DALLAS — When Jim Davis speaks, it’s soft, making you lean in a little to make sure you catch everything he is saying.
What: Oakhaven Labradors
Where: 1090 James Howe Road
For more information: 503-510-2803, or info@oakhavenlabs....
That mannerism is a direct reflection of what he does everyday: training dogs.
Davis runs a training facility in Dallas, called Oakhaven Labradors, where they offer obedience and retriever training for all types of dogs.
He opened the original facility in 2003, and two weeks ago, opened up a newer, bigger facility, to allow for room to grow.
“I didn’t know initially that we would quite broaden our scope this much,” Davis said. “The other place was a good little business, not quite half as big as this.”
With the new facility, Davis and his two employees will offer boarding and grooming services on top of training.
The obedience training given at Oakhaven is based off of Davis’s personal beliefs that he has formulated over his years of dog training, owning dogs, and watching and learning from other dog trainers.
“I firmly believe dogs are pack animals. Period,” Davis said. “And they’re genetically ingrained on how to respond to an alpha dog or an alpha person. So a lot of my training is based on what would an alpha dog do. So its posture, my type of voice, etc.”
The tools he uses to train a dog, whether it be utilizing voice commands, non-verbal commands, or pointing his finger at a dog’s neck when it has been disobedient, all emulate that pack environment that a dog needs in order to be well-balanced.
“It’s a nice, simple, non-rocket science way to go,” he said. “Why reinvent the wheel?”
His training program is not your typical dog-training; its eight weeks long, with encouraged visits from the owners periodically. During that two-month stint, Davis works closely with the dog — and its humans — to make sure the alpha-beta relationship is established.
At the end of the training course, Davis says he has the dog’s humans come back in so the three of them can work together to make sure the transition to home is easier.
Growing up, Davis said he loved dogs and was always interested in dog training, but couldn’t find the time during his 30-year career with Safeway.
“A year after I retired I got my first dog,” he said.
Eighteen years later, he’s owned a number of dogs and trained hundreds more. Currently, they have a little over a dozen dogs in training.