Alan and his family came in for private puppy training with their new golden doodle puppy Cinnamon
Cinnamon had lots of energy and was also going to need some special training tips on how adapt well to a family member in a wheelchair. Alan was hoping to be able to walk their excitable new puppy around the block with his electric chair.
After trying a few different training tools, getting the leash length set up properly, the ez- walk harness worked like a charm.
She immediately started to walk like a pro, stopped pulling and learned to keep her space from the wheels. It was like magic with the proper fit of tools and the right length of leash.
I couldnt have been more pleased to know that even a new young puppy with lots of energy, could learn rules and boundaries in such a short time. It was so rewarding to know that this pup was going to be a great fit and give this family lots of joy and functional years together. Adapting training session to fit what the client needs is what we focus on even with a new puppy!
How to identify the 4 options of response choices a dog can make in any situation and what are they?
1) FLIGHT: If a dog chooses flight; They make the choice of removing themselves from a situation not being comfortable enough to deal with it. This can be the case not only in fearful situations & uncertainty, but just stressful situations in general. Not all dogs will tolerate fear and stress the same way, in making the choice of flight.
2) FIGHT: When a dog chooses fight; This can be based on dominant instincts, severe fear-based instincts, temperament-based issues and protection-based instincts. Again, the level of threat will relate to the confidence (or lack of) for the dog to choose fight.
3) ENGAGE: This is the most acceptable form of behavior that we like to see in all dogs. Engage is encouraged in healthy, stable dogs. Healthy situations and times would be defined as times there should be no threat to the dog. This doesn’t mean that all dogs must engage all the time, but severe responses are normally not required in a normal engaging situation like general meeting, social environments (without threat) and balanced dogs in general.
4) AVOID: Is a less responsive response that fight, flight or engage. Avoid quite often is when the dog is just not interested in being a part of something. It also can be a sign of a softer temperament and unconfident responses as well. By avoiding, the dog visually and confrontationally takes themselves away from the equation and chooses not to respond. Quite often they will avoid eye contact and ignore as best as possible while staying put.
Based upon any dog’s temperament you can predict what situations a dog will respond too in anyone of these four options. Get to understand what makes your dog react and why. If you have a “hard tempered dog” then they can be more responsive and quicker to make any one of the choices above. A softer tempered dog may hesitate longer to make any one of the decisions above. You need to understand the temperament and tolerance your dog has, to be able to predict how they may respond.
Just because a dog chooses fight, does not mean you have an aggressive dog. Many times, extreme fear can cause major and extreme responses. At Awesome K9 we see less confident dogs get into altercations more often than a confident dog. Understand your dogs comfort zones and triggers. Learn how to build your dogs confidence and YOU be the fearless leader for them, allowing them to rely on your judgement to keep them safe. Pay attention to body language and postures that will give you initial clues on how they may act. This will give you time to step in, before the dog can make a choice that might not be acceptable. Don’t wait for the dog to get into trouble.
Bentley was a golden retriever puppy with a strong will and a sharp mind. He was sometimes a handful as he got stronger and bigger fast! Here is what his owner had to say after puppy training was done:
We also enjoyed the training, not just Bentley! He made some huge gains and I have also gained some confidence.
I will likely reconnect with you in July for the next phase! Thanks so much it was fun and inspiring. Wed love to continue after the summer and he gets to the next phase where we can start on more mind work and longer focus!
Puppy classes gave Traci a great start to be able to manage her strong puppy and learn the walk to be more enjoyable and manageable. A good foundation is always the best way to start out with a new puppy. Even is you have had dogs in the past, they are all different in temperament, timing and focus. We also forget after 15 years, what things were like when our now well behaved easy dog was a puppy getting into mischief at the beginning.
Getting your dog out for regular walks and exercise can be a challenge with busy schedules these days. We love our dogs, but quite often, Fido gets out less than he should and as a result, this can create a few issues over time. Dogs that don’t get enough walk times in daily, can develop behavioural issues such as boredom, destructive episodes, anxiety, restlessness & barking not to mention other behavior problems, such as territorial issues, marking and aggressive episodes when not socialized on a regular basis.
There are many different types of dog walking services to choose from. You can have options like off leash, leashed walks, play time, group walks, private walks, fenced in play, short walks, long walks, the list of options go on.
The important think you should look for is a service with a good track record. Proper procedures in place and all safety issues be addressed based upon your dog’s temperament. Know what the skill set is of the walker you are potentially going to use. Do they have a training background? Do they have references? Do they make you feel comfortable with giving them your dog? Do they respect your requests when walking your dog or using walking tools, such as training collars and leashes? Do they have a specific pick up and drop off time? Do you want them to take your dog out of your neighborhood or walk them in the area? There are many different options available and not all services offer the same things. Do your homework and pick out what would be the safest option for your dog as well as someone you feel you can trust with your dogs’ best interest in place. A regular scheduled walk can be just what your dog needs to keep them happy, content, calm and happy at home. Remember, this is a daily event and it is necessary as us having our shower or brushing our teeth daily! Don’t neglect your dog thinking that tomorrow you’ll get to it! Keep them happy and healthy both mentally and physically with regular walks!
