For as long as he remembers, Oakland native Jas Leverette has been an “animal guy.”
“As a kid, I didn’t read ’Tom Sawyer’ and ‘Huck Finn,’ ” he declares. “That wasn’t my thing. But animals were — especially dogs.”
In 2010, Leverette channeled that passion into his own company, Cali K9. He then proceeded to develop its San Jose headquarters into one of the top dog-training facilities on the West Coast, with a clientele that includes Stephen Curry, Marshawn Lynch, Kevin Hart and Michael B. Jordan.
And now, Leverette is ready for his closeup. He’s the subject of “Canine Intervention,” a new series on Netflix that follows him as he works with a variety of dogs and their owners to fix obedience and behavior issues. The show is the latest in a series of TV offerings focusing on people and their pooches.
Leverette takes on all breeds, has never turned a dog away and insists he can handle even the most extreme problems.
“I help the dogs that no one else will,” he says.
In some ways, the charismatic Leverette, who also has trained horses, is paying it forward. As a teen, he was a self-described troublemaker — a “super knucklehead” whose best friend wound up in prison. He figures he might have suffered a similar fate had it not been for his involvement in sports at Oakland High School and his unwavering devotion to his furry friends.
“Growing up on the streets, they had my back. They saved my life,” Leverette tells viewers in the opening moments of his series. “I devoted my life to saving theirs.”
Leverette with client Andre Berto and his dog. (Netflix)
Each episode of the show features Leverette working with a different dog, beginning with a 2-year-old pit bull named Lady Macbeth, who comes with a heart-wrenching backstory. A rescue dog, she was previously owned by a homeless man who was involved in a shooting incident.
During the attack, Lady Macbeth was shot in the shoulder and eventually had to have one of her legs amputated. Her current owner reports that the dog, though “loving and gentle” around him, has a habit of suddenly turning aggressive toward others. She has bitten three people.
Enter Leverette, who knows that a dog’s aggressive demeanor generally is the product of fear. He puts Lady Macbeth through a three-week training session that results in what her owner describes as “a redemption story — a real-life miracle.”
In “Canine Intervention,” Leverette stresses that there are no bad dogs — “only uninformed people.” But it quickly becomes apparent that problems with pets can often profoundly affect the well being of their human companions. In one episode, for example, Leverette counsels a desperate East Oakland couple whose rambunctious German shepherd is the root of some major tension in the relationship.
“It’s all about creating harmony,” Leverette says.
Executive produced by Elise Duran, “Canine Intervention” follows in the paw prints of other dog-trainer shows, most notably those headlined by Cesar Millan, aka the “Dog Whisperer.” But Leverette wants potential viewers to know that his …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment
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