Zoom Room: The New Face of Dog Training
Innovative new training centers such as the Zoom Room add fun approach to what can be a life-saving activity.
Ernie Slone |
Posted: August 28, 2013, 11 a.m. PST
|Jaime van Wye’s Komondor, Clyde, is trained as an agility dog, and also as a therapy dog.
Do you know the No. 1 threat to dogs?
It is three times more lethal than cancer.
It is more life-threatening than all canine infectious diseases combined.
The biggest threat to dogs is behavioral problems.
From housetraining issues to separation anxiety to aggression and lack of socialization, bad behavior is lethal for dogs. Dog trainers are life-savers.
"About 4 million dogs are surrendered to shelters and pounds annually, many because of behavior problems, and 2.2 million of these dogs are euthanized,’’ behavioral expert Dr. Nicholas Dodman, BVMS, Dipl. ACVB, writes in the August issue of Veterinary Practice News, urging veterinarians to be more proactive in addressing behavior issues with dog owners.
But the good news is that never before have there been so many great ways to get your dog trained and to avoid or resolve behavior issues.
In fact, many owners are discovering the joy of training with their dogs, learning agility or obedience, turning them into therapy dogs, or just having fun with training games.
"We find a lot of people want to train their dogs to be therapy dogs, and many want recreational activities to enjoy with their dogs,’’ says Jaime Van Wye, founder, president and CEO of the Zoom Room training centers.
Launched in 2007, the chain just opened its 20th location, in Huntington Beach, Calif., and plans to open an additional 20 to 30 locations nationwide by the end of 2014, Van Wye says.
At the Zoom Room, owners can take their dogs through everything from agility, obedience and therapy dog training, to puppy preschool, scent work, tricks, Pup-lates®, urban herding, a shy dog training for rescue dogs – giving not only the dog a workout, but the owners as well.
Trainer Blane Dydasco leads an agility class at the opening of a new Zoom Room indoor dog training center in Huntington Beach, Calif.
"Many owners of rescue dogs want to give their dog a purpose or activity, and we find that doing agility can build the dog’s confidence,’’ says Van Wye, a Certified Master Dog Trainer who has trained dogs in search and rescue, bomb and drug detection, criminal apprehension and tracking.
Many of the classes are fun twists on traditional training. "In our urban herding class the dogs learn to target a ball, push it left or right, and follow commands at a distance,’’ says Van Wye. "And the dog doesn’t need to be a herding dog. We have lots of Chihuahuas who like to make a game of herding a ball. In one game we put a dollar bill on the training floor and then owners try to direct their dogs to sit on it. Whoever gets his or her dog to sit on it gets to keep the dollar,’’ Van Wye says with a laugh.
These sorts of training games are fun for the dog and useful for the owner, Van Wye says. "Once your dog learns distance control you can control her during an off-leash hike or trail run, easily turning her left or right,’’ Van Wye says.
"Huntington Beach is the perfect city for the Zoom Room,” says trainer Blane Dydasco, who opened the newest Zoom Room with his wife, Mel. "People here love to be active; they love their dogs; they love to be active with their dogs.’’
Van Wye is especially excited about one new trial project the Zoom Room training centers are pioneering. "We are working on a pilot program to have disabled people train their own dogs to be service dogs, helping them with mobility issues,’’ Van Wye says. "Dogs can truly change peoples’ lives.’’
To learn more about the Zoom Room training programs visit ZoomRoomOnline.com
-More Editor Unleashed-
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