Written by Chris Boyle Friday, 13 December 2013 00:00
Got a pooch that won’t sit still, climbs the furniture, or jumps on the neighbors? A dog imbued with limitless energy that has you at your wits’ end? Perhaps it’s time you school your out-of-control canine with the discipline and control of the “Martial Arfs.”
Martial Arfs, a new dog training facility in Carle Place is set to prove the old adage that “a good dog is a tired dog.” Run by Jeris Pugh, Martial Arfs takes a novel idea to working with our four-legged friends that has proven to be very successful; combining unorthodox exercises and equipment with the principles of the Asian fighting arts.
“We work primarily with incorporating physical activity into improving behavior. But we’ve created a facility where we don’t just tire your dog out, we teach it how to behave while at the same time tiring it out,” he said. “There’s a huge obesity problem right now, about 54 percent of all dogs are overweight, and just because you let your dog out in the year once or twice a day doesn’t mean he’s actually getting proper exercise.”
Born and raised in New Jersey and currently residing in Queens with his wife, Pugh grew up with dogs in his family but found less and less time for them as he grew up and settled into his career of independent film and teaching Karate. However, after doing so for many years, he decided to try something different; it was then that he re-discovered his love of dogs and decided to start working with them.
Pugh has used his 17 years of martial arts instructional experience to develop a whole slew of unique and effective exercises aimed at dogs and designed to instill both fitness and discipline at the same time. He supplements this with a variety of different equipment designed specifically for canine use by animal rehabilitation companies.
An example of this training philosophy is a drill where Pugh teaches a canine how to sit for extended periods on an exercise ball. This exercise not only instills obedience, but the sheer amount of full-body muscular effort it takes the animal to maintain its balance while doing so provides an intense workout as well.
“The equipment is primarily made for rehabilitation, but the concept that I have come up with is combined with the fact that I used to teach Karate,” he said. “I used to teach a lot of kids with hyperactivity or attention disorders, and Karate was fun for them, it gave them an outlet for the energy while we improved their discipline. Because the class was fun, they didn’t really even know they were working, and it worked so well for kids, I thought the same principles would work well for dogs, especially because one of the problems with dogs is that they have so much energy.”
Pugh’s training for dogs is split up into different styles loosely based on multiple real-life martial arts, such as “Jeet Kune Fido” (emphasizing speed and agility), CaPawEra (a Frisbee class with lots of jumping and flipping), and so on.
Instead of the colored belts that he used to award his human students, Pugh presents his four-legged apprentices with colored kerchiefs instead, ranging from white to black.
As a testimonial of Pugh’s ability to put their doggies through the paces and completely tucker them out in the process, it’s become a running gag on Martial Arfs’ Facebook page for satisfied customers to post pictures of their pets post-training passed out fast asleep at home.
Despite being open only since October, Pugh said that Martial Arfs has already been embraced by the locals, and he thinks that his unique training offerings, combined with ongoing free educational events, will make his business an invaluable asset to the area.
“Response has been great so far, people just love it,” he said. “And we don’t just want this to simply be a business, we want this to be a community resource where we can educate people to help them be better dog owners, because that helps everyone.”
Martial Arfs is located at 251 Voice Road in Carle Place. To find out more about Martial Arfs, visit their web site at www.martialarfs.com.