2015 National Dog Trainer of the Year Finalists named

2015 National Dog Trainer of the Year Finalists

Jackie Dougall, Jeremy Joseph Brown, Jim Crosby, Barbara Henry, Lori Peper-Rucks, Karen Rude

MILLTOWN, WI – It takes a special kind of person to be a dog trainer. In most cases these trainers must not only be able to understand the animal’s behavior, but also how to work with its owner to ensure the training sticks. In the process, many dog trainers build a bond with both the animal and its owner that will leave a lasting impact on both. Greatmats wishes to honor these trainers that make a positive influence on the lives of dogs, owners and their communities, which is why it created the National Dance Instructor of the Year Contest. This contest recognizes dog trainers with integrity, outstanding customer service and quality training methods. Dog trainers have been nominated for this award by their clients, peers and community members based on these traits, and six finalists have been named, representing four states, for the 2015 National Dog Trainer of the Year Award.

Your finalists are:

(Name, training facility, city, state)

Jackie Dougall, Jackie’s Wag N’ Train, Hudson, Florida

Jeremy Joseph Brown, The Complete Canine, Tucson, AZ

Jim Crosby, Canine Aggression, Jacksonville, Florida

Barbara Henry, Domino Service Dogs, Lakewood, Colorado

Lori Peper-Rucks, Sunshine Kennels & Search & Rescue/Therapy/Service/Police K-9, Luck, WI

Karen Rude, Rude Dog U, Eau Claire, WI

Voting is taking place on Greatmats’ Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Greatmats/) now through Nov. 30, 2015 and the winner will be announced Jan. 4, 2016. The National Dog Trainer of the Year Contest is one of four simultaneous contests honoring instructors and trainers from various industries for their commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of their students, clients and community.

Greatmats is a national dog and specialty flooring industry leader based in Milltown, Wisconsin, since 1999. Identified as one of the top 3,000 fastest growing companies in the USA three times since 2008, Greatmats has earned an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and 9.5 TrustPilot rating through its Golden Rule customer service practices. Greatmats gives back to its local community by donating 5% of its annual profits to local non-profit organizations. It also supports green initiatives through the use of solar energy at its Wisconsin headquarters and by offering a large variety of products made from recycled and renewable resources.

Neuman K-9 Academy uses its climate controlled training facility to ensure its clients have optimal comfort and safety during the training process.

K-9 Academy beats Mother Nature with patio tiles and foam mats

Neuman K-9 Academy uses its climate controlled training facility to ensure its clients have optimal comfort and safety during the training process.

Neuman K-9 Academy uses its climate controlled training facility to ensure its clients have optimal comfort and safety during the training process.

By Brett Hart

Fighting the elements isn’t always the easiest thing to do in Minnesota. That’s why Josiah Neuman, owner and training director of the nation’s leading dog boot camp, designed a premiere 3,600 square foot climate-controlled all-weather training area when he moved his 20-acre St. Peter training facility, Neuman K-9 Academy, onto 10 acres of pristine wilderness in Hugo, Minn., in late 2011.

“I’ve been training dogs professionally since 2007 (when he became a Certified Master Trainer),” Josiah said. “We’ve had about 1,000 dogs go through the course. Dogs come from all over. This year, we’ve had dogs return to their owners in Switzerland, Brazil and Canada (as well as all over the U.S.). We get them from all over the place specifically for the boot camp.”

At the time of the move, the new property had a pole shed in disrepair, which Josiah and his staff envisioned as the location of the indoor training area.

“Clients want their dogs to have first class accommodations,” Josiah said. “We do train outside as well, but it’s nice to have an atmosphere like this where you can walk in and focus on the dog and training and not the elements.”

After several months of intense restoration and remodeling work, the final hurdle of the project was selecting a durable floor that would stay dry while also providing a safe and comfortable surface for dogs.

“We were really going back and forth on how to treat the concrete floors previous to installing any sort of flooring, because we knew it (the concrete) would sweat,” Josiah said. “We put a lot of time and effort into researching different flooring options. It was import to us to have space that is climate controlled.”

Neuman K-9 Academy uses Greatmats patio outdoor tile as subfloor underneath its foam dog agility mats to ensure no moisture will get trapped under its soft and safe training flooring.

Neuman K-9 Academy uses Greatmats patio outdoor tile as subfloor underneath its foam dog agility mats to ensure no moisture will get trapped under its soft and safe training flooring.

In July of 2012, the staff at Neuman K-9 Academy decided blaze a new trail in K-9 flooring with an alternative use for Patio Outdoor Tiles they found on a website called Greatmats.com. The Patio Outdoor Tiles, designed for use in wet areas, would serve as a subfloor underneath waterproof interlocking dog agility mats also found at Greatmats.com. Waterproof and slip resistant, the patio tiles are designed to allow water to drain through them and are elevated, permitting air to flow underneath the flooring.

