The pitter-patter of tiny paws filled the Betsey Mills Club gym Tuesday evening as six dogs and their owners displayed the obedience techniques they have been practicing the past three weeks.
"Alright Ruby, let's try that again," said Marietta resident Tim Glover to his pup Ruby after she successfully performed a down/stay for the first time.
Ruby, a 14-month-old dachshund schnauzer mix, just celebrated the one year anniversary of her adoption from the Humane Society of the Ohio Valley. Though Ruby is already a fairly well-behaved dog, she does have a lot of energy, said Glover.
Lisa Willey and Mya, front, and Scott Maley and Willow work on learning to heel at Tuesday night’s dog obedience class at The Betsey Mills Club.
JASMINE ROGERS The
"Where two weeks ago she would have gone nuts if I laid a treat in her bowl, now she is very patient,"said Glover of Ruby's progress.
Tuesday's class marked week three of the six-week dog obedience school taught by Sam Meeks, 47, of Williamstown. Meeks graduated from the National K-9 Learning Center in Columbus 15 years ago and has been training dogs ever since.
"I have just always been around animals. I really like working with them," said Meeks of his motivation.
Dog obedience school
- A six-week program taught by certified dog trainer Sam Meeks at the Betsey Mills Club.
- Learn to train dogs how to sit, lie down, heel, stay, not bark and many other positive behaviors.
- Also allows dogs to socialize and release pent-up energy.
- For information on the six week program, contact the Betsey Mills Club at 373-4981.
During Tuesday's class the dogs and owners worked on techniques such as lying down, sitting, staying and heeling. "Oh boy. Here comes the ball," said Bob Yoder of Lowell.
But as Meeks walked around the gym, bouncing a tempting tennis ball in front of each of the dogs, Yoder's 2-year-old dalmatian Maggie stayed seated. Maggie lives on a farm and Yoder said he thought the exposure to other dogs and the city would be a good experience for her.
Though the squirrels are almost too much temptation to resist, Maggie is very intelligent and has been learning the obedience lessons quickly, said Yoder.
Six-month-old Willow, a boxer mix, is the youngest of three dogs which Scott and Faith Maley adopted from the local shelter.
"She was always the boss. She bossed the other dogs around." said Scott.
But thanks to school, Willow's whole attitude has changed, he added.
Faith, on the other hand, thinks Willow is not the only the one learning something new.
"I found out it was more we needed trained than she did. Once we knew what to do, she is a smart dog, she just did it," she said.
Half Australian Shepherd and half border collie, little Mya, is learning some valuable social skills, said owner Lisa Willey of Lowell.
"This is good for her. There are no dogs at home and we want to be able to take her out and have her be around other dogs," she said.
Though Mya, at 5 and half months old, was Tuesday's youngest participant, she is not afraid of anything, said Willey.
The only male dog at Tuesday's class, 10-month old chocolate labrador Max, was a perfect gentleman.
"He has done very well so far," said Max's owner, Brian Ketelsen.
Ketelsen has two other dogs at home, but is specifically training Max to be a shop dog at his store, Ketel1 TeamWear, on Putnam Street in Marietta.
Aside from socializing with other dogs, the class was also a good opportunity to use up some energy, something that 14-month-old Maddy needs to do often.
"Siberian huskies need 40 to 60 miles a week walking," said Maddy's owner Chad Schwendeman. "She has been doing better. She is a lot better than the first class."
Meeks said the key to the obedience training is practicing at home. Ideally, owners repeat lessons twice a day for about 20 minutes.
"The main thing is to be consistent," said Meeks.
The next obedience class will likely begin three weeks after this class wraps up at the end of October, said Meeks.