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“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.”
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  Volume No. 14 Issue No. 12 December 2017  

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  Falcon has gone to the dogs
  By Lindsey Harrison

   Two local couples own and operate separate businesses — all about man’s best friend.
   
   CoolK9’s Dog Training
   Jim and Bianca Beinlich own and operate CoolK9’s Dog Training, located west of Meridian Road on Owl Place in Falcon, Colorado. Their goal is training dogs to handle real-world situations, with an emphasis on training/fixing aggressive dogs, Jim Beinlich said.
   
   The Beinlichs have lived in Falcon since 2005 but moved to their current property about two years ago, he said. They were drawn to the area because they can work with the dogs off-leash in the outdoors, with an unlimited number of stimuli to distract the animals, Beinlich said. With so many distractions, the dogs must learn to focus on the training and the commands they are given, rather than memorizing movements in a closed space, like an indoor training facility, he said.
   
   With 30 years of experience under his belt, Beinlich said he has learned that many training certification programs stress 100 percent positive training techniques, which means no corrections. “Some people even think it is better to euthanize a dog than to give it corrections,” he said.
   
   Beinlich said he is an advocate of proper corrections when training dogs, especially through the use of pinch or prong collars. “I have been training with pinch collars since 1996,” he said. The key is using the collar in the proper manner to correct an undesired behavior, and not everyone understands how that works.
   
   “The hard part is battling what people have already been taught about prong collars,” Beinlich said. But when he puts his techniques to the test against other training methods, like clickers, Beinlich said his technique prevails every time.
   
   With a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Beinlich said he applies what he learned in college to how he trains his dogs. “It is really just common sense paired with psychology,” he said.
   
   The couple is currently training a black German Shepherd named Lyric, who will be used as a demonstration dog, Beinlich said. In addition, Bianca Beinlich said she plans to adopt a puppy in the spring to train as a service dog. She is currently training the couple’s oldest dog for service work and has several other successful service dogs to her name, she said.
   
   With the wide array of training options the Beinlichs offer, including classes for puppies, basic obedience, advanced/competition obedience, scent work and tracking, Jim Beinlich said he is confident they can address most of the complicated issues a client might present to them.
   
   “Our goal is off-leash voice control, anytime, in any conditions,” he said. “We are balanced trainers who use the Golden Rule: If you would not let someone do it to you or your kids, do not do it to your dogs. And whatever you do should make sense.”
   
   Union Hill Labs
   Paul and Jeleen Guttenberg are the owners and breeders of Little Ricky Ricardo, a black Labrador retriever, who won Best of Breed at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in February 2017. They own Union Hill Labs, a breeding and champion stud service, located across Highway 24 from Big R in Falcon.
   
   The couple moved to their current location on about 12.5 acres in January 2017, hoping to build a boarding and kennel business on-site, in addition to their breeding service, Paul Guttenberg said. “The busiest time for boarding is the holidays, and we wanted to have our business up and running by then,” he said. “We have to go through a lot of different organizations, like the El Paso County Regional Building Department, but we want to be open by the spring of 2018.”
   
   Prior to moving to Colorado, the Guttenbergs lived in Billings, Montana, and ended up in Falcon when they decided to focus on breeding and boarding dogs, Jeleen Guttenberg said. “We were going to just fly fish once we retired, but getting Ricky has changed our lives,” she said.
   
   Becoming established as a reputable breeder takes a lot of work and time, Paul Guttenberg said. “We do all the health clearances of each dog,” he said. “We do genetic testing, X-ray their hips and elbows; the full health clearance costs about $1,000. But reputable breeders do not make money breeding dogs for show.”
   
   The couple breeds animals with the best temperament, physical conformation and athleticism for the Labrador retriever breed, Jeleen Guttenberg said. Breeding purebred dogs goes a long way to ensuring that each litter has the best genetics possible to achieve that goal, she said.
   
   “Breeding dogs from two different breeds is a roll of the dice about what characteristics the puppies will have from each breed,” Paul Guttenberg said.
   
   While most of the dogs bred through Union Hill Labs will end up as pets, Guttenberg said they focus on breeding show and field labs. Field labs have a different physical conformation than purely show labs, and demonstrate the ability to do field work, like hunting, she said. “We bought Ricky as a puppy intending to keep him as a pet, but his breeder said he would be a good show dog,” Guttenberg said.
   
   The breeder was right; Ricky has won 113 Best of Breed awards since he started participating in shows in 2013, Paul Guttenberg said. But another Union Hill Lab has her sights on Ricky’s title, he said. Annie, a female black Labrador, recently beat Ricky in a show in Pueblo, Guttenberg said. Annie will soon be out of commission for shows because she is pregnant with Ricky’s puppies, he said.
   
   The Guttenbergs said they plan to begin construction on the kennels as soon as they receive approval from the county.
  
Lyryx shows that, at just 2 months old, she has mastered the sit command. Photo submitted by Jim and Bianca Beinlich
 
Little Ricky Ricardo is an example of great genes and ideal breeding, which is how he won Best of Breed at the Westminster Kennel Club Show in February 2017. Photo submitted by Paul and Jeleen Guttenberg
 
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