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Donald McCaig

Dog Man

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Dear Doggers,

Some years ago I gave a sheepdog training demo at a pet dog trainers conference outside Austin Texas where I met Dick Russell, a near legendary trainer from Baton ROuge. Dick was charismatic, unusually skilled at training owners and over his career he helped to train some 30,000 dogs. He used treats and praise and ecollars but is known best for "Open Field Socialization" where timid, shy, dog aggressive, dog fearful dogs learned very quickly how to get along with each other. Dick was generous with his time and money, telling owners who couldn't pay his fees to "pay what you can and send me a check when you have a little more money." His Saturday morning open fields on his five acre farm were open to anyone. Free.

 

I knew him, liked him and was sorry to learn he'd passed away. A couple years a go, filmmakers invited me to contribute to fund a film about Dick and (to my surprise) I got a backer's DVD yesterday. Although Dogman is in the New Orleans Film Festival its probably safe from the academy awards but it is a fascinating portrait of a"natural" training dogs with affection, humor and grace.

Trailer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39j1gkDMvbw.

 

Donald McCaig

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