A Vermilion Parish family plans the grand opening of their business next weekend.
Louisiana Working Dogs is located in Abbeville, and offers all sorts of training for all sorts of dogs. If you have a new puppy or just adopted a dog, it's good for the dog - and the owner - to learn the basics. But they also offer training and board & train programs for working dogs, like guard training or K9 training.
Quentin and Allison Blanchard are planning a celebration at the facility at 9505 North Road on Saturday, June 26. There will be music, games, raffles, a water slide and water balloon dodge ball game for kids, plus evaluations for dogs. Advance registration is $15, tickets at the door are $20.
"If you think your dog needs basic obedience, or if you're interested in guard dog or protection work, bring your dog here, we can evaluate your dog," Quentin Blanchard says.
All dogs must be leashed. If you have an aggressive dog, you can let them know when you arrive so they can take care of your evaluation right away, he says.
The raffles will include Yeti products like cups and ice chests, and the event is designed for families, says Allison Blanchard. There also will be some K9 demonstrations, so folks can see what their training produces. To sign up for get more info, visit the Facebook page or the website.
LWD is a business, but making money is not the focus, Quentin Blanchard says.
"Our job here is to secure each dog's future in their forever home, and that starts with not just training a dog," he says. "That's simple, we can do that in our sleep, you know sit and stay is easy."
Dogs need structure to be comfortable and secure, he explains.
"Being able to have a dog adapt to your family, be able to stay with you guys for their entire life, not only is it good for the family, but its good for the dog so he doesn't end up in rescue," he says. "A lot of people see dog training as a way for us to make money. But that's not what we're here for. We're tired of seeing dogs at rescues and shelters, being tossed aside. What we want to be able to do is offer these things to people."
Although the business offers training for working dogs, there also are options for folks who just want to learn how to manage their dogs, he says. If a dog is aggressive or reactive, but the owner doesn't know how to handle that, you can't fix the problem, he said. If your child was aggressive and acting out, you wouldn't lock them in a room alone and expect them to come out a different person - but that's sometimes what people do with dogs they don't know how to handle, he says. And those are the dogs that often end up in rescues.
Blanchard said they hope to start a rescue for dogs like Belgian Malinois and German Shepherds who "go through rescues like nobody's business" because owners aren't educated in how to handle the breeds.
"We're going to start a rescue where we can take them in, rehab them, and then donate them to people, Veterans, to secure that dog's future in a home, rather than being euthanized," Blanchard said.
The business also plans to work with local rescues to help rehab dogs with training that will make them more likely to be successfully adopted, he said.
The new business offers working, K-9, and puppy and off-leash dog training in Abbeville, but also offers private classes in Abbeville and Lafayette.