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Killeen dog trainer wants to ‘twist’ fate

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Jaime Villanueva

Leslie Dalton, owner of Twist of Fate Dog Training, plays with her dogs, Brew, left, and Barley on Friday in Killeen.

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Leslie Dalton wants to change dogs’ lives by helping them build bonds with their humans.

Dalton is the owner and head trainer of Twist of Fate Dog Training, a newly established business in Killeen. The business name came from her desire to “twist” the fate of dogs through positive training.

As an “all positive” dog trainer, Dalton believes all dogs are good and should be set up for success.

“I don’t do any sort of punishment,” she said. “Everything is all positive. So the only word out of me is ‘uh oh.’”

Those two small words let the dogs recognize something went wrong and allows them to figure out what needs to be done to get the treats they want, she said.

Dalton became interested in behavior modification when pit bulls began to gain a bad reputation. She learned how to “readjust” the attitudes of dogs to help them become happier and healthier.

“Behavior modification is a slow process,” she said. “But you can see the dog’s mind working, and you can see the human’s mind working.”

As a student of the online Animal Behavior College, Dalton studied dog training and completed the veterinary technician program. Internships with cadaver, search and rescue, and K-9 dogs taught her a full spectrum of training techniques, including “dog whispering.”

Dog whispering involves learning the nature of a dog, what it would do in the wild, and using that information to build the bond between dog and owner.

“I read the body language, study how they react and learn what the trigger is,” Dalton said.

Part of Dalton’s mission is to teach owners about caring for their dogs. She is coordinating with local veterinarians to hold a seminar on the medical, nutritional and animal behavior aspects of dog ownership.

“Part of the problem is some people think dogs are super cute, but don’t understand the requirements of shots, or don’t always understand the training portion, or feeding,” she said.

Dalton’s next objective is to open a facility to train dogs so they can be adopted.

Call Twist of Fate Dog Training at 254-226-5181.

6 images

Jaime Villanueva

Leslie Dalton, owner of Twist of Fate Dog Training, plays with her dogs, Brew, left, and Barley on Friday in Killeen.

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