Emma Kesler CPDT-KA
I am one of those people who strongly believes that if you don’t try, you will never know. All of my life, I have been interested in and passionate about the bonds humans share with other creatures. I grew up in Oregon in a family of non-dog-people… You know, the kind of people who react to an oncoming dog as if a dinosaur is approaching? As a little girl, I begged my parents for a dog, but, it wasn’t until I took care of a lost dog we found while hiking that my parents realized I was serious about my interest. After that, my parents got me a puppy, and I was the rare kid who actually took care of my dog! Cinnamon and I were inseparable. Two nights a week, my hard-working dad shuttled us an hour away from home to obedience classes and Dog 4-H. To this day, my dad often hops on a plane to support Miles and I at big competitions. Since 2014, I have held the industry standard dog training designation of Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). I am additionally an avid freelance photographer, illustrator, and writer. milesandemma.com has won Dog Writer’s Association of America Maxwell Medallion awards for all three of these areas. My heroes are Frederick Douglass and Temple Grandin. My favorite pastimes are learning about and thinking about behavior, dog agility, hiking, my 1989 MR2, sarcasm and good tv. I live in the PNW and love the mountains, forests, and even the rain!
Miles is a full-o’-beans Welsh Terrier, named after the musician Miles Davis. Miles is a very true-to-breed Welsh Terrier, a 10/10 on my “full strength terrier” scale. He is hard-wired to chase anything that moves, his teeth are enormous, and he is always looking for action. Less than a week into being placed with me at Miles’ first veterinary check-up, the vet told me that Miles was behaviorally damaged and needed to see the best local private dog trainer. Private training and many group classes later, I was repeatedly told the same thing: that Miles was too difficult to train. Trainers who claimed to use force-free methods quickly became exasperated with Miles’ natural terrier behaviors and reverted to old-school methods of force and intimidation, which only made Miles’ behaviors worse. At the time, I had just completed my BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design and was gearing up to pursue my career. I dropped everything to figure out how to help Miles. I was convinced that his behaviors were natural, untrained, and misunderstood. I realized there was a gap in dog training, and if I wanted to make change, I had to be that change. I began this blog to document our training journey. I ended up realizing that I was a natural at working with “full-strength terriers,” and my entire life changed. I began coaching others, and Miles and I became an unstoppable team. Miles is now the most awarded performance Welsh Terrier of all time. I am so glad I listened to Miles, and never listened to the people who suggested I shut down his spirit. Miles has changed my life.
Miles’ Official Name With Titles:
PACH ATChC IACS IWACS Shaireab’s Your Under Arrest CGN, CGCA, CGCU, ADC, SGDC, NAP, NJP, NFP, AADC, AGDC, OAP, OJP, OFP, MADC, MGDC, MSDC, MJDC, MTRDC, MSDC, MSCDC, MCDC, MXP, MJP, MFP, T2BP, T2B2, Expert Standard Bronze, Expert Gamble Bronze, Expert Jumpers Bronze, Expert Snooker Bronze, Expert Challenge Bronze, Expert Team Relay Bronze, Expert Steeplechase Bronze, Bronze Award of Merit, Versatility Bronze, Expert Standard Silver, Expert Gamble Silver, Expert Jumpers Silver, Expert Snooker Silver, Expert Team Relay Silver, Expert Steeplechase Silver, Silver Award of Merit, Versatility Silver, Expert Standard Gold, Expert Gamble Gold, Expert Jumpers Gold, Expert Snooker Gold, Gold Award of Merit, MXP2, MXP3, MXPB, MJP2, MJP3, MJP4, MJPB, MFPB, TQXP, T2BP2, PAX, TKN, TKI, TKA, TKP, NTD, ITD, ATD, ETD, TDCH, Lifetime Achievement Award
Why a Dog Blog?
People bring pets into their lives so they can find some relief and companionship in this world. Often and without even realizing it, we end up placing enormous expectations on the animals we bring into our lives. In their role as dedicated human companions, dogs are especially subject to our wants and desires. For centuries, dogs were primarily bred to fulfill important working roles, such as herding, guarding, hunting, and pest control. Only a select portion of dogs have been bred specifically to be human companions. For many breeds, the very ingrained working traits that we bred them for can conflict with companion pet life, if aren’t aware of how to work with them. Sometimes what is supposed to be a leisurely life together becomes a struggle. A Welsh Terrier like Miles isn’t born knowing what people want. Terriers are considered “naughty dogs who don’t listen.” On this blog, I’d like to show that if you take the time to try and understand your dog, and work with the dog you’ve chosen, you can accomplish a great deal. After all, the beauty of the human/canine bond lies in our differences, and the ways we find to communicate with each other across these differences. Dogs allow us to relish the sloppiness and imperfection that is life with pride and gusto. And that is why we love them.