Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks 2


There’s a new spa in town! The spa is for dogs and the town is Peculiar, Missouri, just a short 20 miles south of Lee’s Summit on 291 Highway.

The Peculiar Paw Spa & Canine Academy is located in a newly renovated building on Main Street. It offers grooming and a whole lot more. The business is operated by Greg Hobson, a professional Canine Behaviorist. “I received my Certified Professional Dog Trainer credentials from a school in Austin, Texas,” says Hobson. As soon as Hobson opened up shop he attracted clients who rave about his service.

“I think the world of Greg. He is fabulous!” says Lori Marlin. She and her husband Tony adopted a shelter dog. Their new companion, Zoie, is a Basenji mix; the Marlins soon realized that their new pet was headstrong. So when they heard about Hobson and his training expertise through a neighbor, they gave Hobson a call.

Hobson worked with Zoie weekly, teaching her to stay in the yard, walk on a leash and become less reactive to other dogs and people. Hobson coached the Marlins, showing them that much of dog training is watching for a dog’s signals.

“Not only did Greg train Zoie, he trained us as well,” says Lori. “We now know how to look for signs of aggression and we have learned to react immediately to unwanted behavior. Zoie still can be a little pistol, but she is much calmer now that Greg has worked with her.”

“We teach pet owners the need to establish a hierarchy in the home, where the dog understands that he or she is not the boss,” says Hobson. “Owners need to let the dogs know that the human is in charge. Dogs are communicating 24 hours a day, and reading this communication is very important. We show owners how to develop bigger and broader views of their animals and their relationships with them.”

Peculiar Paw Spa & Canine Academy offers obedience classes, or a dog owner may book private one-on-one training or in-home consultation. During class, pets learn socialization, discipline and consistency. Pet parents will learn more about their animals and how to use positive reinforcement. “We cater to pet people, and we are customer service freaks!” says Hobson. “We want to fix the problem that you are having with your dog. We want to make all our clients—human and canine—leave our facility with smiles on their faces.”

If a client needs doggie daycare, boarding or even physical therapy, Peculiar Paw Spa & Canine Academy can help. “We offer five different yards surrounded by a six-foot wooden privacy fence where we can work with small and large dogs, and our activity yards help a pet improve its agility.” Professional pet photography is also available twice a month.

Although Peculiar Paw Spa & Canine Academy is a new business, Hobson says they have big dreams of creating philanthropic programs to give back to the community. “We want to set an example of how dogs can be a useful part of society, and in the near future we plan to do rescues, adoptions and much more.” Hobson also would like to take pets to nursing homes and into schools, where he says dogs can actually help children learn to read.