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When it comes to training dogs, Big D’s a winner

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

Even before Michael Vick’s infamous association with and incarceration for dog-fighting, the public imagination did not pair Black men and canines in a particularly shining light. The stereotype held of ghetto thugs, usually drug-dealers, abusing pit bulls by gambling on to-the-death matches or sporting them as vicious, four-legged bodyguards and sentinels for drug or money stashes — all of which makes an enterprise on the order of Big D’s Dog Training (www.bigdsdogtraining.com) all the more refreshingly welcome. Going simply by the moniker Cooper, the internationally recognized behaviorist, handler, and instructor heading up Big D’s Dog Training of Circle Pines, MN owns and operates an inherited family business that couldn’t be farther removed from those unpopular perceptions. The thriving, nationally accomplished concern, he says, “started [in] South Minneapolis under the direction of my father, Catrell Cooper, who gave me the direction of hunting dogs. “My mother, Lucille Cooper…gave me the direction of science in the relation to dogs, and my sister Phyllis…gave me my first dog, Munica, a Mexican Fox Terrier. Continue Reading →

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