Steve Leigh's Fun Page

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Unusual Fun

Dogs must have fun.  People, too. 


My little dog pound dog, Barkasse, actually started the "tire game" in California, in 1980, before we moved to Florida.  That little dog was addicted to playing with tires!  He'd keep himself amused for hours if we didn't put the tire away.


In 1981, as soon as we bought our property in Florida, we utilized an unusual way to provide fun for our dogs.  I don't think that I "discovered" it, but nobody else seemed to know about it.

Our dogs didn't just "play" with the tires - they tried to wreck them - they killed them. 


It was easy enough to provide this toy: an old, small spare tire or a golf cart tire, a medium duty spring, and a way to tie it up on a tree limb.  I recall buying new springs, because the dogs would stretch the springs so much, they would just give out.  Pretty soon I learned to buy heavier garage door springs. 


Our young, teething male, Xarras v.d. Herreneiche, knocked out 20 of his baby teeth (we actually counted his missing teeth!) in one day, he loved that tire so much.  The little guy had blood all over his face and chest, and just kept biting the shit out of the tire.


We also attached a tire to the 75' running line between two trees.  The running line was used mostly for bitework, but there was no reason not to attach a tire sometimes, too.  The running line was made of 3/16" stainless braided aircraft cable, rated about 3000 lbs. and had a rolling "trolley".   


Shown below is Barkasse removing the tire from a tree limb, almost 9 feet off the ground.  Bar could easily leap that high without a running start.  Of all the dogs I've ever owned or seen, Bar was an absolutely amazing jumper. 


I know this may sound unbelievable, but I taught him to put the tire back on the limb when I decided play time was over.  I wish I had videos of Bar replacing the tire, so I could share that with others.


Bar just plain went vertical!

I Admit I'm Just Being A Showoff

Here is what my pack did with one, loud "PLATZ" command.  This kind of "group control" demonstration was responsible for so many paying clients, I can't even imagine how many.  I loved turning out my pack and showing off different control exercises.  A "showoff" would be to do a recall on just one of the dogs, while the rest held the platz.

A different "showoff" would be "BAR - SITZ ..... ROLF - SITZ".  As you might notice, one of my young bitches moved slightly, and she was corrected for that.  It was fun, and a little challenging, to control a lot of dogs at one time.  Thinking back, I realize that my own dogs were mostly responsible for staying in the training business as long as I did.  Do you notice (below) that "big-black-dog", Rolf, won't physically contact little Bar?  Bar was dominant, and Rolf leaning on him would have initiated a definite challenge.  Rolf's body posture and ears show clearly who "big dog" really was.



Below is part of our family.  We regularly kept 8-18 adult Shepherds, running loose together every day, and didn't have dog fights.  Hard to believe, but even with a brand new litter, our whole pack could mingle, and the breeding bitch would allow the other dogs to sniff and lick her puppies - no fighting.     



I guess we started our "no fighting" rule very early, when we had less dogs.  As we added to and changed our pack, the dogs would go through occasional "challenges", but this was mainly growling and posturing.  In all our years, I recall only two genuine dog fights, and they were fairly easy to break up.



Our license plates were "WE BITE" and "WE BITE2".  Through the years, I've saved them.  A friend in Germany had one made for me, too.  Laughingly, we called the vans "the bite-mobiles".  Obviously, we had fun, and we were half crazy, too.  Our cell phones were 246-BITE and SIT-4000. 



A Funny Story

The little guy standing next to me in the maroon shirt is Gene England - the man who taught me more about dogs and training than anyone else in the world. 



Gene's neck was probably bigger than my thigh.  He was incredibly strong.  I probably could have hit him with a bat, and he wouldn't have even felt it. 


I'm wearing one of my renown "Barkasse shirts".  Bar went everywhere with me, even after he died.  His picture was our logo, and is on hundreds of Tshirts all around the world.  I gave 60 shirts to my dog club in Germany one day.  I still have about 40 "Canine Training" Tshirts, and wear them all the time.


