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My daughter and I recently had the pleasure to work with Katelyn Locklear Bishop, dog trainer and an official AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator at Klockwork Handling in Hope Mills, North Carolina and this would turn out to be one of the greatest experiences in our lives. Let me first tell you what brought me to Klockwork Handling.
This past September, my daughter and her then 7 month old German Shepherd Alli came to stay with us as her husband was headed to Georgia for Airborne school. This would be the first time I would meet Alli since they got her when they were stationed in Texas. I could barely contain my excitement, for the past several months I had received countless pictures and video messages, all mostly containing the antics of Alli.
As a German Shepherd, Alli is a loyal and protective breed by trait and this had slowly become an issue for my daughter in public places. As Alli got older it was apparent they would not be able to take her out to public places as much as they could when she was a small puppy. The protective trait had become so over powering that my daughter was asked to leave PetSmart only days before they headed back home to North Carolina.
During their stay here we knew it would be best to get Alli spayed with our favorite and most trusted vet Dr. Kim at North Star Veterinary Hospital. As we entered the vet it was very clear it was not going to be as easy as we had hoped. Once Alli’s weight was taken we were sent straight to a room so Alli could calm down as I filled out paperwork. Once the vet tech came in to get her it was clear she was going to have to be muzzled in order to get her to the back for her surgery.
As Dr. Kim passed us in the hall she said “I know a great trainer you can take her to”. Training is something we had already considered and even booked with someone for the weeks my daughter was home. Days before our appointment I canceled as I did not see how much it would help for a stranger to come once a week for four weeks to my home. After all the issues we were having with Alli stretched beyond the home.
That evening I called Klockwork Handling and left a message for Katelyn Bishop and anxiously awaited her call back. It did not take long for my call to be answered and after the first few minutes of my conversation with Katelyn, I knew instantly this was where Alli needed to go. We would drop Alli off at Klockwork Handling in Hope Mills, North Carolina for one week. While Alli was there she would learn basic commands and be conditioned to some public places after being comfortable in low key situations at Klockwork Handling.
It was hard to drop Alli off with someone who was a complete stranger to us but with such high praise from Dr. Kim and her staff it would turn out to be one of the best decisions we could make. It was such a treat for us to follow along with Alli’s training and progress on the Klockwork Handling Facebook page.
Each day we would see pictures and at times videos and watch in amazement at the astonishing progress Alli was making with Katelyn. Progress my daughter would only dream about but never think could happen. Alli was able to go to the park and watch the people and children around her and a field trip to PetSmart.
On the day of pick up Katelyn arranged
for me to meet her at the vet office since my daughter had already gone to
Kentucky to be with her husband. This would be the final day of training and one of the scariest places Alli has been. I got to the vet to see Katelyn walking Alli around outside. As they walked I went in to not disrupt her training and observed sit stays and down stays as Alli was conditioned to her surroundings. Before long they came in and I continue to sit in the waiting area to observe the way in which Katelyn handled Alli in public places with new people and sounds.
I sat anxiously and quietly avoiding any eye contact with Alli while I observed in complete disbelief. Of course everyone at the vet knew who Alli was, not by seeing her, my daughter or me but by hearing Alli and her very loud barking and lunging. Not this time!! Alli and Katelyn entered and believe it or not, silence followed by a sit stay. The staff was just as shocked as I was. I even heard a few staff members walk by and say “she is great, she trained my dogs”. I was able to get a brief video of their entrance and love to watch it. You can see them enter and you can see Alli peak over at me. Most likely thinking that is my grandma sitting there.
After observing for a short time, Katelyn brought Alli over to where I was sitting and I was finally able to give my sweet girl some loving. A week may not seem long to some but to me that was like an eternity. Katelyn sat down with me and went over everything Alli had done for the week. Yes, it was on Facebook but seeing and talking about her training and the methods used are two different things. We eventually went outside where Katelyn continued to share her vast knowledge of training and the continuing training that would need to be done in order for Alli to be a confident girl in her surroundings. I was so thankful for the extra time Katelyn took with me at the vet.
After leaving the vet I am proud I was able to stop by my mothers house to let Alli meet her Boxer Jack. Although we did not get to let her off the leash while we were there, I am happy to see her down stay while mom and I talked.
A few days after I picked Alli up from training we drove to meet my daughter in Tennessee. While in Tennessee they were able to go to a friend’s cabin for a spontaneous overnight stay. Though the meeting was scary for Alli, the shock wore off by the next morning and they were able to spend the entire day at the cabin. This would include play time with their children and Husky and playtime in the nearby creek, off the leash. If you are looking for an great trainer with reasonable rates, look no further than Katelyn Locklear Bishop at Klockwork Handling in Hope Mills, North Carolina. We are so pleased with the progress Alli has made during her week at Klockwork Handling, we will be scheduling follow up training sessions in the future with Katelyn whenever my daughter is in town.
Be sure to head on over to Klockwork Handling’s Facebook page and see all of the training photos of Alli in action to include her trip to the park and PetSmart. Then head on over to the Klockwork Handling website and view the extensive list of achievements Katelyn has achieved from the age of 7.
Everyone is proud when they can teach their dog to sit and stay but in reality sit and stay are basic commands and only the beginning commands to a broad array of commands that can be taught. During Alli’s week at Klockwork Handling she would learn to sit stay, down stay, and EASE. We were never able to take Alli for a walk as she would literally walk us. Not anymore, with the new command ease introduced to her, Alli now lets us walk together, side by side.
This is only the beginning for Alli. In the future my daughter and her husband will need to continue with the training Alli received during her week at Klockwork Handling. Through continuing training and conditioning to public places, Alli will soon be able to go nearly anywhere.