With 13,000 square feet of space for training, grooming, daycare and overnight boarding services, the new Tecla’s K-9 Academy in Elkridge boasts two spacious main training rooms, a separate boarding kennel area, puppy room, and grooming room for its four-legged guests. The new building located on Dorsey Run Road is four times as large as its Ellicott City location, which had already been seeing a few hundred dogs a week. As Baltimore residents continue to deal with continued concerns of dog bites and other aggressive behaviors, this state-of-the-art dog training facility could not have come at a better time.
Owner and founder Tecla Walton, CPDT-KA, who has 14 years of experience as a professional dog trainer and is Pack to Basics Certified, works with puppies as young as 10-weeks-old up to dogs in their senior years. Having trained a 9-year-old Husky to walk on a leash, she has found there are very few cases in which an old dog can’t be taught new tricks, and has had success training even the most difficult dogs – the ones that other trainers turn away.
Labeled a “trouble dog” and “impossible to train”, Greenbean was one such dog that was about to be euthanized before Tecla’s K-9 Academy adopted him as a foster dog. Now he resides at the new Elkridge training facility and is even responding positively to training. Walton explains that it all has to do with her training techniques, which combines operant conditioning with motivational and traditional training methods to achieve obedience.
“We are trying to train thinking dogs instead of reactive dogs. As one of my mentors, Chad Mackin, says, 'A trained dog is one that can be trusted at liberty to make the right decisions,'” says Walton. “Our goal is a confident, happy dog that understands boundaries.”
To help accomplish this, every detail and feature of the facility has been selected with extreme care and attention to a dog’s safety, health, and even emotional needs. For example, puppies have their own “puppy room” to socialize and interact with dogs of the same age. One of the training room comes equipped with specially ordered agility mats in order to provide for the safety of the academy's competitive obedience and agility clients. Epoxy floors throughout the facility will offer the perfect amount of traction to prevent “adrenaline play” and promote a better play style, as well as ensure optimal sanitary conditions to maintain the dog's health. Additionally, mirrors were added in the training area so that trainers can better see the dog’s form and behavior to make adjustments. Another added value for canines is the sound system installed that plays classical or easy listening music, which can be split between rooms to sync with different exercises.
Due to the facility’s close proximity to the BWI airport, overnight boarding will be a key service for traveling customers, so the kennel room has been built with separate temperature controls in addition to alarm notifications. The kennels are specially designed with safety latches so that even the smartest dogs can’t escape, although owners can rest assured though dogs are allowed to socialize and play from 9am to 5pm and not kept crated all day. Moreover, each dog is allotted a personal bin to keep favorite treats, collars or leashes during the stay.
Dog owners and leashed, vaccinated dogs that are interested in checking out the facility are invited to attend the grand opening party set for August 2nd, which will include door prizes and free food. New customers may also be interested in current doggie day care and boarding deals. For more details on Tecla’s K-9 Academy dog training classes and other services, visit www.teclask9academy.com.