Local dog lovers have something to wag their tails about this week: Pawsitive K9 Solutions is up and running out of the old dance studio in Swink. They've only just opened, but they have multiple dog training services coming through the pipeline.

Co owners Brandie Jackson and Donna Darnell have ran Pawsitive K9 Solutions, a dog training service, for over 20 years, but they've never had an official brick-and-mortar establishment to call their headquarters. That's no longer the case, as they've acquired the building at 221 Columbia Avenue in Swink, and they're excited.

The new workspace provides Jackson and Darnell more room to offer bigger and better services, and while the facility is still undergoing refurbishings, construction and maintenance, by the time the groundwork is finished, the building will be complete with an outdoor dog bathing station and an agility course for persons interested in training for dog shows.

"This is our puppy class," said Darnell from behind a short desk in the main room of the dance hall turned doggy training floor. She watched as her business partner, Jackson, lead Pawsitive K9 Solutions' first course in the new building.

"This is our first week," Darnell continued. "Puppies are considered any dog who is a year or younger. As far as their mental development, they kind of switch into adulthood in about a year. But physically they don't switch into adulthood between 18 months and 2 years."

Darnell and Jackson like to teach behavior training through positive reinforcement. Darnell explained that thousands of years ago while humans were still domesticating dogs, dogs worked for and with humans, and they were bred for the quality of wanting to work and serve the collective pack. To this day, most dog breeds want to feel like they are contributing to the overall healthy state of their pack or family. This, Darnell explained, can be best taken advantage of in training through positive reinforcement.

Puppies should be rewarded for trying to learn to sit, not just for successfully sitting, Darnell gave as an example. It keeps the animals engaged and it makes them feel like they're accomplishing what you want of them, thus making you happy, as confirmed by the delectable treat they receive.

"If you're having to say 'Sit' three, four, five times before they do it, your dog is going to think, 'Eh, I don't really have to do it until she says it the fourth time,'" said Jackson before her students. "(Dogs) are very highly cognitive animals. That just means they are smart. Give them a second to think about it.

"If I tell my dog to sit and he's just staring at me, I'm going to wait. He knows I have food, he knows he wants the food. I'm going to give him a second to process through it and then see if he will sit on his own."

The dog bathing station in the works will be a convenient way for locals to give their puppers a rinse now and then. Darnell said a dog bathing site exists locally, but it isn't maintained often and so people have stopped using it. Pawsitive K9 Solution's dog bathing station will be cleaned between each use so that people will have a safe place to bathe their dogs.

Family dog group classes start next week from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Check out Pawsitive K9 Solutions' Facebook page for more information at @positivek9solutions, or give Jackson and Darnell a call at 719-251-9746.