Traveling up to Gene's (752 miles, my driveway to his) was a pretty common occurrence. 


I had two really, really attractive young women working with me at Canine Training.  Margaret and Kathy were both single, in their late 20s.  They did a lot of the obedience training, especially with new clients.  They also had untitled dogs that I arranged to buy from Gene.  Both dogs were excellent biters, exactly what they wanted.


One year, probably 1987, they wanted to go up to Gene's to see their first Schutzhund trial.  They took two days off work, and we went.  We arrived the day before the trial.


When we got to Bowling Green, the first thing we did was stop and say hello to everyone at Gene's.  Margaret happened to notice a picture on Gene's wall - a picture of a lady flashing her breasts at one of Gene's previous trials. 


I put my dogs in Gene's kennels, then we took off to go get a motel room.  Almost all of the trial people were staying at the same motel.  We got one motel room, and this fact did not escape them.


I don't mind a little mischief - I'm Steve Leigh, remember?


The three of us went back to Gene's, and mixed with the crowd of people there.  Margaret, who had a chest that a Playboy Bunny would die for, and Kathy, a slender, 5' 10" blonde with long, wild hair, seemed to attract quite a bit of attention from the guys present at Gene's.  Naturally, I introduced them to everyone, including all the wives and girlfriends.


The next morning, we were off to watch tracking, after which everyone went to Gene's trial field.  I think I better explain something right now - Margaret really liked attention, and she was very proud of her breasts.


Somehow - and I swear I had nothing to do with this - something happened.  I was about 25 yards away, and I didn't have a clue, until a few minutes later.


Margaret and Kathy had about 10 guys standing around them.  I don't know if it was Margaret's idea, or if one of the guys dared her, but Margaret pulled up her shirt and showed those guys what "flashing breasts" really means. 


Within seconds, the place literally erupted.  Some of the wives just went crazy. 

Gene's former wife started screaming at me, other wives were outraged, and yelling at me - "You brought them up here!  This is all your fault!". 

WHAT'S "all my fault"?  It was bordering on pandemonium. 


Goddamn!  I didn't do anything - I didn't even know what happened - I had to be TOLD! 

Why the hell was it my fault?  What's the big deal, anyway? 

You could see more than that on the cover of any Playboy magazine!  I was just minding my own business, watching the trial.


Gene got everybody and everything calmed down, and I told Margaret, "whatever you do, don't do that again."  We watched the rest of the trial peacefully.  But Margaret and Kathy weren't through.


There was going to be a big barbeque cookout at Gene's that evening, so everybody went back to the motel to clean up. 


That day, I was wearing a totally, utterly ridiculous powder blue running suit - baggy pants and a baggy top with elastic waist, ankles, and wrists.  The three of us went back to the motel, and we took showers.  Then we cooked up a little mischief.


When we got ready to go back to Gene's, Kathy pulled on my powder blue pants, and Margaret pulled on my powder blue top.  Both of them intentionally wore no underwear.  I wore Kathy's jeans, and Margaret's top.  I looked positively ridiculous.  Off we went to Gene's.


I guess people noticed our unusual "attire".  Margaret and Kathy innocently "hinted" to a few of the guys that we had been having really wild three way sex at the motel, and didn't realize what time it was - that's why we arrived so late.  So we all just grabbed anything we got our hands on, threw it on, and rushed over for barbeque. 


You can guess how quickly that spread around, especially to the wives.  If looks could have killed, the three of us would have been dead 100 times each.


We laughed all the way back to Florida.  We laughed about it for years.


This is Margaret.  The article sucks, written by a secretary who never saw a working dog in her life.


{{  I've got to add something here.  Some of this "article" is accurate.  Some is pure, absolute hallucination.  If Margaret ever "whacked" a dog with a leash, I'd have "whacked" Margaret right out the Goddamn gates of Canine Training.  The idiot "reporter" refers to retrieve work as "stunts" and "tricks".  We didn't train "stunts" and "tricks".  The "reporter" should have had Margaret write the article, and left well enough alone.  Margaret was totally serious about dogs, and she was no fool.  Other parts of the article illustrate utter stupidity on the part of the idiot "reporter".  I don't tolerate idiots or stupidity very well.  I call assholes assholes.  }}      

A Gene England Story

I'm almost positive this happened in 1992.  I was at Gene's for a 5 day training class.  There were probably 15-20 people there.


