My Dad educated owners that dogs will not grow out of bad behaviour and that by simply enforcing rules and boundaries builds trust, respect and compliance. When problems occur, treating dogs like children only enforces their bad behaviour. Our children’s behaviour tends to improve as they mature but dogs mature so quickly that by the time you are still waiting for the dog to grow out of it the dog has perfected a particular skill. My Dad would also take the time to educate owners as to the psychology behind their dog’s behaviour and would arm the owners with the knowledge and confidence to change their dog’s behaviour.
Enthusiasts like my Dad were the first to bring dog training to the general public. No-one knew if people would train their dogs, it was a new venture. My Dad has helped pioneer dog training to be as it stands today. Personally, I am proud that my Dad learnt from his experiences, wasn’t afraid to speak out about any misconception about dogs and tried new methods as they became known. His arguments were always reasoned, thought provoking and generally correct.
My Dad truly had a gift for working with dogs and their owners. As a child and teenager I watched him nurture this gift. I may not do things the same way as my Dad but I hold his principals close to my heart. I believe that my Dad would have supported my learning and application of that knowledge. I hope that my Dad is proud of my workshops and that I live up to his expectations of me.
My Dad, Don Blackwell sadly passed away in August 2002.
My Dad’s passion for dogs came directly from his heart. In my Dad’s eyes dogs were unsung heroes, protectors and completely helpless. My Dad taught me that if dogs were fed accordingly, exercised off lead daily and respected their owner there was no reason why a family would think about re-homing their dog. If just one of these was lacking the dog would probably have a behavioural problem either presenting or in the making. Rescue dogs were very close to his heart and as such he dedicated his life to the betterment of the treatment of dogs in their training, their homes and their recreation.