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@Work: Dog About Town

June 21, 2009 — Judith Kovach is trained as a dance performer and in choreography. She did her master's thesis in Zen walking meditation. But Kovach's career has included some pirouettes. She isn't dancing on St. Croix — she is training dogs and getting them to walk obediently with their masters.
Her companion dog-obedience class on St. Croix is named "Dog About Town." She says her mission now is for dog owners to have well behaved dogs that allow them to go out, walk around town for a pleasurable experience, not a struggle.
"Dogs have to get out and about all the time," Kovach says. "They have to get out and be mentally stimulated. If they stay in the house all day or are chained, then they may misbehave."
Kovach said in a recent interview that she has always had a love for dance, so she pursued advanced degrees in dance and religion from the University of Michigan, UCLA., University of Oregon and Boston University. She has done performances in African dancing and Japanese Bugaku, a traditional court dance.
But, she adds, concerning her full turn to her new career, "I have always had a love of dogs and have a good relationship with them."
Kovach grew up with dogs and says she always enjoyed spending time with them and taking them to obedience class. She had such good relationships with dogs that she began training friends' dogs. The training eventually lead to a suggestion by a friend that she become a professional dog trainer.
In November 2008 Kovach got certified as a trainer through the Triple Crown Academy in Hutto, Texas.
She offers six-week private classes or group lessons at Country Day School, limited to six dogs. She also has puppy classes which she explains is the best time to begin training, before bad habits are ingrained in the pet's mind.
"There is a very short window between three to six months when puppies are real responsive and malleable," Kovach says. "It is the best time to teach dog manners."
It was evident in a recent class with so called "teenage dogs" — a 15-month-old bulldog mix in particular with headstrong ways didn't seem to want to change. Kovach steps in with a stern, strong voice, letting the dog know who is in control. She says any dog can be trained as long as the owner sticks to it and is consistent with training. She has trained a wolf mix, German shepherds and malamutes.
"Dogs really enrich our lives spiritually and emotionally," Kovach says. They help us get out and exercise. They also help us get out in the world and meet people — especially if they are well-trained."
Another interesting thing about Kovach is her lineage: She says she is a descendant of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins, a couple known as the first real American love story of two pilgrims on the Mayflower. As a child, Kovach moved all over the country, since her father was in the U.S. Army.
She settled on St. Croix in 2000 with her husband, Joe Sansonese, a math teacher at St. Croix Educational Complex and the University of the Virgin Islands.
For information about the obedience classes, call 277-8104.
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June 21, 2009 -- Judith Kovach is trained as a dance performer and in choreography. She did her master's thesis in Zen walking meditation. But Kovach's career has included some pirouettes. She isn't dancing on St. Croix -- she is training dogs and getting them to walk obediently with their masters.
Her companion dog-obedience class on St. Croix is named "Dog About Town." She says her mission now is for dog owners to have well behaved dogs that allow them to go out, walk around town for a pleasurable experience, not a struggle.
"Dogs have to get out and about all the time," Kovach says. "They have to get out and be mentally stimulated. If they stay in the house all day or are chained, then they may misbehave."
Kovach said in a recent interview that she has always had a love for dance, so she pursued advanced degrees in dance and religion from the University of Michigan, UCLA., University of Oregon and Boston University. She has done performances in African dancing and Japanese Bugaku, a traditional court dance.
But, she adds, concerning her full turn to her new career, "I have always had a love of dogs and have a good relationship with them."
Kovach grew up with dogs and says she always enjoyed spending time with them and taking them to obedience class. She had such good relationships with dogs that she began training friends' dogs. The training eventually lead to a suggestion by a friend that she become a professional dog trainer.
In November 2008 Kovach got certified as a trainer through the Triple Crown Academy in Hutto, Texas.
She offers six-week private classes or group lessons at Country Day School, limited to six dogs. She also has puppy classes which she explains is the best time to begin training, before bad habits are ingrained in the pet's mind.
"There is a very short window between three to six months when puppies are real responsive and malleable," Kovach says. "It is the best time to teach dog manners."
It was evident in a recent class with so called "teenage dogs" -- a 15-month-old bulldog mix in particular with headstrong ways didn't seem to want to change. Kovach steps in with a stern, strong voice, letting the dog know who is in control. She says any dog can be trained as long as the owner sticks to it and is consistent with training. She has trained a wolf mix, German shepherds and malamutes.
"Dogs really enrich our lives spiritually and emotionally," Kovach says. They help us get out and exercise. They also help us get out in the world and meet people -- especially if they are well-trained."
Another interesting thing about Kovach is her lineage: She says she is a descendant of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins, a couple known as the first real American love story of two pilgrims on the Mayflower. As a child, Kovach moved all over the country, since her father was in the U.S. Army.
She settled on St. Croix in 2000 with her husband, Joe Sansonese, a math teacher at St. Croix Educational Complex and the University of the Virgin Islands.
For information about the obedience classes, call 277-8104.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.