The day before the class started, we worked a brown Dobe on the round table - this dog was a certified psycho.  He was fine unless it was bite time, then he just went berserk.  If ever a dog needed Valium, this was the one.


First of all, I trust Gene.  No questions.


On the first day of class training, the brown Dobe was on the table, going psycho at absolutely nothing, and Gene was explaining to everyone why this dog was so insecure and felt the need to go ballistic over nothing. 


Suddenly - no warning .....


Gene snatched me up off the long table, where I was sitting right behind him, got a good grip on me, and held me out in front of him.  He had me by my neck and my legs - flip! - I was horizontal.  I kind of relaxed, but stiffened up my body so I was keeping the horizontal position.   


I didn't know why Gene was doing this, but, as I said - I trust him.


Gene walked me right over to that Goddamn table and used me like a human burlap rag - teasing the dog, who was going absolutely insane.  Dog spit was all over my back, on my face, in my hair, people were hysterical, the dog was going nuts, and Gene was laughing his ass off.  I was laughing my ass off, too.  I think the dog's owner might have fainted, I don't remember.  I knew Gene wasn't going to let the dog touch me, but God knows, if he did, I would probably have gotten a kidney ripped out. 


We sure knew how to have fun. 


Me?  I served and survived as a living agitation article.  They just don't make burlap rags like me anymore.

Another Gene England Story

There's a story here, and I'd like to tell it. 


Gene had a pretty famous quote, and I really liked that quote.  One of my clients was a very talented calligrapher and artist, and she created a work of art for my office wall.  She gave it to me, and I treasured it.  It was prominently displayed on my office wall for everyone to see.


I think this happened in 1985.


Gene was in Florida, doing a seminar.  We came back to my place after the seminar.  His eyes lit up when he saw the artwork.  He tried to talk me into giving or selling it to him.  I said "nope". 


Our conversation vaguely resembled, "Steve, I'll break your scrawny little neck if you don't give that fuckin' art to me.", followed by, "Then I'll just have to beat the dogshit out of you Gene, and ship your useless ass back to Kentucky in a fuckin' airline crate." 


This went on, and I wouldn't part with it.  "Steve, I'm gonna tie your fuckin' legs in a knot.  I'll crush you like a beer can - then I'm gonna kick you down the street.  You're a selfish pile of shit, Steve Leigh.  You don't need that hanging on your fuckin' wall - give it to me.  Fuck it den!"  "Don't make me hurt you, Gene, I'll whup you so bad, you'll wake up with new fingerprints."    


I think you get the idea - this was the way Gene and I got along.  We played as much as we worked.  Locker room talk, I guess.  I could say 4 or 5 words and get Gene hysterical - call and ask him.  But we were dead serious about training the dogs. 


Even to this day, we never stop threatening each other with all the asskicking we're never gonna do to each other. 


Just now, I called him ..... "Steve, I oughta come down and whup your little skinny ass.  I'll step all over you, and throw you right into that fuckin' hurricane y'all are having down there."  "Gene, I take guys your size and just plain rip 'em apart - tear 'em to shreds.  You're gonna look like a whole litter of newborn puppies when I'm done with you.  Fuck it den!  I'll tear your head off, and go join a bowling league with my new Gene England bowling ball."


Well - I know I write a lot, so there's an end to this story. 


I closed my dog training business in August, 2002.  After Rebecca died in August, 2003, Gene and Verice came to Florida.  I sold some of my dog training equipment to him, and he arranged to sell most of the rest of it.


What brought tears to Gene's eyes was when I gave him the calligraphy artwork, and told him I wanted him to have it.  Now it belongs to Gene.  I'd be surprised if it isn't hanging on a wall in his training facilities today.