One Hyde Park native started a career as a pro-golfer. Now, instead of talking about Dog leg lefts, he's training dogs in a business Made in Vermont.
Dog is man's best friend, but sometimes it's the other way around. In this case, man is Ian Grant, and when his friends are in need, he's a friend indeed. "It's so rewarding knowing that you're making the difference in that dog's life," Grant said.
Grant grew up with dogs in Hyde Park, but while living in Florida about 11 years ago, he came across a TV show with the 'Dog Whisperer,' Cesar Milan. "He cornered a German Shepherd in an alley and I thought this guy was completely nuts," Grant said.
He was hooked. A couple of months later Grant met his future wife and his very first client, Lula. "She was a mess," Grant said. But since his sign from Cesar, Grant had been studying dog behavior, and he eventually trained Lula. The three moved back to Lamoille County and Grant opened Vermont Dog Boarding and Behavior out of their home. "This whole place is her fault."
He opened the facility in Hyde Park in 2013. "I graduated from Lamoille, less than a mile away, and here I am creating a business that close to there -- it's a pretty cool feeling," he said.
"Ian's taught me so much about dogs, dog behavior, how to deal with clients. It's amazing what he's done for all of us here," said Serena Russell, who works with Grant. "There's a lot of days that we see dogs come in here over stimulated."
Grant and Russell host Facebook Live shows a couple of times a week where anyone can ask questions. But while there's verbal communication going on between owners and trainers, you'll notice not a word is spoken between trainer and dog. That's because Grant uses a pressure and release technique. "As she sits, I release the pressure," he explained. "You can't interview a dog to see how they're doing, or how they're feeling."
Reporter Scott Fleishman: Nike, What's the best part about being here?
Ian Grant: They communicate through body language.
Reporter Scott Fleishman: Clearly doesn't like reporters.
"A lot of the tools he uses are himself and the actions with the dogs, not just specifically a command which is really fascinating to me," said Sara Farley, who brings her dog to Grant.
"This is my classroom, and I'm in it every single day. I love to see dogs progress, without having a conversation with them," Grant said.
The dogs at Vermont Boarding and Behavior can't tell Ian Grant how much he means to them, but they don't have to -- Friends just know.
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