Eric Stokell

Eric Stokell

Owner/Trainer

Follow the Leader K9 began when I  rescued a dog named, Kaya, from her owner who was going to euthanize her for extreme aggression.  I took her sight unseen, but when she arrived I too became aware that this would be an extremely difficult dog to rehabilitate and eventually re-home.  I went online and one by one called every dog trainer in town.  Needless to say, I was unable to find the help that I needed.  I could not even find a trainer who could get a muzzle onto Kaya, let alone train her.  What I found was trainers that gave me 100% impractical advice, told me to kill the dog, told me things I already knew, or failed with Kaya and then told me I could not succeed either.  I was blown away that no matter what I was willing to spend, I was really left feeling like the only one who could rehabilitate this dog was myself.   I was also surprised to find that the more I learned, the more I realized I already knew.  So I built upon the dog training knowledge I had and began to study with some of the top canine rehabilitation specialists in the country.   The more I worked to rehabilitate Kaya and get her to coexist with my other two dogs, the more I realized how many people were out there struggling just like me.  I also realized how many dogs there were that were going to be killed, simply because nobody had ever trained them.  I began to go to high kill shelters and rescue these dogs that someone loved, but never trained, and eventually decided to give up on.  The truth is, no matter how much someone loves a dog, it is still a dog.  Unless we are able to communicate with them in a way they understand, we will always struggle.  If you love them, lead them.  Don't blame them, train them.  Together, we can get you and your dog to a clear place of understanding, and allow you to include them in your life as much as possible.