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NEGAUNEE– Around the Upper Peninsula Andrew Bek is know as The U.P. Dog Whisperer. His job is to eliminate unwanted behaviors that some dogs have.
Bek says, “Barking, jumping, biting, digging, sniffing… all of those things that we don’t like.”
Through the Ishpeming-Negaunee-NICE Community Schools, Bek holds an adult education enrichment course on how discipline your dog. The whole family is welcome to join in too.
Brady LaFrenieri, family dog is in the class says, “To learn how to teach dogs how to behave and just act nice in front of people.”
The goal is to repair or strengthen the relationship between the owner and the dog.
Bek says, “We use a combination of positive and negative reinforcement. The negative reinforcement is very gentle. There is no rough stuff or scaring the dogs or anything like that. What we do is we withhold something that they want temporarily till they comply then give them whatever that is.”
The reward can be a treat, petting or a kind word. The dog whisperer says that there also misconceptions that people have when training their dog.
Bek says, “People think that if they start out and then they get louder and escalate and then they end up yelling at their dog…. that just makes it worse. Another misconception is that if you get closer to your dog or buy a bigger leash or a bigger collar you’ll have more power. You don’t have to be rough and manhandle things to make things happen the way you want. You just give little corrections until you’re going in the direction or speed that you want.”
Anyone interested in classes with the dog whisperer just needs to contact the school system.
He also does in home sessions and is planning on working more with service dogs in the future.
For more information on his services visit, http://www.thebekgroup.com/.