Hi, I’m Robert, the founder of Superb Dog, a small collective of dog enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to improving the relationship between people and their canine companions.
You could say that Superb Dog’s roots actually go all the way back to 1903 on a Michigan family farm. My grandfather made and repaired the tack for the working animals. Old Shep and Lucky, the resident farm dogs, had never worn collars, but a new township law required all dogs to be licensed and the tag displayed on their collar.
So my grandfather went to work, crafting collars for them. The results were successful (see Old Shep’s dog license in the photo below), and he was soon the local go-to for collars, leashes, and more. He continued to craft these products throughout his life.
Growing Up With Dogs
When I was a toddler, my grandfather built a custom wagon for me and my sister, and also constructed a leather harness so our Boxer dog could pull us up and down the sidewalk. This unique mode of transportation quickly became part of our block’s lore. That’s me riding in the wagon in the photo above.
As a boy, I developed a strong passion for dogs myself. With my grandfather’s help and books from the library, I learned to train our family dogs, teaching them basic obedience as well as tricks.
Back then (several decades ago), dogs had a different role in our families and communities. While they were popular and many households had one, they were not considered as integral a part of the family as they are now. I recall many dogs roaming the neighborhood freely. They ate grocery store dog chow (no fancy, organic, grain-free blends for them!), crate training a dog was unheard of, and picking up poop was often considered optional.
In the suburban neighborhood I grew up in, I remember dogs biting kids, living in dog houses and often never being allowed inside the family house, barking incessantly, and rarely, if ever, accompanying family members on outings to a store, park, or anywhere else. Dogs were certainly loved, but they had their place.
Dog Culture Today
Nowadays, we can feed our dog vegan food, carry it in a pack on our backs, and bring it to agility lessons at the local park. Dogs live with us, often sleep in our beds, go on vacations with us, attend doggie daycare centers, and board at hotels instead of kennels. We monitor them through cameras at home on our smartphones, and can even trace their breed origins through home DNA kits.
The world of dogs has changed considerably. While the dogs themselves haven’t changed much, the roles they play in our lives certainly have.
As an adult, I got my first dog of my own and was determined to care for her properly and train her even better than I had my childhood dogs. I crate trained her, upgraded her kibble to a pet store specialty brand (an exception to the norm, even then), got involved in dog sports, obedience competition, and took her everywhere I went. Soon, I was training other people’s dogs as an avocation, and supplying advice. And then I got another dog and immersed myself that much deeper into the dog world.
Throughout that time, I have met many wonderful and knowledgeable people in the dog world, and have been able to trade ideas, stories, advice, and laughs with them. A few of us started Superb Dog so we could do the same with you. Our team has decades of experience as trainers, pet store owners, dog sports participants, shelter volunteers, and, of course, dog owners.
When you take on the responsibility of a dog, that dog lives completely at your mercy.
Over the years, we have answered countless dog questions and suggested training methods, remedies, solutions, and products that we know will work. Superb Dog is our way of more broadly sharing that knowledge and insight. This includes training tips, healthcare advice, product reviews, and secrets to making everyday life with your dog easier and more enjoyable for both of you. We even throw in a little humor.
Our opinions are based on our own experience as well as science, and we try to keep our minds open to different perspectives. Our ideas and attitudes have evolved over the years, and we expect that to continue in the future.
My grandfather taught me a lot about dogs, but what has stuck with me most was the way he valued pets as integral parts of the family. He stressed the importance of respect for all animals, but particularly those with whom we choose to join our lives. He often reminded me that “when you take on the responsibility of a dog, that dog lives completely at your mercy.”
That thought is central to our mission. At our core, we are advocates for all dogs and their right to healthy and humane care, safety, happiness, and respect.
Every Dog is a Superb Dog.
Once, after winning a local obedience competition, I bragged to my grandfather that my dog was better than the rest, telling him that he was a “superb dog.” He answered me by saying, “Every dog is a superb dog.” We try our best to always remember that.
Let us know if you have feedback or new ideas for Superb Dog. You can contact us here.
Kevin (aka Kevin the Dog Trainer) has trained dogs professionally for over 30 years, owned a pet store for 15 years, and has competed with his dogs in Agility on a national level. He specializes in training puppies and aggressive dogs, and is always willing to talk dogs and how to improve their relationships with us.
Lisa has been a dog enthusiast since childhood, and has worked in animal shelters and been active in rescue foster and placement her whole life. At any given time, she has at least five dogs living in her home, and has had as many as nine at once. She is fully committed to improving the welfare of dogs.
Chelsea is a journalist who has found a way to combine two of her greatest loves — pets and writing. When she’s not doing that, her guilty pleasure is watching scary movies.