Hi, my name is Lana Forman. I have been training dogs since 1989. In 1990 I started Gone to the dogs Obedience School.
I believe that behind every crazy, unruly, bad mannered and even good dogs, is an owner that needs guidance to help understand their canine companion. I was once one of those owners and below is the story of the dog that started me on this amazing journey.
Why and how I got started training dogs!
In 1989 I bought a miniature Schnauzer and named her Sissie. She wouldn't listen to me at all, she walked me instead of me walking her. She would choke and gag herself ever time we went for a walk, it was not a relaxing time not to mention it was embarrassing. Sissie was so out of control if she got out of the door she would be gone. It would take me hours to catch her. Well I had enough! I was bound and determined that this dog was going to be as good as the dogs you saw on TV like Lassie or Rin Tin Tin and Benji. I made a promise to myself that I would not give away another dog because I thought it was un-trainable.
Sissie and I soon went to our first obedience class, man what a lifestyle change that was! We practiced everyday and before you knew it things started coming together. We were actually a team walking down the street. Sissie graduated first in her class, what a big difference a little time and effort can make. I now had my ground work down and it was time to grow. I started reading and watching anything and everything that I could that was related to dogs. I also began teaching some classes at TCJC for my trainer.
Sissie and I started showing in AKC obedience shows, it was a great experience. Other handlers would see a Schnauzer coming into the obedience ring and you could almost hear them laughing "look at that, a Schnauzer this ought to be good!" Most of the dogs you would see are what I like to call the "smart breeds" of dogs, for example, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labs and Poodles, this made the competition very steep. The first show Sissie competed in she took second place against all the "smart breeds." Sissie became the competition at every show we went to, it really made people look up and take notice. She won a slew of blue ribbons and high in trial awards.
Sissie and I went to every competition that we could and we didn't limit ourselves to just the local area. We went all the way to San Francisco, California where she placed fourth overall in a three day Gaines Cycle Classic Obedience Competition. There were hundreds of dogs there I was so proud of her.
I often think of Sissie when I'm teaching my dogs or helping people teach their dogs, it takes me back to my roots. It saddens me sometimes to think of the dogs I had before Sissie that I would have to give away because I had no idea that they could be trained.
We lost Sissie on April 4th, 2004 after 14 wonderful years as a model companion and faithful friend. Each class I start is dedicated to this loving Schnauzer who gave every ounce of her soul at competition and every ounce of her heart at home. I love telling her stories because she is the one who made me who I am today. She was my teacher and my inspiration to keep getting better and searching for the understanding of what a dog really is, a "True Companion."
Today I have developed my own way of training, well it's not actually mine, it's the way of the dog. I take you to the roots and help you understand what is inside your dog so you both can live in harmony.
Every dog wants to be, and has the ability to be, a well behaved, respected member of your family. With just a little time and effort on your part you too can enjoy a companion as loving a faithful as our beloved Sissie.
Sissie and Hobo, My Loves!