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Your Dog Isn’t Your Baby: K-Nine Solutions Owner Gets Real and Gets Results


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Your Dog Isn’t Your Baby:

K-Nine Solutions Owner

Gets Real and Gets Results

Santa Barbara Dog Training Biz Has a

10-Year Record of Popularity and Success

By Tyler Hayden | Photos by Ingrid Bostrom | March 16, 2023

Your Dog Isnt Your Baby K Nine Solutions Owner Gets Real
Credit: Ingrid Bostrom

Read all of the entries in our “Pets & Animals, 2023 Edition” cover here.

Eric Smith informs it like it is. The owner of K-Nine Solutions doesn’t indulge the dogs he trains, and he doesn’t tiptoe around the bad practices of their owners. “A lot of clients refer to dogs as babies,” he said. “One of the first things I do is tell them to stop that. It sets them up to fail.”

As quickly as an individual starts to treat their dog like an animal, not like a kid, Smith explained, and as soon as they begin to interact with the dog on its terms, not on theirs, they start a much better and much healthier relationship with their family pet. “That’s when things start to turn around,” he said.

1678953486 735 Your Dog Isnt Your Baby K Nine Solutions Owner Gets Real
Credit: Ingrid Bostrom

This belongs to the approach and method Smith has actually utilized for the last years at K-Nine Solutions, among Santa Barbara’s most popular dog training programs that has actually won its classification in the Independent’s yearly Best Of survey for 7 years running. Here we choose Smith’s brain about what makes his company however reasonable technique so reliable.

How did you enter into this type of work? I matured in Boston, and my father was constantly a huge fan of working dogs — Dobermans and German shepherds. I entered into the Army when I was 22 and began dealing with patrol dogs. When I went out, I began dealing with dogs a bit. I likewise got among my own. It ended up being extremely aggressive towards other dogs, however I didn’t understand how to handle it — I was proficient at developing hostility, however I didn’t understand how to stop it. So I swallowed my pride and employed a fitness instructor.

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I divided my time as a professional photographer and as a dog fitness instructor, and dog training triumphed. Ten years later on, we have an amazing 6,000-square-foot center and an extremely gifted staff. We’re larger than I ever believed we’d be. My primary focus now is to train the fitness instructors and grow the business. The staff is actually the foundation.

What makes you men so effective? There are fantastic fitness instructors out there, and good individuals supervisors. We do both actually well. We’re excellent at teaching what we do. We inform individuals who concern us that it’s actually about them. It’s not about the dog. The dog is the simple part.

I’ve been mentored by a few of the very best fitness instructors in the nation and I enjoyed how they connected with their customers. A great deal of customers are at their wits’ end. They’re stressed by their dogs; they’re stuck in your house; their social lives have actually decreased televisions. We’re able to provide relief almost instantly.

What are a few of the most regular obstacles you encounter? Dog-on-dog hostility is a huge one. We don’t get a great deal of dogs that bite human beings. And even when we do, it’s almost never ever a harmful bite. It’s a defense reaction.

1678953497 988 Your Dog Isnt Your Baby K Nine Solutions Owner Gets Real
Credit: Ingrid Bostrom
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The dog-on-dog concern is frequently from an absence of appropriate socializing. People bring puppies to dog parks, however I’m not a fan of dog parks. It’s like tossing a baby to the wolves. A great deal of older dogs will bully a puppy, or remedy their habits strongly, and the puppy remains in an inscribing stage. They learn to fear other dogs and when they see another one, they believe, “I’m gonna get you before you get me.” At that point, the dog requires intervention and reconditioning. And the longer you put it off, the more difficult it is to alter.

How long does reconditioning usually take? Our programs run 2 to 6 weeks. In 6 weeks, we can repair practically anything. We do what’s called “balanced training.” It utilizes favorable support to teach a dog whatever we desire it to understand. There’s no penalty. Once a dog shows that it comprehends what’s anticipated, we do unfavorable support, implying taking something away. When you’re handling habits that you wish to snuff out right off the bat, you can’t pay off the habits away. You can’t enjoy the issue away.

We don’t stick to one unfaltering approach. Every dog is various. Just like how some individuals are visual students and some individuals are doers. To get a dog to actually comprehend, you require to find out what inspires it — food, attention, toy.

We get individuals sobbing since they’re so annoyed. They believe they’ve stopped working. We inform them, “Nope, you’ve just gotten the wrong information. You have us now, and we’ll help you.”

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