Purpose Pups dog training opens in Shiretown

Tyler Jones knew that he was at a crossroads in his life and that a change was needed.

HOULTON, Maine – Tyler Jones knew that he was at a crossroads in his life and that a change was needed.

Jones, a drifter who lived in three different states, was arrested for nonviolent marijuana crimes and sentenced to a federal prison in South Carolina before being later transferred to Boston.

“I was lost,” said Jones. “If you get knocked down, you have to get up again. It is part of salvation to make yourself a better person by learning from your mistakes. “

Jones was serving a nine-year prison sentence when he had a life-changing experience thanks to a four-legged friend. A councilor in prison introduced Jones to Jones NEADS Prison Pup Program, a nonprofit that provides service dogs to veterans or people with disabilities nationwide.

“I’ve found that I really love training dogs,” said Jones.

His personal goal was to open his own dog training center and after his release from prison the wheels were quickly set in motion. This is how Purpose Pups was born, a Maine, Houlton family-run dog training company that specializes in full-service dog training as well as many other elite dog training solutions.

The Jones family, from left, David, Tyler and Helen, run Purpose Pups, a dog training school in Houlton. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

With the help of his parents, Helen and David Jones from Houlton, Tyler Jones decided to open his dog training business in Shiretown at 70 Bangor Street. He chose a deep blue interior color scheme for his location to honor his father’s time in the U.S. Navy.

“My parents believed in my vision when I was in prison,” he said.

Purpose Pups’ motto is “We love your dog first, then train him” as a tribute to his mother – an advocate for disabled children for 40 years. David and Helen have cared for more than 100 children.

“I try to pass on the love and compassion my mother has shown for so many children to the dogs I now train,” he said.

His office illustrates this point perfectly as there are numerous photographs showing Jones with a variety of different dogs.

Tyler Jones stands next to a painting that was found in his shop. The painting shows Jones in his prison uniform with a small black Labrador on his shoulder. A broken chain symbolizes his break with the criminal life he led before his imprisonment.
(Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

His favorite picture is a painting made by the artist Sara Turner Nauti Dog Fine Arts Jones shows this with his first puppy Justice. This painting shows Jones in his prison uniform with a small black labrador on his shoulder. A broken chain symbolizes his break with the criminal life he led before his imprisonment.

“She (Turner) really captured my salvation with this painting,” said Jones. “I think it’s important that people know I went to federal prison, but I made the best of it. After this trial and tribulation, I became stronger. “

Jones received 7,000 hours of positive reinforced training and also received his Department of Labor Animal Trainer certification for his work with dogs. One day Jones would like to offer a youth program as an alternative to sentencing teenagers in detention centers.

Purpose Pups offers a variety of training packages ranging from loose-leash walks to training service dogs to support disabled people or dogs in need of emotional support to dog obedience sessions. He also offers online training through Zoom sessions and home visits.

Jones trains dogs of all breeds and ages.

“What better job could you have than wagging your tail and smiling all day?” He said. “I also love seeing an owner understand their pets better. It’s worth it. “

For information, contact Jones at [email protected] or call 207-694-8227.

Purpose Pups, a dog school in Houlton, celebrated a grand opening on June 12th. Attending the ceremony are Chamber Member Lori Weston, Trainer Tyler Jones, Owners David and Helen Jones, and Greater Houlton Chamber Director Jane Torres, from left. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

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