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Kaycee Colburn’s love for dogs is clear to see by the dog books lining her shelves that she’s had since the age of nine. The grand opening of AniPaws Dog Training is scheduled for 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, August 19 at 567 Fairmount Avenue. This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone interested in dog training to meet Kaycee and learn more about how she helps families with furry friends.
Colburn has been training dogs since 2013, when she received her diploma from Penn Foster as a Dog Obedience Trainer/Instructor. She is now the proud owner of AniPaws, a dog training business she built and runs independently. She previously worked at the Chautauqua County Humane Society and noticed that a lot of dogs were coming in because they weren’t trained.
Colburn created the clever name ‘AniPaws’ by combining the first three letters of ‘animal’ and adding the fitting title of ‘paws’ at the end. Colburn has trained more than 100 dogs, from dogs with some training to those having none at all. “For the cues and commands that they do already know, I usually just try to strengthen them, so if they know how to sit I try to get them to sit for a little bit longer,” Colburn said.
Colburn’s goal during training is to teach dogs how to carry out desired behaviors. Training creates a bond between the human and dog and eliminates the stress caused by misunderstanding. When dogs understand how to behave, they will be less stressed because the owner won’t have to yell at the dog for undesired behaviors. “You can’t have a bad dog – you can have an untrained dog or trained dog,” Colburn said. “When I ask a dog to sit, a dog already knows how to sit but I’m asking it to do it when I want it to, so it’s desired.”
Colburn suggests the Simple Basic obedience course for owners who want their dogs to behave, during which she teaches dogs many fundamental commands like ‘sit’ and ‘stay.’ The American Kennel Club (AKC) S.T.A.R. Puppy Program is a six-week course for puppies, (up to one year old) each one receiving an award for its accomplishment. Puppies will learn socializing skills and begin to learn some of the basic obedience commands.
After the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program, the dogs can opt for the title of Urban Canine Good Citizen (CGCU) or the CGCA (Advanced CGC) by taking the courses and/or tests. These courses help people who may want some extra prep time for their dogs before taking the test. Aside from the Simple Basic obedience course, these are all different steps taken through the AKC.
AniPaws Annies is a group that Colburn created for previous clients, so friendly owners can bring their pets to hang out and walk around Bergman Park together. The group aims to meet once a month and dogs must be up-to-date on any health requirements such as shots and flea medications. Some dogs that attend have become friends through the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program and continue to strengthen their bonds and socialization skills. “It’s more like a group of friends walking their dogs. Anybody can join as long as they know their dog and what their limits are,” Colburn said.
Colburn has worked with dogs of many different behaviors. She believes that the key to training dogs with fear-based aggression or anxiety is to stay calm and not match their heightened level of energy. “I stay nice and calm and if they’re super hyper I lower my energy even lower,” she said.
One of Colburn’s favorite parts of her job is helping families who are considering getting rid of their dogs because of undesired behaviors. “I love when at the end of the four weeks people have completely changed their mind,” Colburn said. “I’ve really built that bond between dog and owner and that makes my day.” She also loves teaching puppies their very first command. “You can almost see the wheels turning and it’s really cool,” Colburn said.