Operator: Kate Jackson
Neighborhood: East Decatur Station
Business Address: 138 New Street
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Anyone can get a dog to sit.Ã‚Â ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a natural position for them,Ã¢â‚¬ï¿½ explains Kate Jackson, one of the co-founders of Jabula Dog Academy.Ã‚Â Kate and the rest of the crew at Jabula are more interested in the tougher tasks, like teaching a dog to moonwalk.Ã‚Â But itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not just for the effect.
“Just like physical exercise, dogs need mental exercise,” says Kate.Â “Behavioral problems come when dogs lack a mental outlet.” There is no better mental exercise than the thinking and troubleshooting that is required by complex tricks. This is the Jabula Dog Academy philosophy: therapy, obedience training, and behavioral and aggression management through mental and physical outlets.
Kate personally knows the danger of a mentally constipated dog.Â Her yellow lab, Winston, now the Academy’s poster boy, was on the brink of euthanasia at age two.Â Having no history of trauma or aggressiveness, Winston began attacking other dogs and biting humans.Â Not ready to give up a family member, Kate took the aggressiveness as a challenge and was eventually able to rehabilitate Winston through tricks and training.
“Training made him easier to live with and manage.Â It kept him alive.Â Kept him safe. But he will always be at some level of risk.”Â What Kate means by this statement is that she cannot change the aggressive genetics to which Winston and many other dogs are predisposed. Behavior, however, is controllable as proven by the many rehabilitated and well-trained dogs that have studied at the Academy.
The experts at Jabula Dog Academy operate out of three locations: a main site in East Decatur Station, a satellite office in Brookhaven and a larger kennel in Covington used for specialized intensive programs. Kate praises her Decatur location, saying it is “such a dog friendly little town.”Â She also appreciates her warehouse-chic office space, particularly the floors: “The concrete floors are phenomenal; they’re easy to clean up.Â After all, dogs will pee.”