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Barnes trains dog handlers – Coldwater Daily Reporter

COLDWATER — Dog trainer Jackie Barnes held a two-day “boot camp” at the Eagles in Coldwater on Saturday and Sunday.
Animal Aid of Branch County, Project Hope in Bronson, Humane Shelter of Branch County in Quincy and Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan brought adoptable dogs in for the training. Dogs ranging from 6 months to 6 years old were brought in for behavioral issues ranging from leash pulling to aggression.
Barnes, owner of TLC Dog Training in Jackson, has been involved with dog training for 30 years and specializes in rehabilitating rescue dogs with highly aggressive behavior.
Barnes uses her personal dog, 19-month-old Rottweiler Ammo, as her demo dog for the training sessions. Ammo began her training at 7 weeks old in an effort to help balance other dogs during the sessions. Barnes’ 13-year-old boxer mix Tango retied two years ago.
“I feel it’s a gift — I know what a dog will do before they do it,” said Barnes.
Barnes is available for in-home training by appointment, with a free consultation. In addition, she provides training for group classes, K9 temperament evaluations, K9 massage, boarding and doggie day care.
“I do not use prongs or shock collars,” said Barnes.
Highly involved in rescues through the tri-state area, Barnes has assisted in rehabilitating adoptable dogs.
“I consult coast-to-coast with rescues, vets and other trainers,” said Barnes.
According to the American Humane Society website, “Approximately 3.7 million animals were euthanized in the nation’s shelters in 2008.” This may have been due to overcrowding, but was also due to aggressive behaviors and other issues.
Barnes said, “Rescues can consult with me before euthanizing any dogs. I want to be a resource for them before they make that decision.”
Marsha Epell, foster parent for Animal Aid of Branch County, said, “I’m glad we now have Jackie as a resource.”
During the training sessions, handlers were taught to “pay attention to what dogs are doing when they approach other dogs — sizing them up — from many feet away,” said Barnes.
During the second session of the boot camp, handlers used techniques to teach their dogs to not immediately approach a house guest as they entered and to eat food out of a bowl with the handler’s hand in the bowl. These techniques were important to teach the dog against food aggression and to approach humans appropriately.
Handlers were also taught how to give their dogs non-verbal commands using hand signals, how to walk their dogs without them pulling and to be a leader.
In addition to the training, Family Farm and Home in Coldwater donated a gift bag for each dog in attendance. A gift drawing for the dogs also took place with AABC providing a $25 gift certificate which went to 6-month-old Thor. Barnes provided several other gifts.
The Eagles has also offered to allow Barnes to use the facility for future boot camps.
“Community Involvement is very important. It was great having them and it’s great that the rescues are caring for dogs,” said Sam Spragg, president of the Coldwater’s F.O.E 1907. “It was fascinating and she’s a very good trainer.”
For more information or to schedule a consultation contact Barnes 937-2950, at www.tlcdogtrainingmi.com or on Facebook.


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