Perfect Training Makes the Perfect Dog

Author: Ocala Magazine|Print|Return

For complete training — K9-Perfection offers total dog training for Central Florida residents and businesses

Perfect Training Makes the Perfect DogWhether you have a rowdy Golden Retriever who plays so hard she can knock your 11- year-old daughter down, or a protection dog to help you feel safe at night, proper training makes your canine the perfect companion. Lisa Nickerson, a working mother of two and a dog lover, had both. She found the perfect trainer in John Lockett of K9-Perfection.

When you meet John Lockett, he is a modest-sized man who stands with confidence and strength. You see the same strength in his dogs. They look attentive and eager to please. They are at ease around new people and alert. They are part of the family, but they do not run it.

"My dogs work for me because they want to," says John. "It's a beautiful thing when a dog wants to work, please and be obedient."

Dogs have been a part of John Lockett's life since his childhood in New Jersey. His father was a K-9 office and trainer/breeder, and his grandfather always raised German Shepherds. John picked up the leash when he was three years old and never set it down. He began with training the neighborhood dogs in basic obedience and to alert on command. Later, John used his travels as an amateur boxer as opportunities to meet and train with master trainers in the northeast. With help from his father and grandfather, he formed Garden State K9 nearly 20 years ago.

Since moving to the Ocala area in 2000, John has trained over 200 dogs for obedience, companionship, family guardians and estate protection. Over the years his clients come in all shapes and sizes, from the largest Mastiff to the smallest Yorkie, Dachshund and Chihuahua. They range in age from eight week old puppies to ten year old labs. He has extensive experience training and breeding German Shepherds, Dobermans, Malinois and Dutch Shepherds.

John's goal is to train the perfect dog for your family and home. This is not generic training. John does not do group classes. Each program is customized to suit the family's needs and the dog's age and temperament. He knows that one size does not fit all.

"A good teacher can talk to a student in his own language," John says. "The first step in training is to meet the client and figure out what the family needs and how their dog needs to behave."

K9-Perfection Training programs are designed to give you control over your canine companion, and to help him or her to adapt to your lifestyle with proper manners and acceptable behaviors.

Obedience programs can range from 10 to 15 days and include Puppy Obedience, and Basic, Family and Advanced Obedience for adult dogs. These essential skills include on-lead, walk easy, sit, down, down-stay, down out of motion, down with recall/come. Additional family skills include walking through doors and gates under control, loading into and out of a vehicle under control and being obedient when your dog's food is being prepared and presented.

K9 Perfection also trains and prepares your dog for the Canine Good Citizenship exam offered by the American Kennel Club. This program includes teaching your dog to accept a friendly stranger properly, sit for petting politely, allow brushing, walk on a loose lead, come when called, show no aggressive reactions to other dogs, walking through crowds, and calm reaction to distractions and supervised separation. The AKC Companion Dog program trains and prepares your dog to compete in American Kennel Club competitions. It teaches good canine companion skills with and without a leash, such as heeling, coming when called, standing for a simple physical examination and staying in both a sit and a down position with a group of other dogs.

John competes in AKC Companion Dog trials. He is the current Vice president of the Central Florida Service Dog Association, a United Kennel Club licensed club

Owing to his father's service as a K-9 Officer, John and K9 Perfection also specializes in training for protection. Whether a client wants a family guardian, or estate protection, K9 Perfection offers training programs from basic to advanced skills.

John is often asked, "Why do I need a protection-trained dog?"

John answers, "The disturbing reality is FBI statistics state a violent crime occurs every five minutes, and a burglary every 15 seconds in the United States. Over 80 per cent of these cases are never settled by the police. Those statistics paint a picture that should more than address the need for protection." Lisa Nickerson, a young mother of two, agrees. She asked John to train Kylie, her young Rottweiler, for protection.

"John taught her to discern a true threat from normal contact with people" says Lisa. "It's like having an alarm system without having to wire every door and window. I feel 100 per cent safe."

The dog that she trusts to protect her is the same one nuzzled up next to her six-month-old child.

How is her rowdy Golden Retriever? She just earned her Good Conduct Medal.

"I had no idea my dogs could do so many things," says Lisa. "I couldn't believe we had a trainer this good right here in Ocala. He's like the dog whisperer!"

The original story can be found at Ocala Magazine.