Clint Johnson, trainer and owner of P.O.P. Dog Training, specializes in basic and advanced obedience training, and behavior modification. In 2016, he completed an apprenticeship at Dogs by Andy K-9 Services in Mooresville, NC, where he gained experience in kennel management, medication distribution, and obedience training, therapy and service dog training, search and detection training, and protection training. Since then, he has been following in his passion, training dogs of all sizes, breeds, and temperaments. He regularly volunteers at local animal rescues, and attends learning workshops and seminars to stay at the forefront of the dog training industry.
Clint has always loved dogs. At a young age, his family owned a golden retriever, Catcher, which he enjoyed the responsibility of feeding, playing with, and caring for. The year after he graduated from Kings Mountain High School, he found himself dog-sitting for a friend (now wife). Needless to say, he quickly became a full-time caretaker of Kato (pictured below) who was not your average dog.
Kato was rescued as a 5-week old puppy. He was weaned early from his mother and was the last of his litter mates to leave, which was a major contributor to the anxiety he developed as he grew older. When Kato was left at home alone, he experienced separation anxiety, and would chew and tear up everything in sight, including electronics, trash, and even the walls. On car rides, he would tremble and whine uncontrollably. When around other dogs, he would growl and bark, acting as a threat, but in reality it was because of how uncomfortable he felt. This is just a glimpse of the impact that anxiety had on Kato’s life.
Kato was well socialized as a puppy. Clint took him on regular trips to the dog park, met plenty of people around the college campus (where Clint lived at the time), and was exposed to other animals like cats, too. He knew a few basic commands and tricks, such as sit and high-five. On the surface, it seemed like he was taking all the necessary steps of raising a “good” dog, so Clint could not understand why Kato had such tremendous anxiety. He even had trainers that told him there was no hope for Kato.
At a loss for how to help, Clint began research of his own. Learning all he could online from some of the best trainers in the world was the spark of Clint’s passion to becoming a dog trainer himself. After countless hours to putting in work with Kato, remaining patient and consistent, he and Kato have learned how to manage his anxiety. Although the anxiety will never be completely gone, learning how to manage it has helped Kato attain a sense of peace. He can now go anywhere and enjoy his life, as every dog should.
Now, Clint strives to help other owners who may be struggling with their dog as well. “So many dogs are given away to animal shelters or caged in the backyard, because their owners have given up on them. My passion is to help save these dogs by showing them and their owners how to communicate together to create a relationship built on trust and understanding,” said Clint. If you are struggling with behavioral problems, or just want to have a more relaxed time with your dog, schedule a free consultation today! Clint can help you learn what it takes for your dog to reach their full potential to be the companion you have always wanted.