“We put down the PVC as a subfloor because… we didn’t want the moisture to be trapped underneath,” Josiah said. “It just made more sense to use a product like the PVC floor that would be designed for getting wet, airflow, things like that.”

Summer Duggan, the assistant training director at Neuman K-9 Academy, added, “It’s a firm material, but I think it even adds an extra layer of support and cushioning – as opposed to just having the mats flat on concrete.”

The idea for interlocking dog agility mats as the top surface of the floating floor came upon recommendation of other friends in the professional dog training industry. One training facility in western Wisconsin used these same kind of interlocking dog agility mats, and Josiah was particularly impressed by their performance.

“They’ve had them for a long time,” Josiah said, noting that they’ve beaten up the mats and they’re still holding up really well.

“We do sport dogs,” Josiah said. “We do bite work. So we’ll literally have a dog back tied – agitation; they’re gripping; they’re clawing; they’re pulling. These go through a lot of abuse. One of the biggest considerations with the type of flooring we were going to go with was not only… Is it comfortable for the dogs? Is it safe for them? And then very importantly, what’s the longevity of the product going to be like.”

Durability

The K-9 Academy uses the facility 3-4 times per week, specifically for off-leash behavior and training with up to 15 dogs at a time. After nearly 3 years, the flooring has suffered some expected cosmetic blemishes that come along with hard use and abuse. But the mats continue to perform as well as the day they were installed.

Summer said, “We work with different working breeds in different venues in addition to the obedience and the agility, and I’m very impressed with the durability of the product. It gets a lot of mileage. There are lots of dogs running around in here – lots of toenails, and its held up phenomenally well, even in the really high traffic areas.”

“So far, we haven’t replaced a single tile,” Josiah added.

Comfort and Safety

The new flooring system hasn’t disappointed in comfort or safety either.

“When we are doing jumps, we’re having dogs clear things and land hard,” Josiah said. “When you are training a sport dog to jump, typically you won’t start until they’re 12 months of age or older – sometimes even 2 years of age or older – because of their bones developing. With how soft these (tiles) are to land on, we can actually start dogs at a younger age, because it’s low impact.”

To get out of the elements at its previous location, Neuman K-9 Academy need to rent space, and the flooring systems varied greatly.

“One place had concrete pavers, which was not good,” Summer said. “There were situations sometimes where dogs would get scraped pads. Other places had a pebbly/rubbery floor – decent traction, but no shock absorption. This is the best!”

As for the water problem from sweaty concrete and foot traffic… There isn’t one.

“When people are coming in and out… if there’s snow, if it’s a rainy day… things dry up really nice,” Josiah said. “We’ve never had a problem with them.”

With this innovative flooring system, Neuman K-9 Academy is truly top dog.

View a brief video at this innovative training facility at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMevoL6mHpI

These soft and durable dog agility mats provide excellent shock absorption, making it easy on dogs' bones and joints during times of high activity levels.

These soft and durable dog agility mats provide excellent shock absorption, making it easy on dogs’ bones and joints during times of high activity levels.

Dog Agility Mats

 Dog agility is a relatively new sport with its first widely documented appearance occurring in 1978 at a dog show in the UK.  John Varley, a committee member, was given the task of entertaining the audience between obedience and conformation competitions in the main ring.  He created a sort of obstacle course based on some things he’d seen in the equestrian world as well as a few things he had seen dogs do at a fair. From there, the popularity of these obstacle courses grew and evolved into a full-fledged sport.  Today, dog agility is an international pastime with many different sanctioning organizations and competitions worldwide.

As any dog agility trainer will tell you, training canines in dog agility requires the right equipment.  At Greatmats, our foam dog agility mats are the best product available for you and your dogs.  They are made of a high-density EVA foam that is rugged and lightweight.  It provides a cushioned surface that is great for running and jumping on but is also dense enough to not be squishy or unstable.  These foam tiles are double sided and in-line reversible. They require no adhesive to install and the tight fitting, interlocking foam mats leave no tripping hazards.  Because they don’t require a glue-down installation, this foam flooring is portable so you can bring it anywhere you’d like.  Tiles are waterproof which is convenient when the weather turns bad. Each tile measures 40”x40” so they are large enough to piece your floor together quickly yet light enough to bring them with you when it’s time to relocate.
Greatmats Dog Agility Mats have a felt-top surface texture that provides excellent traction. The non-slip surface provides a safer surface for you and your animals and also an element of fatigue relief that is ergonomically better for joints and muscles than many harder surface types.  (Your knees will appreciate them as much as your dogs will.)  The tiles are lead and latex free.  Custom colors are available and these interlocking foam tiles typically ship from our warehouse in 1-3 days.
If this particular foam mat is not exactly what you need for your application, please consider one of our other foam mats. We offer a complete and comprehensive line of interlocking foam mats with some starting as low as 99 cents per square foot. Some of our foam mat products are available with free shipping.
Call Greatmats at 877-822-6622.