The Muttman Cometh
Stacy Moore: ‘All dogs need a leader’
By Carolyn Ten Broeck
Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 10:52 am (Updated: October 30, 10:52 am)
Sometimes training your dog to be obedient requires first training yourself.
Stacy Moore, the Muttman, has taken a centuries’ old method of animal obedience and honed it into something that can be applied to dogs – and their masters–everywhere.
Animal training is in Moore’s blood.
As far back as 1932, his family has been involved in the entertainment industry with animal shows. He trained his first dog, Opie, when he was six years old and has produced shows for Disneyland, Disney World, Sea World, Six Flags and Busch Gardens.
In November, Moore will host two clinics in Levy County to share his methods with dog owners.
The first will be held Saturday, Nov. 8 and Sunday, Nov. 9 at a private residence in Williston. The Saturday clinic begins at 10 a.m. and the Sunday session starts at 1 p.m. Both sessions will last about three hours. A portion of the fee will be donated to Gainesville Rabbit Rescue and The Horse Protection Association of Florida.
The second clinic will be held at the Faraway Inn on Cedar Key Nov. 15 and Nov. 16. The times of the clinics are 10 a.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. A portion of the clinic fee will be donated to Sheltering Hands.
“I’m not training dogs,” Moore said in a telephone interview last week, “I’m training people.”
Moore teaches people to access the dog’s mind by using body language and emotions.
“You have to make eye contact,” he said. “A dog looks to you as its leader.”
Moore explained what he does traces back to Europe and has been the accepted method of training for hundreds or thousands of year.
“In most dogs,” he said, “99.2 percent of the DNA is traced back to the gray wolf, a pack animal. Survival is what drives the mind of the dog and there is a leader in charge of the safety of the pack. The pack looks to the leader.
“Animals sense vibration,” Moore continued. “It’s why they can sense a storm–it’s something to do with the electro-magnetic field. They can make a read on it that humans don’t understand.
“Every emotion has a vibration. I help humans to change their body language to become the leader, and then the dog looks to the leader for approval. It’s actually about building the dog’s self esteem.”
Every dog needs a job, Moore said. They want to do something to help the pack survive. It gives them pride, which is a strong energy.
Using his methods, which are more therapy than training, he said, he can have a dog to walk on heel in 15 minutes.
When a dog is excited endorphins are released, Moore said. Endorphins are like drugs and his methods help get the dog off the drugs.
“It’s about finding the balance,” the Muttman said. “The pack leader, in this case the human, first has to own the walk.”
Next, he explained, is owning the door. The dog may bark, approach the door but then return to a predetermined area. He then must sit, be given a treat and look at the owner in the eye. Only after the leader gives permission to eat, does the dog enjoy the treat.
“If you do this,” Moore said, “the dog will start looking at you as its leader.”
Moore says he tells those contracting for his services that it will happen or they don’t pay.
“I’ve never not been paid,” he said.
Pack leaders must be calm and assertive. “There has to be structure in a dog’s life.”
The biggest problem, he said, is dogs are pulled from their mother’s care too soon.
The first year of a dog’s life is equal to a human through pre-puberty–about 12 or 13 years. Each month is a year. During that year, dogs learn the pecking order, dominance and socialization. “Imagine a child being pulled away at that age without parental guidance.”
A typical fee is $75 for one dog, one owner. Class sizes are limited to 12.
To learn more about Moore or to register for the Levy County clinics, visit http://www.themuttman.com