive Pit Bulls are a dime a dozen, and PACC is a kill shelter (although they have made incredible strides in their live release rates more recently).  So, just for kicks we pulled this hard charging red nosed fellow out of his prison cell, and did a bit of tennis ball/prey drive testing.  Well, needless to say he impressed me.  One chomp to Chris’ poor hand which was holding a tennis ball (and not knowing if the brown dog would let go), and it was pretty evident he had some pent up frustration and some object drive.  We took him back inside and tested him for reactivity to dogs.  Yup, sure enough he was a stinker (to be expected after two months in a shelter environment).  His saving grace was that he was able to be redirected to a toy.  Yay!

Chris, not being the biggest of Pit fans, suggested we go to lunch to “think it over”.  He undoubtedly figured that by the end of lunch I would forget the red nosed dog.  By the end of lunch, however, we headed back to the shelter to pick up Washington, renamed him Snap, on the promise that I would “do a little rehab training and find him a home”, and the rest is history.


Enjoy 🙂

Hydro’s Journey: Part IV

Hydro’s Journey: Part IV

Hydro is now developing quite a following, and since writing Parts I-III, he has made tremendous progress!

This next segment will outline the trip back from Tennessee, and his first week home.

Picking up from Part III where we left off, Hydro had bitten four handlers in six months time. Three of the four required an ER visit and sutures, as well as near choke outs to diffuse the situation. The police canine broker was kind enough to agree to house Hydro for nearly a month, as I was unable to get away from my business until such time. Flying via air was not an option, as it would require him to be handled for a veterinary visit and health certificate, as well as transporting him to the airport. Nowadays, one must get the dog out of the crate at the airport so that TSA can inspect the crate, and due to Hydro’s recent issues this wasn’t an option. Continue reading

Hydro’s Progress: Not “Just” a Walk

So, we walk our dogs every day. It is something we should be able to do with our canine companions and partners. We nurture our relationships with our dogs so we can communicate down the leash. They are perceptive to light tension and leash checks.

For two plus years I carted young Hydro around. Two cross country trips, countless trips to the lake, hiking, and training days at the park. From the time he was seven weeks old he was accustomed to leash pressure, and learned all about motivational leash directionals. Continue reading

Hydro’s Journey: Part III

Continuing with the story of Hydro, he had already bitten his first K9 handler and been returned to the broker, who continued his training while looking for a second handler.  Use these links for Part 1 and Part 2.

Second Handler…Another No Go

I then received word that a department in Mississippi was looking for a dual purpose dog. They required a real dog who could take care of business. I will say that if you want a real dog that could take care of business in a SWAT type situation, Continue reading

Hydro’s Journey: Part II

Continuing with the story of Hydro’s back ground where we left off in Part I, Hydro had made his way into his first police department. His career looked bright, and up until this point I received glowing reports regarding his progress.

First Police Canine Handler Pairing

Hydro was purchased and was to start working as a police canine in a department in Georgia. His new handler had had some previous canine handling experience with a single purpose dog. Continue reading

Hydro’s Journey: Part I

hydroThis is the story of a dog’s journey from innocent puppy, to police dog in training, multiple handlers in the hospital, the threat of euthanasia, and his rehabilitation back to a functional working/sport dog with a long life and career ahead of him.


Just three short years ago I was fortunate to have acquired from a reputable breeder in a California a bright eyed, driven little Malinois puppy destined for sport work. Continue reading