Training Photos

It all begins with the relationship

Sit and Wait on your Blanket

Sit and Wait on your Blanket

The number one issue people complain about is that “My dog just doesn’t listen to me.” The key to having your dog pay attention to you is establishing a solid positive relationship at both ends of the leash. This little pup is off to a great start by attending a positive training class and both human and dog are learning to communicate with each other. Could this be a Love Dog of the future?

 

 

Is it too soon to start training my pup?

Kharma learning to Stay on PLace

Kharma learning to Stay on PLace

The day you bring your new pup or dog home is the day you begin teaching her.

The Pet Partners therapy program requires dogs to be at least a year old and have lived with their owners for at least six months before they can test to become therapy dogs. But the relationship begins much sooner than that and my favorite classes are young dogs or newly adopted dogs starting their journey to becoming the best pets they can be.

Establishing the human-animal bond at both ends of the leash is our goal and thus all training is positive in nature. Not fear or punishment driven but solid positive reinforcement. And not even food driven. Our dogs want US more than anything else so our rewards are based upon what your dog enjoys the most – being given a belly rub, petted under the chin, invitation to kiss, a good walk or play time. The reward keeps changing as our dog wants different things at different times. But it is always acknowledging the right things our dogs do and not punishing their mistakes.

Lexi is a very tiny eight month old Morkie (Maltese Yorkie mix) and as cute as can be. When we first met, her owner was highly motivated to have them become part of the Love Dog therapy program, but more importantly wanted a well mannered dog.

Lexi is the smartest pup!

Lexi is the smartest pup!

Lexi wasn’t even solidly potty trained yet but old enough to take class with other dogs. However due to scheduling her first round of classes she was the only dog having private sessions. She was quick and bright and learned really fast to go to her Place and Lie on her Blanket. She did so well with many things but she just did not want to walk on a leash! Very often the really small dogs resist walking because either they are carried a lot or find it slippery and difficult. But I knew the best way to get her to walk was to have another dog with us in class so I invited a small dog a little more experienced than Lexi to join us. And Lady came to the rescue!

As soon as both dogs were in the training space together Lady walked around and Lexi started following her. Within a very short while she was walking with her owner, going to potty wherever she was shown to go and tremendous growth was seen.

Now Lexi is taking a second series of classes and Lady is in her class to be her friend and motivate her. Lady is on her way to being a Love Dog and will test with both her mom and dad so she is in this class with dad only so he can hone his handling skills with her.

Lady is now the teacher!

Lady is now the teacher!

There is a third small dog in the class who had no training experience at all and she watches the other two and is learning from them. It is amazing to see how the dogs teach each other. This is one of my favorite classes because we have three dogs at three different levels of learning and owners excited about getting to know their dogs better and understand how they learn..

So start early, find a trainer and group class that fits with your personality and do your homework!

Before you know it you will have a well mannered, happy dog and perhaps be on the path to being a Love Dog therapy team.

 

For more information about the Love Dog Adventures therapy program, visit www.lovedogadventures.org and to learn more about our national program go to www.petpartners.org.