THE BEST OF SOUTHWEST MINNEAPOLIS — brought to you by the Lynnhurst Neighborhood Association (LYNAS)
Curtis Johnson, Lynnhurst’s own Citizen Kanine, shares his story while out with his morning pack on the south shore of Lake Harriet.
“We had dogs when I was young and I was always intrigued by how they interacted with the people around them. I started training hunting dogs recreationally as an adult and really enjoyed the process of watching their development process. I started Citizen Kanine in 2008, after working informally with a few dogs from the neighborhood. Soon, other friends and neighbors were asking if I’d take their dogs on my daily walks. Before long I was walking 8 or 9 dogs around the lake and then stopping with the pack at a neighborhood coffee shop for a post-walk cool down. When customers started leaving notes for me requesting help with their dogs, I knew it was time to go pro.”
Today, Citizen Kanine has grown to include up to 20 dogs per walk and at least two walks a day.
“There is an old axiom in the dog-training world — a tired dog is a good dog. My “group therapy” focuses on providing 4 mile, structured walks. We move quickly and I have expectations that the dogs will be “good citizens.” They rarely let me down. Depending on the day, my pack can consist of over 20 dogs at one time, and together they walk around the Lake, wait patiently during frequent stops for their pack-mates to do their business (and have me clean up afterwards!) and then sit and stay off leash at the local coffee shop for some post walk admiration and socialization.”
The walk is just a part of what Curtis offers his clients. He also provides home consultation on dog selection, new dog integration and behavioral issue resolution.
The best part of his job?
“I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing how much the dogs enjoy getting good exercise and being part of the pack. I also enjoy the sense of community that comes from interacting with all the interesting people I regularly see in the neighborhood. When I have a group of dogs, I really enjoy grabbing a cup of coffee and letting the dogs rest outside of Patisserie 46. I have also been known to stop at Marathon Sports, Guse Green Grocery and Clancey’s in Linden Hills.”