What could possibly go wrong when 17 dogs and their owners go on a sunset cruise of Okanagan Lake — it turns out nothing.
The well-behaved boat ride was captained by one of the most esteemed dog trainers in the U.S., Brian Kilcommons.
Travelling from his home in Connecticut, Kilcommons came to Kelowna to work on different training approaches with Wayne Dorman of Dogzies canine school of Excellence.
He says like Americans, Canadian dog owners are often seeking help for their aggressive pets.
“A lot of times aggression doesn’t happen until they are older, “ he said. “The best advice I can give to people, is start training your puppy as soon as you get it in the house… early training is the best.”
After spending some time working with Dorman of Dogzies, Kilcommons decided to take the dogs and their owners on a unique experience.
“One of the reasons you train dogs is to give us and them more freedom,” explained Kilcommons.
With no messes and no fights, the sunset cruise on Okanagan Lake went off without a hitch.
“The word ’no’ doesn’t tell the dog anything,” he said. The goal of training is to establish relationships and communication, so you take the time to learn how to teach. Dogs don’t teach themselves. Also if your dog isn’t listening don’t blame the dog, dogs don’t wake up in the morning wondering how they can piss us off. They get up every morning trying to please us.”
Of all the dogs on the boat not one of the animals expressed the same behaviours, said Kilcommons.
“The dog you have in front of you is a unique individual and it is going to learn and act differently than any other dog you’ve ever had so you have learn some new ways to go about teaching it.”
The boat ride was to be an inclusive way to connect an owner with their dog, as well as provide a happy moment for everyone.
Kilcommons has appeared on The Today Show, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, HGTV andThe Oprah Winfrey Show.