Dillon’s Dog Den also trains humans | VailDaily.com

Dillon’s Dog Den also trains humans

Leslie Brefeld
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyDog caretaker Stacy Mallary, left, and Dog Den owners Don and Shannon Drogsvold play with the pups at dog daycare.

DILLON ” Dogs trained at the Dog Den in Dillon can rest assured their owners will get, and stick with the program.

That’s because owners who have their canines enrolled in the dog training program at the facility ” after making it through the initial private lessons ” can continue coming to group classes for as long as they own the pet.

Dog Den owner Don Drogsvold studied at the Colorado Dog Academy and spent three years training dogs in homes.

“If you train dogs on the end of a leash for 800 hours, you leave the academy knowing how to train a dog,” Drogsvold said.

During his time training pups in homes, he said he saw a need for the service in the county, and two years ago he and his wife Shannon opened the Dillon daycare and training facility.

“We have so many dogs (in Summit County), but don’t have a lot of resources,” he said. “We want to be a service in the community.

“A lot of times, a poorly trained dog can hinder a relationship. Our passion here is in getting these dogs trained to better the relationship between humans and dogs.”

And although it’s the dog’s behavior that is ultimately affected, it is the humans who are receiving most of the lessons.

The Dog Den offers a free introductory hour-long class, which Drogsvold said contains a “wealth of information.”

During the introductory session he describes their methodology ” the LIMA, or Least Intrusive Minimal Aversive method ” which uses rewards to teach rather than punishment. He also begins the changes needed in human thought by explaining the way dogs relate to words, how to develop the correct relationship with a dog and how dogs learn.

He said since dogs communicate through body language, in turn humans can communicate with dogs through their own body language. Along with basic obedience commands, owners learn to teach their dogs door manners as well as loading and unloading commands which help keep the animal safe.

Drogsvold encourages the entire family to come in for training sessions.

“We have to not only teach mom and dad, but teach the kids what to do also,” he said.

The facility’s daycare can also be helpful in maintaining good behavior ” after all, he said, “A tired dog is a good dog.”

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