Dave grew up with a German shepherd dog in the family. She was a beautiful sable colored female that ended up as an outdoor dog. She had resource guarding issues around her food bowl. Dave, still a boy, took on the challenge despite his mother's reservations. With persistence and patience, he got the family dog not only to accept his presence while eating but his physical affection as well.
In his early teens the Darr family acquired another GSD puppy. This time it wasn't a pet. This puppy had a future as a guide dog. And so Dave's career began. After three puppies in succession, Dave found his calling. He joined the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Inc. He was their very first apprentice trainer and after 27 years finished his career there working with over three hundred guide teams.
Dave found that creating successful canine/human teams for the blind community would serve him well as a private trainer for the pet industry. This method of relationship building he has passed on to his family members, each respectable trainers of their own right. This method is so successful they find it difficult to keep up with the demand. Of course Darr's Dogs are some of the best behaved animals you'll ever meet.
Hailey was 5 years old when she picked up her first leash attached to a German Shepherd. She has confidently handled dogs ever since. As she grew, she watched her father as she would regularly accompany him. Hailey picked up much as her father trained dogs for the visually impaired. She learned there are two aspects to effective dog training, The dog being trained itself and the education of the handler. She is often heard saying “the whole dog approach”. A healthy dog is most open to learning. Realizing the health of a training dog is so important she applies her nutritional education from UC Davis. This advice is enthusiastically utilized by her training clients.
Hailey’s training begins with a solid foundation in socialization and exposure. A dog that has such a foundation is always a pleasure to train. This has inspired her to author and develop her own program called Dog’s Day Out.
Now in her 30’s, Hailey continues her training education by attending seminars online and off, and training club activities. As a result, her training experience has led her down different paths including agility, obedience, tracking, protection work and scent detection. Her own dog Arya participating every step of the way.
Arya accompanies Hailey everywhere, especially assisting her demonstrating exercises for training clients. Hailey continues her education and recently earned a Dog Cognition certificate from Duke University