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Texas dog trainer Lee Mannix dies in accident

Lee Mannix, a Texas-based, internationally respected dog behaviorist, was killed Sunday in a one-car accident.

Mannix, 40, was founder of the Lee Mannix Center for Canine Behavior in South Austin, and his clients included musician Jimmie Dale Gilmore and author Kinky Friedman.

“There are very few people who have the touch, and Lee certainly had it,” said Friedman, who co-founded the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch. “His ability to relate to animals was second to none. He could take a dog that everybody’s having trouble with and thinks is ferocious and untameable, and two or three weeks later it’s a totally different dog. Lee came in as an equal, and the dogs just loved him.”.

Mannix, 40, was killed in a single-vehicle accident Sunday in Hays County. His brother Kevin, also in the vehicle, survived, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

Mannix wasn’t always drawn to dogs; for 12 years he avoided them entirely. When he was 8, a German shepherd bit him so severely he required 130 stitches. He shunned dogs until he was 20, when a friend gave him a dog.

Mannix worked at the Austin Humane Society and DogBoy’s Positive Power Kennels in Pflugerville, and headed a local humane society in Colorado.

As a trainer, Mannix specialized in canine aggression problems.

“I can get a dog to do anything I want it to do. The thing is training the owner to do it,” Mannix said last summer. “So I don’t train dogs per se; I train owners to understand their dog’s behavior and get it right.”

Author Friedman noted: “There are lots of important people out there, politicians and the like. But I think Lee Mannix was significant. And there is a distinction there … He’s the kind of guy who has opened the gates of heaven wider.”

Memorial donations may be made to the Schrodi Memorial Training Fund.


Comment from Tom Gunlicks
Time May 5, 2010 at 9:27 am

Lee was my mentor and friend. The dog world suffered a great loss, and Lee will be sorely missed by many, both human and four-legged. Our thoughts go out to his family, daughter, staff and clients all over the country. God Bless you my friend…”all dogs go to heaven” and now you’re there romping with them.

Comment from Julie Eskoff
Time May 19, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Lee took me in as an intern…last round of interns to date I gather. Those moments one on one with Lee were straight out of the movies. I will miss that sanctuary with Lee, but am carrying on helping dogs as he did and would want. Thank you Lee for the laughs, the hugs, the kick in the pants, and your generosity. I love you and miss you. Those lucky dogs in heaven…

Pingback from So, About That Second Dog | Second Tree Blog
Time October 25, 2010 at 4:11 pm

[…] just last night, I witnessed the “1 minute wait for dinner” that Julie learned from the late Lee Mannix, which was […]

Pingback from on dog puzzles and the greatest dog trainer that ever was. |
Time April 13, 2011 at 6:15 am

[…] Lee Mannix had a way with dogs. He was one of those people who can just communicate with them, and they with him. His craft was not teaching dogs “sit” or “shake” but rather teaching owners how to understand and interact with their dogs to prevent, treat, and manage problem behaviors. And his creativity seemed limitless. Some of the tips and tricks he came up with to help us deal with silly problems – like Chick pulling dish rags off their hooks – not only worked flawlessly, but boggled the mind. The human mind, that is. Lee left this world about a year ago, but his personality, his methods, and his lessons live on. […]

Comment from Dr. Dawg
Time February 29, 2012 at 11:01 am

Still missing him and learning from him today.
Musing over the influence this man had on so many of us dog trainers today.
Lee, I am feelin’ ya here today.