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Anthony Rosa has been training dogs since he was about 18-years-old, when he acquired his first Rottweiler.
“You gotta know how a dog thinks,” said Rosa, 39. “You gotta make the dog understand what needs to be done. You can’t confuse them. So everything we’re teaching is in steps.”
Rosa offers individual training sessions and group classes at his business, Customize K-9 on Highway 557, which opened about four months ago. He’s familiar with bad dog behaviors.
“Pulling on a leash, jumping, peeing in the house, digging, chewing, biting — just all of your bad behaviors,” Rosa said.
He said he teaches dogs to sit, stay and come to their owners. And he also teaches the owners.
“I can change it, but it’s not really up to me,” he said. “It’s up to the people who live with the dog. I can only tell them how to correct it, but if they don’t work with the dog, it’s never going to be corrected.”
When he begins working with a client, Rosa said, he starts working with the dog, and then teaches the owner how to work with his or her dog. He recommends short sessions, no more than 10 minutes each. Repetition is important.
“Everything we’re teaching is in steps,” he said. “We take it step by step, and there’s lots of repetition, because that’s how dogs learn.”
Rosa said he got his first dog, a Rottweiler, when he was living in Long Island, N.Y. He hired a dog trainer and “thought it was a pretty cool job,” so he began learning how to train dogs. He then completed an apprenticeship with a dog training facility and worked for several years in the Long Island area.
He has been working in the Carolinas for about seven years, mostly offering in-home obedience training for dogs and their owners. He also has trained and sold police dogs to area law enforcement agencies departments.
Rosa said training dogs takes a lot of patience. However, he also said dog owners need to have enough patience and motivation to work with their dog.
“A lot of people let their dogs walk all over them,” he said.
Rosa said some breeds, and even some dogs, are easier to work with and learn faster than others. German shepherds tend to be the smartest dogs, he said.
“Some dogs are easier to train,” he said. “Every dog has their own personality. Some dogs I have no problem with, and some take a little more time.”
Want to know more?
Customize K-9, a dog training facility owned by Anthony Rosa, is located at 1849 Hwy. 557, Clover. Hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday. The facility offers individual sessions and group classes. For more information, call 704-890-3580 or visit customizedk-9.com.