Bridge Citys Dog Whisperer
Christie Hale may be Bridge City’s answer to the Dog Whisperer.
Hale is a third generation dog trainer. Her grandfather trained Rhodesian ridgebacks. Her father, Edward Morgan trains beagles for beagling and showing.
Hale’s breed of choice is the German shepherd with German bloodlines. She prefers the heavier build and the rougher appearance of the German dogs as opposed to the sleeker American German shepherd bloodlines.
“For my purpose I find the German dogs are more suitable,” she said.
Hale is a member of the Good Shepherd Schutzund Club of Houston. She goes there to receive training herself in Schutzund and to work with and compete with her dogs.
Eros von Windtanz, or Eros, is the dog that has received the most Schutzund training and competes in Schutzund.
Schutzund is a competition that started in Germany in 1901 to emphasize the correct working temperament and ability of the dogs. The program started in the United States in 1970. It consists of three parts.
The first part is tracking. Tracking tests the dog’s trainability and the ability to follow a scent as well as its mental and physical endurance.
The second part, obedience, tests the dog’s temperament, structural efficiencies and the willingness to serve man or woman.
Protection is the third part and tests the dog’s courage, physical strength and agility. Protection tests assure that the dog is neither a coward nor a criminal menace.
Hale has two other dogs, Harmony, that is more of a show dog, and Diva, a puppy that will be trained for both working competition and shows.
Putting a lifetime of experience into practice, Hale has started “Tail Tamers Dog Obedience Academy.” She schedules general obedience classes for all breeds. Her training is done in short sessions.
“I believe that the training should be a fun experience for both the dog and the owner. Classes last for six weeks but the actual training goes on for the lifetime of the dog,” Hale said. “The training sessions get the owner started, but then the owner needs to always keep reinforcing the training of the dog in everyday activities.”
Some dogs are easy to train and some are more difficult, she said.
She believes this has more to do with the individual dog than with the breed. “The ability to train a dog has a lot to do with the trainer’s reaction to the breed of a dog,” Hale said. “People need to recognize that dogs are very social animals and need interaction with people and other dogs. Ninety percent of a dog’s actions and reactions come from genetics and ten percent comes from owner input.” “Protective breeds need to be trained to be protective and control that instinct. They do not need to be left on their own with the instinct uncontrolled. That is when trouble can occur.” Hale said.
Hale will train temperamental dogs but requires a special commitment from the owner because of the possibility of danger in some cases.
Sessions may be scheduled from the puppy stage to adult dogs by contacting Christie Hale at 474-0505 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visit the website for Tail Tamers at www.tailtamers.com for additional information and also for links to other sites about German shepherds.