For more than 10 years, Standing Stone Kennels, one of the Nation’s premier breeding & training facilities, has been a big supporter of Kuranda Beds. You can find our beds in their training videos, boarding kennels and even in Ethan & Kat Pippitt’s home.
We spoke with Kat from Standing Stone and here is what we learned.
Kuranda: Tell us about Standing Stone Kennels.
Standing Stone Kennels: My husband Ethan & I started Standing Stone Kennels over 10 years ago. We breed German Shorthair Pointers as well as train all breeds of dogs.
We tend to train more German Shorthairs than other breeds because we breed them, but we do train other breeds. That initial business plan evolved to more than breeding & training.
We have a big online presence from having a YouTube channel with over 140,000 subscribers to help educate people about dog training at home. We saw a giant need for content from people reaching out and asking us dog related questions all the time! So we decided to create dog training videos to be able to help them do as much as they can from home, because we understand that not everyone has the ability or budget to have their dog professionally trained. These videos on our YouTube channel are available for free. In addition to this we have an online dog training community on Patreon which allows people to work with us on a one on one basis for a subscription fee. We also have the usual social media avenues for people to follow us.
The Pippitt’s are partial to the Slipcover for their pups at home.
Kuranda: Tell us about your facilities.
Standing Stone Kennels: Our facilities are different from a lot of others. It is an indoor only facility with all kennel runs inside. All the runs include a Kuranda Bed. We’ve been using Kuranda Beds for over a decade and love them. They’re durable and offer a great way to get the dogs up off the floor. All our runs have privacy panels so the dogs can’t see the dog next to them which helps prevent the dogs from getting over-amped playing with each other between kennel runs. Dogs’ energy feeds off each other. If one dog starts barking, others will follow. So having each dog in its own private kennel space helps them stay calm and quiet. We also expect the dogs in our care to maintain the potty training that their owners have worked so hard on at home! So our expectation is that the dogs don’t go potty in their space, but wait until they are outside for potty breaks. It’s definitely more labor intensive to have an indoor only facility set up this way because you have to let the dogs out to potty every few hours. Each of the dogs is taken out about once every 2 hours between the hours of 6 AM and 10:00 PM. The dogs go out in small groups so they can socialize a little bit, go potty, etc. The reason we have our kennel set up the way we do is that an indoor/outdoor facility allows a dog to go in and out between their indoor & outdoor runs whenever they want. Often going in-out, in-out all day long. This can tire a dog out so they’re not mentally ready for training. You also can run into dogs that don’t know how to let themselves in or out and can get stuck in or stuck out, defeating the purpose of them letting themselves out when they need a potty break.
Kat keeps as many as 8 Kuranda beds in their home. Four in their bedroom and another three in their family area upstairs, plus two more downstairs!
Kuranda: Tell us about your YouTube channel and why you offer so much free information.
Standing Stone Kennels: Ethan and I really want to help people train their dogs. I have a teaching background, going to college to become a high school science teacher. Both of us really have a passion for teaching & helping people with their dogs and we understand there’s a need for this. And frankly, it was a way to streamline our efforts. I get so many calls, emails, texts and other messages with questions that we can now answer by saying, hey, here’s a video that answers that question. Once we’ve given them a link to that video, then they can see there’s a bunch of videos they can watch on our YouTube channel to help them even more. We do get some revenue from our videos with those short ads that pop up with our videos and we also have some sponsorships which all help to pay for the video equipment, editing and production of our videos. We also have people who have more detailed questions that we can answer on a one-on-one basis with Patreon which also helps support us creating more content.
(At this point, we began a great conversation that was not recorded. We found the following quotes from statements made on the Standing Stone Kennels website.)
What do you like about Kuranda Beds?
Standing Stone Kennels: We really like Kuranda dog beds because they are a raised platform or cot style bed which creates a distinct boundary of being on the bed and stepping off the bed. This very black and white boundary will help your puppy stay on the bed, so you can continue to extend the amount of time you can reasonably expect them to stay there. This very distinct separation of the bed from the ground is so beneficial when working on place training.
How does a Kuranda bed fit into your training program?
You can clicker train your puppy to go to and get on their dog bed. Then when you give the cue “kennel” your puppy knows to go and get on their bed. Having a good dog bed will make place training your puppy even easier.
What are the first things you need to do to have a successfully trained dog?
Standing Stone Kennels: The number one thing is your timing. You will confuse your dog if you have poor timing when you’re training your dog. They need to know that what they are doing is right in that moment. If you miss-mark a behavior you're not sending a clear message to your dog of the behavior you are wanting them to exhibit. Dogs have a short attention span. So make sure you’re timing is right and you are actually marking the behavior of what you are trying to teach!
Three things that will truly make you a better dog trainer are: 1. Be intentional in your training. Make a plan. Have an idea of what you want to accomplish in that training session. Don’t go into it blind or just checking boxes. 2. Be honest with yourself that what you’re doing is actually working and what you're asking for the dog is actually doing. If you ask for a behavior and your puppy isn’t quite doing it right or if your release was going to be in a second but your dog anticipates your release and releases himself, be honest with yourself and say, they’re not doing it the way I want him to or what I have asked. If you’re practicing, practicing, practicing and it’s never the right thing you want him to do, he’s never going to get it right. 3. Be aware of what’s happening around you in that actual training session. I highly recommend you video your training sessions. Even if you’re not on Patreon and sending us your videos for us to review. You’ve watched tons of training videos on our YouTube channel. If you watch your videos of your training sessions you’ll pick up on things that might not have gone right. If a dog is consistently doing something that you don’t want them to do, be aware of that because they’re going to condition themselves to do that. For instance, if a dog repeatedly spins 2 or 3 times before laying down, you may not want him to, especially if you’re working on fetching and retrieving drills. If they’re spinning, they’re not watching where a mark is falling. These 3 things will truly help you become a better dog trainer.
How did you come to be trainers?
Standing Stone Kennels: Ethan and I got interested in training when we got our first Shorthair. We got her out of the newspaper. She turned out to be a nice dog but she was a little wild and crazy when we first got her. We’re professional dog trainers now but back 13, 14 years ago she couldn’t even heel. She just pulled us all over the place. She was in an apartment. She was a lot of dog and we didn’t know how to handle that so we went to work for a trainer to learn the beginning stages of what we needed to do to train dogs and run a kennel. Everybody starts somewhere, including professional dog trainers. We’ve now been doing this for over 10 years professionally for ourselves. But getting your hands and your eyes on a lot of dogs is something I would highly recommend you do before you jump in and start your own training business.
In addition to YouTube videos, Standing Stone Kennels have also provided endless content on their Blog that covers all manner of dog-related topics. While they have their virtual bases covered, they also offer board and train packages for more intensive, hands-on training. For more information visit the Standing Stone Kennel website.