Top Dog dog training event sees K-9 units, teaches old dogs new tricks

Pups of all shapes, sizes and ages joined their owners for an exciting event on June 15 at QC Supply. Between a professional dog trainer, the Schuyler Police Department and the Colfax County Sheriff’s Office, there was quite a bit to take in.

The dog training “Top Dog” talk is one of a few demonstration-type events QC Supply holds during the year, according to Manager Valerie Ehrenberger.

“Top Dog is a name, my partner Seth is with Purina Foods, he’s our food rep, we came up with the event together, wanted to name it and came up with Top Dog. I’m hoping that can be a brand for us and we can use it every year,” Ehrenberger said.

To talk about simple obedience training tricks, QC Supply brought in Certified Professional Dog Trainer Kristin Sandstede, CPDT-KSA. Sandstede is a self-described “dog geek” and has been her entire life, she said, so this topic is very natural to her and her demonstration dog, Arrow.

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Sandstede and Arrow have competed in several go training competitions over the years and now that Arrow is retired from that circuit, the pair teach dog owners how to get their dogs to do simple tricks like standing on a platform, giving a high five or doing a spin.

“I’ve been to QC several different times, here and in Elkhorn. A lot of what we do is educating the public so they have better behaved dogs that they enjoy living with,” Sandstede said.

A lot of tricks are utilitarian, Sandstede added, such as high five, waving or “nose boop” being used when a dog meets somebody new where the dog or person may be nervous about petting. Teaching dogs to listen to people in general, Sandstede said, is important for quality of life in the home as well.

“Dogs will act like dogs and that’s rarely compatible with human society and we want to live like. They will bark, they will chew, dig, pace, resource guard, all the things that don’t make them very fun,” Sandstede said. “By shaping our expectations and telling them how we want them to behave, you can have a much more pleasant partnership.” 

Officer Michael Martinez from the Schuyler Police Department and Deputy Daniel Acosta from the Colfax County Sheriff’s Office brought K-9 units Odin and Mars, respectively, to do some demonstrations of K-9 duties and training.

The group followed Martinez and Odin into the parking lot after the main event and some education on how K-9s and their owners communicate to see Odin track a lost object, which he did rather quickly. After that, Deputy Acosta and Mars did a demonstration with a bite suit.

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