Check out the article about Canine Circus School in The Bark magazine’s winter edition!
A lot of people come up to me and want to be dog trainers. You can not just love dogs to be a trainer; you need to be dedicated to them. Not just one, because it’s easy to get won over by an individual dog. You need to love the species.
It’s like every dog in the world shares one heart, and your job is to make sure that heart is as healthy as possible.
Read about Francis in the SF Chronicle here:
Canine Circus School on a national radio broadcast called America in the Morning. Listen below.
Check us out on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday edition.
“What’s a hound without a hearth?” Metcalf asks, gesturing to the maplewood wet bar and the cast iron wood stove. “St. Roch’s fulfills the dream and fantasy of having a dog. We didn’t want it to be like a hospital waiting room.”
Design and decor aside, the instructor himself, built like a Victorian weight lifter and mustached accordingly, is not without flair. During class, to the tune of a Django Reinhardt recording, Metcalf stalks the training yard in tiger-striped cowboy boots, periodically shaking pom-poms, tooting a hand horn or rolling out “the German Wheel of Death” – an oversize hamster wheel used for advanced routines.
Check us out in the Jan-Feb addition of Oakland Magazine
Once you walk through the bulldog-emblazoned gates at Friends of the Family Dog Training, everything will become clear: This is not where dogs come to learn to sit, stay, and roll over. Oh, no. At this imaginative break in normalcy, Francis Metcalf and Norma Wood Metcalf have created a decidedly out-of-the-box academy where dogs are taught to walk backward, balance balls on their noses, and weave through their handler’s legs. This is where dogs learn to literally jump through hoops
Read more from Oakland Magazine here.
This is a piece that appeared in the San Francisco Guardian, mostly about our dog sport club called Saint Roch’s.
Read more from the Guardian here.
For Metcalf, training is not just about good behavior. Whether it’s a dog, a chicken, or a fish (and Francis has trained them all), the goal is to reawaken people’s ability to dream, and to imagine what animals may be capable of.
Watch CBS news piece here.
Francis is someone I’ve known for nearly 20 years now and I can honestly say he is a uniquely gifted man who always advocates for dogs. They love him. Adore him. Can’t get enough. When Francis walks into the room my dogs act like it’s Christmas morning; and it is, because he always gives them the gift of his full attention and works to make every interaction with dogs as positive fun as possible. I’ve not met anyone quite like him in dogs.– Kelly Gorman Dunbar
There lives in Oakland a master of hounds. A man so enchanted with dogs that he has learned to speak their language. A man so talented that he can even enchant their people. He has boundless passion, drive, talent, and such chutzpa that there is no behavioral problem too great or too small for him to resolve. He’s acquired some of his canine alchemy skills from venerable sages in France and even traveled to Italy to engage in such ancient rites as truffle hunting. And his resume that reads like a page from a Hollywood gossip rag. Meet my friend, fellow competitor, and professional dog sorcerer: Francis Metcalf.