Business May '17

K9 Holistics: Owner-Focused Training

K9 Holistics by Kelly Nash Photography

St. Petersburg’s appropriately named K9 Holistics (K9H) offers specialized dog training to people who truly want to strengthen their relationship with their pets. The name fits because K9H is a lot more than simple obedience training. Rather, Christine, the owner, enhances relationships by teaching proper communication, focusing on dog owners first, and her unique tactics deliver long-lasting results.

Christine was born and raised in St. Pete and moved back to the area after living in Chicago for ten years. “It is amazing to me how much our city has changed in a short amount of time, and I’m so proud to be a native,” Christine said. “I love how vibrant the people and culture are here, and of course, I love that you can bring your dog practically everywhere!”

K9 Holistics by Kelly Nash Photography
K9 Holistics by Kelly Nash Photography

Because St. Petersburg has access to so many dog-friendly businesses and events, it provides Christine great opportunities for training pets and owners in real-life situations. “My clients love to do sessions out and about so we can work on training their dog into the ultimate canine companion,” she said.

Christine has operated K9H for three years now and has done a lot in the local community to teach pets and owners about communication. “It’s no secret that St. Pete is one of the most dog-friendly cities in America, and I love being able to support that community,” she said. “I’m really passionate about educating people on how to understand dogs – especially kids!”

Last year, Christine participated in the Great American Teach-In, and spoke to a group of more than 100 kids about interacting with dogs in a safe way. Christine also teaches group classes once a week at the Tampa Bay SPCA, and has been involved in shelter and rescue work in many capacities over the years. She currently serves on a committee assisting in the development of a small animal shelter for the pets of domestic abuse survivors.

K9 Holistics by Kelly Nash Photography
K9 Holistics by Kelly Nash Photography

Christine’s experience and inherent love for dogs is evident in the specialized training she provides at K9H. She said: “Our mission is to help people better understand their dogs, and to help dogs better understand their people! The majority of behavior problems are a result of two things: poor communication and a lack of understanding between the owner and dog.”

Christine says one of the biggest reasons dogs have behavior problems is that owners often don’t treat their dogs like dogs. Many times Christine finds that the owner is actually reinforcing the exact behavior that they want to change.

Her approach to training can fix that, though. “Obedience training is all well and good – and learning commands is important for any dog – but having a well-behaved dog requires far more than just teaching commands,” she said. Christine believes pet owners have to know how to communicate effectively so that dogs can understand their owner’s expectations. They also have to understand their dog well enough to know how to motivate them.

K9 Holistics by Kelly Nash Photography
K9 Holistics by Kelly Nash Photography

So, how does K9H separate itself from other qualified training services? Christine said: “We are different in our approach to training because our methods are what I call ‘owner-focused’. We train the dog by training the owner. I think most people intuitively know that they are ultimately the source of their dog’s successes and failures, but so often dog training programs don’t put much emphasis on really finetuning the abilities of the owner.”

Christine understands that at the end of the day, trainers go home and owners are left alone to deal with their dogs. To see long-term results, owners have to be educated and prepared enough to continue working with that dog knowledgeably. “The last thing I want to do is leave my clients thinking that I have some magical dog-whispering ability that they themselves cannot access,” she said.

Christine trains pets and owners to communicate effectively, and empowers both in the process!

For more information, visit www.k9holistics.com. Gain insight and improve behavior – schedule one (1) FREE session today!

Call (727) 418-3641 or email info@k9holistics.com.

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