It can make all the difference each day!
For information on walking services with Awesome K9, feel free to contact our concierge “Favio” who will love your dog as much as you do! http://awesomek9.com/dog-walking-ottawa/
Here is another testimonial from a long term client. Who benefits from doing our pack walks on a regular basis after completing their training program. Here we had a challenging Jack Russell named Belle, it took commitment, love and time from dedicated owners, but with persistence they got through it.
“We weren’t sure we could keep her! Walks were a nightmare, she had separation anxiety / containment phobia and was highly reactive to other dogs when we got her”!
This was a rescue dog, Jack Russell around 1 to 2 years old, found running loose. So, no history at all but the foster home had warned me she had started a fight at their home where four other dogs also lived.
When we got home after picking up the dog from the foster family, and went for our first walk, it was a disaster. When she saw a woman coming along the sidewalk with her two westies about 20 feet away she went berserk. Jumped up, writhed around, got away from the head lead and attacked viciously. It took a couple of minutes to get a hold on her and tear her away, wrestle her to the ground, get her lead back on etc.
After that every time she saw another dog, whether close or far, she would start to bark frantically, jump up and down, lunge and pull very hard on the leash, and just go red zone. To “go for a walk” we put on a collar and leash, a muzzle, and a halter with a second leash. Although she really wanted to go on a walk, we didn’t!! We thought she was fiercely aggressive; we thought of returning the dog as unmanageable.
However, after a consultation with Awesome K9, where Nancy-Lynn showed both her highly trainable side, sweet nature, the diagnosis was “highly reactive”. And we could work with that. Nancy-Lynn thought there was hope and she would improve with proper exposure and handling of a confident leader for this little ball of fire.
Belle also had severe separation anxiety, to the point where she fought to get out of her crate and injured both paws and fore legs. When not in her crate, she clawed at the door and left big gouges in it from door handle to floor. We weren’t sure how to manage all that.
During our training program, with lots of structure in her life, regular exercise, free running in the country and lots of love, and continued practice, she gradually was improving. The intensity of her reaction is greatly reduced; However, she has now met several dogs, sniffed appropriately front and rear and even met some dogs while free in the dog park. She has gone on Awesome K9 pack walks and periods of acting out have reduced greatly, she settles down and walks along beside any dog or even between two dogs. She will sit and do any of the drills the other dogs do without incident. On her free runs in the country she races around but comes easily and well and is a much better-balanced dog. Other vigorous exercises – digging, chasing the ball into the water and swimming, playing frisbee, have helped to reduce her level of frustration. It has been on going to maintain and continue improving daily.
Doing regular drills as taught, regular pack walks and getting the dog to focus, or getting her diverted when she is about to go red zone have also helped. She still occasionally goes crazy when seeing another dog, pulls occasionally, barks and growls and lunges while wagging her tail, however, the severity and incidences have diminished greatly. She has much better encounter when walking. So, we are on the way to her becoming a socialized dog-consistency, patience and practice is key.
We love her lots and are happy to have seen this process through to keep her and make it work.
Gay, Owen & Bell
“PLACE” is a valuable and functional command to give your dog direction and a designated place to go lie down until you release them. This Can be very useful in many ways. It can control an overly social dog to give people space. It can keep the dog in a safe place when situations arise, and you don’t have a means of restraint with a leash handy or you physically can’t get to the dog. It gives your dog a familiar and safe place to be directed too that it knows. It also gives you authority to give the dog direction and they are used to the repetitive experience of going to their “Place”. It’s a valuable training tool to have in your tool box.
“Place can be defined by a matt, bed, a step, a stump. Even a mobile “place matt” (that could be anything that defines space and the dog knows to go to it. It can be something you take with you when you are out with the dog.
Start out by defining an object like a mat, bed or mobile object they can comfortable go lie down on. Begin by directing them to it and have them lie down on it. Then give the command “Place”, step back and reward. Continue to repeat the process until the dog knows where to go and lies down. Then you can start to move away from the target. As you practice this, continue to reward after the dog goes down on the command: “PLACE”.
After you establish the command and a “Place” the dog knows, then you can start moving the target in the room. Continue to reward when the dog goes to his “Place”. You can also define different object for the dog to “PLACE” on. You can do this, by pointing to different object for the dog to go lie down or sit on. You can also tell them to “PLACE on your matt” as an example.
The dog should stay on their “Place” until you release them with the “free” command. Then, they can get up and wonder. Once the dog gets good at this practice, you can introduce distractions while in the “PLACE” command to proof the dog will have a solid “PLACE” when you need it.
