Owasso Trainer is Miracle Worker With Problem Pets

By MARIA JONES
Assistant Editor

Brenda Hughes and Della

HEEL DELLA: Hughes demonstrates obedience training with her golden retriever Della.

Maria Jones for GTR Newspapers


What do you do with dog that won’t listen, tears up things and bites? Bring it to Brenda Hughes, a successful dog trainer with an excellent reputation, who makes valuable family members of dogs who were doomed.

Hughes gets teary eyed when she tries to talk about the dogs she has saved from being put down because of aggression or behavioral problems. She says it is a God-given gift and is thankful for it.

Her love affair with dogs began at an early age when she was entertained by a family pet that did tricks for her when she was alone in her crib. Then at the age of eight, she was amazed by a dog who was obedience trained. Hughes went to the library, got a book and started working with her own dog. She has been training dogs ever since.

Her training came from reading books, attending college classes, and from conferences and seminars on animal behavior and training methods. She used the knowledge to develope her own method, which is so successful that she gets results after one visit.
I don’t know anyone who gets the results that I get,” says Hughes. “I do all sorts of training from your basic obedience to behavioral problems to aggression problems. I don’t take large aggressive dogs anymore because of physical limitations, but I do all size obedience training.”

According to Hughes, many people are under the misconception that a dog must be six months old before it can be trained.
“Dogs can be trained at any age as long as they are in good health,” says Hughes, “but it’s so much easier when you start out with a puppy. By the time these giant breeds are six months old, it’s hard to do anything with them.”

Hughes owns a three-month-old puppy that she has been training. The Puppy is already obedient to her commands, does several tricks and takes a bow.

“Many people purchase puppies and bring them directly to me to be obedience trained,” says Hughes. “I have fifth and sixth generation referrals from people who have trained with me.”
With the drop off service, the animals are trained for two weeks in her home. After the animal is trained, Hughes works with the owners. She shows them how to reinforce what she has taught and gives them a videotape of her working with their dog, a set of instructions to read and encourages them to return for further handling lessons if they feel the need.

With classes and private lessons, they also get the instruction hand out and she encourages them to call her if they don’t get the answers they are looking for in the hand out.

“It’s very important to me that my clients are satisfied,” she says.
One dog she trained, Hughes says, was very aggressive. The couple bought a puppy that was destructive, intimidated the other dogs and bit anyone who tried to touch its feet or stomach. They brought it to Dr. Gregory Strathe of Strathe Veterinary Hospital, and the dog bit him and his assistants. The couple was ready to have the dog put down but decided to let Hughes work with it. Within a week the dog was docile and would let anyone touch him anywhere, but Hughes kept the dog the entire two weeks. He became one of the couple’s most beloved pets. Dr. Strathe was so impressed when he saw the dog again he called Hughes and brought his own dog, which had a behavioral problem, to be trained.

Dr. J. C. Bryson, Dr. Bryan Spriggs, and Dr. Chris Kelly of the Owasso Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Damon Smith of Ator Heights Animal Hospital, Dr. Strathe, some pet stores and some veterinarians in Oolagah, Claremore, Tulsa and Bixby who have seen her results in the animals they care for now refer other clients to Hughes.

“My clients are of the utmost importance to me,” says Hughes. “Number one, if you ask me to help with your dog, it’s really important to me that you get what you want from my service, and number two, I wouldn’t have a business if I didn’t deliver.”

According to Hughes, not all dog training is the same. She recommends that people get references before entrusting their pets to a trainer.

“That’s one thing people say when they call me,” Hughes proudly explains. “They have checked me out and I have an excellent reputation.”

Hughes has booth No. 824 at the 2005 Home Show Mar. 10–13 and will be available for inquires.

For more information and pictures of clients and their pets, log on to traink9.com or call Hughes at 918-274-8774.

Updated 02-25-2005

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