Thursday, March 26, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Dogs put their best paw forward in obedience class

By
From page C1 | January 19, 2014 |

VACAVILLE — Helga, a 9-month-old Great Dane, is learning she’s not a chihuahua. When she stands on her hind legs, this canine is taller than her owner, Craig Larsen.

Larsen and his wife Renee are among the dog owners taking a dog obedience class offered through the Chief Solano Kennel Club and taught by Susan Sakala.

Sakala got involved when she purchased a purebred Shetland Sheepdog and searched for a dog training class but couldn’t find one to take her young pup. So she began working with the dog one-on-one.

Early training is the key, she said, adding that many dogs in shelters didn’t receive that attention. A young puppy is cute. When it’s about 6 or 7 months, it enters an adolescence phase. Just like teens who love to challenge their parents, dogs of this age like to test their human owners.

Helga started her training as puppy. She’s learned a lot, Craig Larsen said.

“We want her to pay attention and mind (us),” he said.

She is going to grow more and with small children and two small dogs at home, Helga needs to be on her best behavior, Larsen said. When she gets excited, her 120-pound body can make an impact when it hits something.

Danielle Binderup and her mom Genevieve Gallien take their three English springer spaniels to the obedience class. Snowdrop is too shy to show, Binderup said of one dog. A second, Adam, is working on his championship.

Bridges, the third dog, is named after actor-singer Jeff Bridges. He watches out for Gallien.

Binderup was hit by a drunken driver a few years ago and has had three surgeries, including two total knee replacements. The dogs have her walking again while saving her sanity, she said.

“These guys are great,” Binderup said, looking at her dogs.

Obedience is a team sport, Sakala emphasized to the dog owners. Humans have to do their part, too.

She starts with the fundamentals, such as sit and heel.

“You’ve got to master them before you can go further,” she said. “They (the dogs) have to understand them and you have to work off that. It’s pretty common sense.”

Sakala also teaches classes through the city of Vacaville. The majority of her students sign up for the class because they want their dog to be manageable, she said. Others are there because they want to show their dogs.

She likes the idea of mandatory obedience training along the lines of required spaying or neutering. Too few people seek out dog training, Sakala said. Those who do, don’t often go beyond the basic obedience class. By the time the seven-week session ends, Sakala said up to half of the class has dropped out.

Consistency is the key.

“Breeders start training when the puppies; eyes open,” she said.

Some breeds are easier to train, but she has yet to meet a dog that couldn’t be trained.

Sakala joined the Chief Solano Kennel Club in 2007.

Linda Wendorff serves as the club president. She joined before she had a dog, after meeting some club members at a function. Since then, she’s raised a handful of breeds after being mentored by charter members of the club, which was founded in 1970.

She expects to see more people interested in the classes offered by her club as the Westminster Kennel Club has opened up to mixed breeds. No mixed-breed dogs have appeared at the prestigious show in almost 138 years.

The club will stage its first agility championship next month, two days before the annual Westminister’s pageant of dogs.

For information on the Chief Solano Kennel Club, visit www.chiefsolanokennelclub.org.

Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.

 
Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Vacaville honors top cops, support staff

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

     
     
    Kings honor Rankin, Mustangs

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: A2, 1 Comment | Gallery

    Padan Elementary demonstrates new school culture

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Fairfield mall to host first aid kit assembly party

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Fairfield PD chief to address Solano GOP

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

     
    New meeting location for family support group

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

     
     
    Fairfield police log: March 24, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A7

    Suisun City police log: March 24, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A7

     
    Frustration permeates college contract negotiations

    By Susan Winlow | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    .

    US / World

    Vallejo woman’s story a hoax, police say

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

     
    Deceased woman’s video supports Wolk’s bill

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Ferguson residents rattled by another shooting death

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

     
    Man threatened suicide before shooting officer

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    .

    Opinion

    China mustn’t make Greenspan’s mistake on stocks

    By William Pesek | From Page: A5

     
    We deserve freedom to choose our fate

    By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

     
    .

    Living

    Community Calendar: March 26, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    Today in History: March 26, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    After several years, my nieces now live with their father and are miserable

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

     
    Horoscopes: March 26, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

    .

    Entertainment

    David Crosby in car accident with jogger

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    Contract not renewed for ‘Top Gear’ host

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Felicity Jones excited, tight-lipped about Star Wars role

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    .

    Sports

    After 1st division title in 39 years, Warriors want more

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Local report: Rodriguez boys swim past Vintage

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

     
    Prep badminton preview: City teams making their marks

    By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    6 teams with 10 or more losses most ever to reach Sweet 16

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Change to extra points likely in NFL

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Bills to honor late owner Wilson with life-sized statue

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Tulowitzki homers, Butler strong in Rockies’ win over Giants

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Elliott heads to Martinsville to attempt 1st Sprint Cup race

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Alameda County to join talks about new Oakland stadium

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Rio mayor unveils controversial Olympic golf course

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Joe Gibbs’ son being treated for ‘brain function’ issues

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    America’s Cup organizers want smaller, cheaper boats

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Gomez uses offense and defense, leads Brewers past A’s

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Cal to host UC Davis in 2019, Cal Poly in 2020

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Lanny McDonald selected as chairman of Hockey Hall of Fame

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Serena Williams hoping to play at Miami Open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Howard Leon Carnes

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9