Local dog rehab center teaches self defense class


RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – What would you do if you were out walking your dog and suddenly got attacked by a complete stranger? Could you fight off an attacker?

A local dog rehab facility is not taking any chances. It is training its clients in self defense.

Local pet owner Chris Litten has three dogs. She usually walks them in the morning, but sometimes needs to go out at night.

“You know there’s a lot of bad people out there and you just never know,” Litten said.

When the sun goes down, the worry that someone could potentially hurt her or her dogs is on her mind.

“I worry about things like that when I’m not aware of people coming up around me,” Litten said.

Her dogs get training at K-9 Rehab Institute in Rio Rancho and now she’s getting some training too, in self-defense.

The idea for the class came after one of their clients was attacked while walking his dog in the Bosque. The man was left on the ground, knocked unconscious.

“You’re never sure where you’re going and who is going to be around the corner,” said Stephanie Shirey, a volunteer.

Tracie Dulnia owns K-9 Rehab Institute. She is also a martial arts expert.

“We’re able to take a simple thing like a leash or even just a poop bag and be able to teach people how to defend themselves against a dog attack or a person attack,” Dulnia said.

The class has been a hit. Dog owners learning how to fend off an attacker with a gun or knife, all while keeping their dog safe too.

“You feel really strong afterwards, you just do. You just feel strong and smarter. You’re just smarter about your surroundings and how to deal with people,” Dulnia said, adding that she “feels secure.”

The first full course of “Martial Arts and Your Dog” just wrapped up. Another session is planned for after the holidays.

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