ABC Dog Obedience Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month – June 2013
ABC student David Mier is actively volunteering and offering his training assistance with the Toronto Humane Society, as well as pursuing his RVT (Registered Veterinary Technician) license. Although he has immersed himself in the dog training world, he hasn’t always been involved with it. It wasn’t until 2011when realized that working with dogs was what he really wanted to do with his life. After enrolling in ABC and becoming involved with the Toronto Humane Society, he realized the good that can come from assisting with the basic training of the shelter dogs. He plans to continue doing so to get more experience dealing with shelter and/or behaviorally troubled dogs.
- Where do you live and train now?
I live and train in Toronto, Ontario, and used to work for the Ontario provincial government doing title searching and mapping of the province’s land records (world’s largest automation project).
- What did you do before you became a trainer and what prompted you to become a dog trainer?
Once the project was completed in early 2011, I was part of a group that was laid-off, however, we received a good severance package. So, I flew off to Norway to go hiking and think about what I wanted to do with my life. While sitting at the top of a waterfall in the Norwegian fjords, I decided I wanted to work with and toward something I love. I was also thinking how my Akita, Lola, would have loved to be on that hike with me. I then decided I wanted to work with dogs and animals, and remembered how so many people always commented on how well-behaved my 100-lb. Akita was. It then dawned on me that the dog world came naturally to me and that this is what I really wanted to do with my life.
- How long have you been training? Do you specialize in particular type of training or in training a particular breed of dog?
I currently am doing basic obedience or “good manner” training, but I also take on cases with extreme behavioral problems, such as aggression, hyperactive behavior, etc. I do prefer to work with large and powerful breeds, such as Akitas, shepherds, etc., as they are often prejudged and misunderstood when they have the potential to be such big and friendly family members or sidekicks.
- What was your experience like in the ABC Dog Obedience Program?
My experience in the dog obedience program has been very rewarding in terms of the knowledge I’ve gained and the intensity and challenge of this program. I was not expecting so many exams, especially a 26-page exam. I was thrilled when my lowest mark was an 85 and my highest was a 96 and overall I averaged 91 percent.
- Which dog breed best describes you and why?
I think the Akita breed best describes me as I am a well-built Viking-looking guy with lots of tattoos and people often misjudge me and are intimidated. However, like the Akita, I can be such a gentle giant just looking for some quality time to spend with my pack of friends and family.
By: Alex Michaels