Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sounds like a great idea, right?

No, not really. What I'm referring to is the popular training promo "Board and Train". You drop off your dog at a trainers, pay them $1000-$1500, pick up your dog in 2 weeks, presto-He's all trained! Whoa, wait a minute. All those commands in 2 weeks? And he's going to do them all for you even though you didn't teach him and you didn't build up a relationship with your dog? Right. Might work if it was a computer that needed reprogramming. Or a car that needed repair. I just heard from a lady the other day, sent her dog off to board and train, came back, had a couple sessions with the trainer to "transfer" the leadership to her. Did not work. (Her words). Money wasted and in search of another trainer because her dog still has the problem.

My other issue with "Board and Train" is that you don't know what they are doing or using on your dog when you're not there. Sure, there are some positive trainers that do "Board and Train" but there are more that use prong, shock and choke collars and punitive training. Some just downright break your dog's spirit.  That's how they can do that in two weeks.

My personal opinion is that a beautiful and wonderful relationship is built with your dog through training. You get to know your dog and he you. It builds and grows and the two of you have an unbreakable bond built on trust, respect and love. You can't buy that. It takes work, commitment, dedication, consistency and lots of love and patience. And time. A lot longer than two weeks. It takes a lifetime.

Friday, June 5, 2015

So what about Continuing Education?

So your puppy graduated from Puppy Classes. Truly a great accomplishment because you are a part of an elite group. The 3%. Only 3% of folks who own dogs ever take them to any formal classes. Is it any wonder that about 97% of the dogs in shelters never had any kind of training? Hmmmm. I see a correlation  here. A lot of the cases I get called on involve dogs that never had any training. Or just had puppy classes but it was years ago and they never kept it up. Oops, is that you? I consider puppy classes a great beginning, like kindergarten and elementary school. but don't stop there. You don't want your dog to be a Jethro Clampett, do you? (now I date myself as he was a character from The Beverly Hillbillies show, proud that he graduated grade school) What I teach in Continuing Education builds on what you and your dog learned in puppy classes and takes it to a whole other level. Proofs it and adds distance, duration and distraction to cues like Stay, Come, Leave it. Adds new cues like Front, Finish, Go Around, Heel, Behind, Back up and more. Explores new  experiences like scent work, Rally and the chance to earn the prestigious AKC Canine Good Citizen Award (builds on that great award you earned in puppy class AKC STAR Puppy Award) so what are you waiting for? New dogs and owners can jump in every week. Make it your summer project to get your dog better trained this summer. You will not regret it. "My dog had too much training!" Said no dog owner ever.