Lifestyle

Acclaimed dog trainer gives private classes in Rockhampton

GOOD DOG: Leeanne Rankin heaps praise on her boxer Ruby Rose as dog trainer Gary Jackson works to stop Ruby Rose from jumping up.
GOOD DOG: Leeanne Rankin heaps praise on her boxer Ruby Rose as dog trainer Gary Jackson works to stop Ruby Rose from jumping up. Chris Ison Rokcdog

GARY Jackson works on the premise that dogs have a teenage male brain.

So, when it comes to training them, he likes to keep it simple.

"It comes down to giving them two choices - yes or no," says Gary, the highly acclaimed Australian dog trainer.

"Dogs in general tend to have the monotrack brain which you associate with young males."

Gary was in Rockhampton this week to conduct private lessons with several dog owners.

He went to the home of Leeanne Rankin, to work with her white boxer Ruby Rose and her American bulldog Johnny Diesel.

Ruby has a habit of jumping up on people and is constantly on guard; Diesel is a little paranoid, nervy and easily scared.

Gary set to work on Ruby to stop her jumping.

Within a matter of minutes and with only two "corrections" with a choker chain, she had stopped.

Gary said he grew up with dogs and started training them as a teenager in 1983.

He has since trained 20,000 dogs in obedience, protection or detection.

He can get a dog to heel on a loose lead in an average of 60 seconds; his record is 10 seconds.

His uncanny ability to master dogs' behaviour is wowing fellow trainers and dog owners across the country. He is set to share his special gift across the globe, with visits to New Zealand and the USA on the agenda.

Gary said that the biggest problem he saw in dogs was a combination of dependency and separation anxiety.

That led to over- protectiveness, destructive behaviour and stress.

"If a dog is inside the house and with their owner 100% of the time, they can't cope when they are away from the owner," he said. "Dogs need to chill out and do their own thing."

Gary said that dog owners should ensure their pets had heavy socialisation and balanced training.

"There's a big push for positive only training and it doesn't work and it can endanger dogs and people's lives.

"A lot of dogs will have animal aggression. You are not going to fix that by trying to give them a Scooby snack and trying to direct them somewhere else.

"Sometimes they actually need a correction. Without any negative at all, the dogs are just running amok."

Gary says he has a gift for reading the body language of dogs.

GARY'S CAREER

Highlights include:

Trained the world's youngest narcotic dog, which was 11 weeks old.

Trained the world's first slider turtle and egg detection dog for Queensland Department of Natural Resources.

Trained the world's first cane toad detection dog for Western Australia's Department of Environment and Conservation.

Trained Australia's first operational cadaver dogs.

Topics:  dogs, dog trainer



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