Recently I received an e-mail from Jake Sisneros, a member of the #KittleFam, thanking me for my series of Facebook Live videos on dog training and animal behavior. I’ve received e-mails like this before, but Jake’s was different. He explained that my dog training advice had helped him in the dog show ring. As a handler, Jake is an award-winning handler with loads of experience. I was happy to hear that even an experienced “dog person” is benefiting from these live videos. More importantly, I was excited to hear that the dogs he works with are benefiting.
I asked Jake if he would share his experience with the rest of the #KittleFam and to my delight, he agreed! So, without further adu, here is Jake!
How Kyle Kittleson Helped Me in the Show Ring
By: Jake Sisneros
I first learned about Kyle from his YouTube channel. while watching his video I was relieved to see something that we don’t see very often on the internet- A normal human being. After being captivated by Kyle’s video, I stayed in tune with his Facebook page and to my surprise, I saw dog videos! Now, I’ve personally shown and groomed dogs for the past 6 years, so I felt like I knew all about dogs and their behaviors until I started paying attention to what Kyle was saying in his videos. I was trained by “old school” show people and with that being said I was outdated on my training techniques.
Through Kyle’s videos I stopped using lead corrections which I was never fully comfortable with, but being that’s how I was trained that’s all I knew. Instead my dogs and I worked with his views on operant conditioning and sure enough, my dogs took to it with joy! I own and co-own various breeds of show dogs and started making it a priority to make sure my dogs are exercised and being fed high-quality food as well with mental stimulation. Sighthounds are normally known for having two speeds one hundred miles per hour and zero miles per hour with not much in-between. Thanks to Kyle, we now are active in Lure Coursing (a safe and humane recreation of what our sighthounds were bred for). Now because of this my sighthounds are well exercised and a bit more active in the ring, I guess you can say it brought out some animation in their personalities.
Every day my dogs and I have been working on physical and mental stimulation from running down our bike trail, to show drills that we’d normally only do when we got to shows. Since this, we have been a bit more focused and happy to be in the ring. A new aspect of our daily lives that has been brought on by Kyle is our interest in agility. When one of my dogs finish their Confirmation Championship through the American Kennel Club normally I’d just let them enjoy being a pet since they accomplished my goals for them. Now it’s time for them to be doing something they enjoy which can be Lure Coursing, Rally, Flyball, and Agility.
His past video on distraction was the cherry on top for my dogs in the show ring. They have always been easily distracted by the massive amount of dogs or people at the show site. We worked on looking at me and paying attention to me while we were in or outside of the ring. Using a specific treat only given on show days they became really excited this past weekend at our local AKC dog show, but maintained their composure. It’s been great for me to step out of my comfort zone and see them really start to enjoy life and for that, I cannot thank Kyle Kittleson enough.