To learn how to do teach “PLACE” to your dog, feel free to contact us for help at Awesomek9.com
Jack is an Ottawa dog that was very high strung, nervous and had lots of reactivity issues when his owner Kristine and her husband came to me for help. They could not walk him without him being highly reactive to other dogs and his manners needed control and work. In his 6 weeks of private instruction, they learned what caused the issues and how to manage Jacks energy. He lacked focus, direction and strong leadership. So, we went to work! Now Jack is a star when it comes to his obedience work and his social skills have improved tremendously… no more outbursts of lunging and barking when he sees other dogs on his walks. His owners can calmly control what happens and stay calm themselves for a positive outcome.
Here is what Kristine had to say after completing their training program and continue to join in on the pack walks for maintenance:
“He is much better behaved when walking and, if I am properly attending to his behaviours, I can often head off a reaction before it builds. He is far less reactive than he was prior to our training. I believe that with the tools provided the awesome pack walks, we can continue to improve his walking behaviours. One thing that has been a huge improvement is his stay.
I can now leave him and walk over 100 feet away and he will sit until I call him. This gives him an opportunity to stretch his legs which is, I believe a stress reliever that is also helping his behaviour. I have also had opportunities to practice his stay, loose leash but standing on the end, with other dogs walking past and he does not react. This is a huge change and I cannot be happier and hope to continue to improve this to the point where he won’t react even without me being so close. Thanks Nancy-Lynn things are so much better now, and we can now enjoy our walks! “
If you have an issue with your puppy, or a timid puppy, act now to help your puppy. Training early will hopefully give you the tools and confidence to head off behaviours that slowly creep up on you until you have an actual problem. Go see Awesome K9, so you have the tools to ward off problems before they
Kristine & Jack
Oreo came to me from Ottawa/ Gatineau area and was a little handful! He was not a good walker and could not stay focused. When he would see other dogs he would go crazy; barking, lunging and growling at the other dogs at the end of his leash. Oreo needed much more stimulation and interaction on a regular basis. He had lots and lots of energy to burn off to make him calm. Daily exercise and exposure was part of his program and he even went to a kennel and played with other dogs for over a week. Now he gets more consistent exercise and exposure, which makes a world of difference for him. He even learned how to use the treadmill and has regular visits to daycare to keep up on his socialization skills!
This is what the client said:
We had recently adopted Oreo from the SPCA and while he was a real sweetheart with humans (big and small) he would loose his little canine mind everytime we encountered another dog on our walks. In addition to his poor social skills, Oreo was pulling on leash and he was exhibiting less than perfect manners (jumping on people and furniture, bolting when the door was open, barking at the doobell,…).
In the first lesson Nancy-Lynn showed us how to properly handle Oreo on leash and we saw immediately a big improvement. Throughout our lessons, she gave us tricks and exercises to practice with Oreo and his manners have improved significantly. We worked hard on his social skills and were even able to walk Oreo along side Nancy-Lynn’s dogs without him reacting. We are confident that with continued practice of what Nancy-Lynn has taught us and by regularly attending pack walks, Oreo will continue to improve and be the amazing dog that he can be.
Nessy’s owner’s came to me from just outside the city of Ottawa with a dog that was wild, anxious, infinite medical issues, couldn’t settle down, walk nicely, or play with the kids without being too aggressive in play. Brigitte could barely walk her without being dragged off her feet. Covered in bruises, from Nessy’s rough play, they needed help.
With help from their vet with proper medication for an ear disorder and anxiety issues, we added various exercise routines, obedience work, metal focus, daily play time and exposure… Then we worked on Brigitte and the whole family, to become the calm balanced leader that Nessy needed to keep her from wild outbursts and endless energy with no off switch.
Here is what they had to say after our sessions and all their homework was completed. So happy to have been able to help with the multiple issues they were having!! Keeping up with the pack walks have been a golden bonus!
I just wanted to send this photo of Nessie, relaxing at my feet while I work. Before our training sessions with you and all your encouragement, tips, and help diagnosing her with anxiety, Nessie would’ve never been relaxed enough to just find a comfortable spot and plop down.
We have a completely different dog than we did when we first came to see you.
Pam came to me with a doodle (Doodle dogs originated with a cross between a poodle and a Labrador,) puppy named Moka that was lots of energy and she wasn’t quite sure how to get the dog to behave as well as be safe with her kids. Because she was a novice dog owner, there was lots of issues she came to me with and needed to get control of Moka asap.
After doing a training program that involved her kids and the dog, everyone was better equipped to do the right things to make having a dog fun and safe for the whole family. (including the dog!)
Here’s what Pam had to say about her dog Mocha after doing a program with Awesome K9 and learned how to manage her dog better. Resulting in better manners and confidence, Mocha rarely jumps on people or dogs anymore! She’s a better walker, and her recall is much improved. She is only 8 months old, but has improved so much from when they first started. Thank you Nancy-Lynn!
Practice and doing the homework is the key to success! Great job Mocha and Pam!