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Exploring Life & Business with Rose and RJ Kenney and Hebner of Calm on Command K9

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rose and RJ Kenney and Hebner. Them and their team share their story with us below:

Rj’s training journey began over a decade ago, helping rescues and fosters train dogs with severe behavioral problems. The more he worked with those dogs, the more he grew a special place in his heart for the hopeless cases that were continually returned or could not be homed because of undesirable behaviors. Those dogs became his primary focus and inspired him to start his own training business. Rj’s training business quickly became recognized as one of Arizona’s top dog training businesses, and he was voted top trainer in Pheonix in 2018 and 2019. Longing for the ocean and the seasons, Rj decided to sell his business in Pheonix and bring his love of training to his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. Rosie began training dogs nine years ago while living in Thailand. She had a large pack of street dogs she cared for and spent all her free time with. She was struck by their ability to trust and love after facing a lifetime of hardship living on the streets. She took the dogs into her home, trained them, then found them the perfect forever homes. Eager to learn more about how she could help underdogs like her pack, she spent three months volunteering with the Soi Dog Foundation.

This rescue specializes in the rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption of street animals. She spent her days walking dogs, teaching them basic obedience, and helping them build their confidence. She learned valuable lessons from each dog and found her true passion for rehabilitation. Upon returning to the USA, Rosie started her dog hiking business, taking dogs on confidence-building adventures and teaching them off-leash obedience. She served as Co-director and Adoption Coordinator for two years. During that time, she began working with Cartagena Paws. She oversaw countless adoptions, flew animals all over the country to their forever homes, and supported adopters with training support while their dogs adjusted to a home environment. Fast forward several years to when we met upon first meeting, we quickly realized that our paths crossed for a reason. Our shared love for the dogs and their people and our determination to help them live their best lives inspired us to start Calm On Command K9. We are a boutique training business offering board, train, and private lessons. Each person and dog we work with becomes part of our family, so we offer lifelong support, and biweekly pack walks in Patterson Park for people who have trained with us. We are currently starting a non-profit that will allow us to help even more dogs and people in the Baltimore area. We will raise funds to train dogs that are currently unhomeable due to behavioral issues and offer training programs for low-income families who cannot afford training. Dogs are family members, and our mission is to keep families together. Nobody should have to give their dog away just because they can’t afford to get the help they need.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There have been some struggles along the way. When we first decided to start Calm on Command K9, we lived on a sailboat because the housing market was out of control, and we kept getting outbid by other buyers. Our primary offering is board and train, which took a lot of work to offer while living on the boat. We ended up redesigning the inside of the boat so we could take on one board and train the dog. We did more private lessons and even started offering day train programs at our client’s homes. We had to drive more than we were able to train, making it stressful and unsustainable. Luckily, our luck changed after many months, and we found the perfect place.

As you know, we’re big fans of Calm on Command K9. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about the brand?
We are a boutique dog training business that offers board and train and private lessons. We specialize in rehabilitating problem behaviors such as jumping, excessive barking, leash pulling, reactivity on leash, severe fear, resource guarding, separation anxiety, human aggression, and dog-on-dog aggression. What separates us from other trainers is our approach to training. We believe in a holistic approach focusing on clear communication and believable leadership. Our relationship-building approach instructs the dog to be mindful and aware of its choices. By showing the dog how to have a new kind of relationship with their human and by showing the human what their dog is capable of, we cut through the uncertainty and confusion to instill understanding and confidence in the human/canine relationship. The result is a state of mind transformation. We are most proud of the relationships that we build with our clients. We strive to do all we can to ensure that the dogs and people we work with always feel supported and cared for.

Risk-taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
We are both risk-takers. We must always be open to pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones, being open to new possibilities, and not being afraid to take a leap of faith when the opportunity arises. We can never honestly know the trajectory of our lives; there is so much beauty in that unknown. If we never take chances, we’ll never know what’s possible. You risk underachieving if you don’t take risks.

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