This year’s Memphis Pet Expo allowed Tukabear Treats the opportunity to connect with other Memphis animal lovers and pawtner businesses. Jacque BoNéy with Barking Pals Consulting was one of them. Jacque is an expert dog trainer with over 20 years of experience. We are excited to share this Q & A we recently had with him!
1. What is the secret to your success with pets and how have you gotten to where you are today?
I’m not sure if it’s a secret, but dogs have literally been a part of my existence since day one. I often joke about how my 1st word as a baby, probably was “dog.” My father trained for 40+ years in the Mid-South, and I can appreciate that he never forced me to follow in his steps, which has enabled me to evolve naturally as the trainer, while genuinely loving the art of dog training. In addition adapting to and embracing new methods of training, while retaining the fundamentals, has enabled me to remain relevant, while also enhancing my “arsenal” of offerings so to speak.
2. What is it about dogs that you love?
This is hard, as there are so many things that I love about dogs. But loyalty comes to mind. Dogs look past the bad day you may have had, or the lessened attention that they may have gotten from you a week ago, still showing unwavering admiration for you as their “two legged” leader. When a proper pack order has been established, they trust you in an unwavering manner, so much so that they’ll exhaust every ounce of energy to please you, be it in training such as obedience, or in protecting.
3. What are a couple of the toughest bad habits or behaviors to re-train and can you tell us why?
As humans, we operate under what can be considered as a primal structure, whereas dogs are pack animals. We don’t understand how packs operate or how pack alphas are created. So we interpret puppies demanding attention as acceptable, small dogs nipping & showing aggression as cute, and dogs jumping on furniture as the norm. The problem is that when those behaviors become more severe, such as that dog on the furniture growling when you instruct him to get off, or that cute pup which is now a dog, snapping at you when he doesn’t get the attention he demands, we are at a loss as to how what was seemingly harmless has become detrimental to our family. We’ve allowed that dog to take an alpha role, inadvertently.
So the most difficult factor in training or re-training isn’t necessary specific to the dog, it’s more so training the humans how to understand and respond to pack behavior, establishing an alpha role and retaining order within the home.
4. I’m sure training dogs of all sizes you’ve had a number of laughable situations. What has been the most memorable?
My most memorable experience would have to be training a miniature poodle to do personal protection work. Typically, bite work and personal protection are dominated by dogs in the working and sometimes herding groups, but to train a miniature poodle to excel in a working dog sport, one that stays groomed with the “poodle show cut,” was absolutely amusing, to myself and other clients who trained in my working dog class. Yes, she was cute, and looked dainty, but she had plenty of attitude, and could back up her bark with a bite!
5. What is exciting and new in dog training? Where do you see the pet training industry going?
This may sound cliché, but dogs are extremely intelligent. The factor that I am most exited about extends beyond the obedience, protection, agility, & conformation realms. Yes we’re used to hounds tracking scents, German Shepherds & Belgian Malinois sniffing out narcotics or explosives, but we’re moving into a reality where dogs are able to do certain jobs in 10 minutes, that once took detectives hours, if not days. Dogs are now being trained to sniff out electronic devices used in cyber crimes based on certain chemicals, human and other animal diseases at a speed & proficiency over and beyond traditional medical procedures, and water pollution. So from my perspective, I’m anticipating the profound new discovery that dogs will be credited with, all from motivation, focus, and great training and / or trainers!
6. Do you practice reward-based training? If so, what kind of training treat would you recommend for your dog?
Yes, reward based training is one method that I utilize as teach in our obedience training program. In previous instances, Zukes natural training treats were my “go to” for reward based training. However, upon using Tukabear free range freeze-dried Chicken Treats
, they quickly became a crowd favorite amongst my pack and some of my clients!
7. How can people find out more about you and your business?
Jacque BoNéy, Barking Pals Consulting