East Texas ‘dog whisperer’ shares stories from family legacy
LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - One man training service dogs here in East Texas has an impressive resume, which includes Hollywood movies. He’s a “dog whisperer” of sorts, who works magic with the animals he trains.
Robert Weatherwax is currently training a Longview resident’s pet dog, Harley, to be a service dog.
Robert comes from a long line of family who have a way with dogs.
“It’s all about understanding your dog, and getting them to see the world the way you want them to see it,” he said.
His grandfather and father were both dog trainers who worked on everything from “The Little Rascals” to “Lassie.” His grandfather trained all the original Lassies, among other famous dogs like Old Yeller.
His father is a dog trainer in Hollywood as well, and Robert has trained dogs for movies too.
“I ended up working on things like ‘Beethoven’ and ‘Homeward Bound 2,′ and ‘Top Dog,’ ‘Dennis the Menace’... different movies. Movie trainers are the best trainers because they have to work in situations that are unpredictable,” Weatherwax said.
He now lives in East Texas where he trains service and companion dogs, as well as dogs with behavioral problems.
“I consider myself more of a behaviorist than an actual obedience trainer. I think it’s just an inherent understanding of dogs because I grew up as an only child and used to drink out of the dog bowl and eat dog biscuits. I always felt like it was kind of a calling for me,” he said.
The work has been rewarding.
“My greatest accomplishment as a trainer is I’ve kept many dogs in their homes. I’ve saved a lot of dogs from being returned to shelters. I get to work with dogs all the time, so I feel like I’ve got the greatest job in the world,” Robert said.
As he is training dogs, Weatherwax is now working on a book about a dog finding a “forever home.”
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