We have been affectionately calling the 4 week training program Kinley is going to “College.” Silly humans, I know!
I asked so many of you for your thoughts on training programs and was so happy with all of the responses. After a lot of thought, I am going to move forward with the program. I have been training with Kinley since the age of 4 months old. I did a lot right but many things wrong. My biggest hope is that she will develop more confidence. That is the area where I have fallen short. She is so trusting but often get excited or anxious I think because of some insecurities.
Most, if not all of you thought it best that I train with Kinley. I agree but also see the benefit of her working with others. After all I am a first time dog owner and not a dog trainer with 10+ years of experience. I coach youth lacrosse and I cannot tell you how beneficial is it for the athletes to have many coaches. It makes them well rounded and we all coach in different ways.
I know that she will love the program because she is a working breed and a big fan of treats! I get to swing by daily to watch her train so that I don’t go through withdrawal. Wish us luck!
You all frequently give me awesome advice and insight to chew on. So, I want to know what you think!
I will be traveling for a week in the beginning of May and need to board Kinley at our favorite place, The Dog Knowledge. So, I started to look into the training packages they offer (two birds, one stone). After exploring, they felt it best to do a 4 week live in training program.
It is 1,745.00 (about $62.00 a day) for 28 days. I have been going there for a long time and often when I drop her off for daycare they are training. It is a beautiful, calm, and happy environment. They do 6-10 training sessions a day, 15 minutes of training and 45 minutes of play.
The thought of not sleeping with her or seeing her face for 4 weeks is so daunting but they do allow you to come by anytime to watch training and of course send pictures. I know Kinley is a working breed and I have a feeling she would love it and it would build her confidence.
What do you guys think? Brutal honesty people, I have thick skin.
This video cracks me up! It shows two rules we try to enforce. Key word being try! There is no playing in the house. Not with other animals, and no humans throwing balls etc. You can see the Bear and Kinley are desperately trying to play in a discrete way. It’s hard to break this up because they are so darn cute.
The other rule that has helped a ton is, Kinley must lay down while playing with puppies or smaller dogs. It makes everything fair and as most of you know a bad experience for a puppy under 1 year old with another dog can be quite scarring and hurt socialization. So, as a large breed owner it is my job to keep Kinley in check and make sure everyone is having a positive experience.
Ever since I can remember, I had always wanted a Golden Retriever. These cuddly, sweet, eager to please pups seem to be the best match for my personality. Sadie, pictured left, is my sisters 8 year old golden. She is one of the many Goldens that I came into contact with over the years and immediately stole my heart.
Through out my life I had been around Shepherds too. Cindy, was the first and only dog that bit me. She was old and cranky and I was young and most likely annoying. Then there was Packer, my best friend’s dog. Her step dad was a warden at a jail and Packer was his well trained companion. I encounter these dogs and at the time it meant very little to me.
Then I met Jackie. An all black Shepherd who was own by a man I was trying to win over. It took me about 6 months of obedience and correction on all the mistakes I was making, to learn how to behave and handle Jackie. With time I became confident and he grew to like me as well.
This dog was loyal, smart, athletic, a real companion that was able to come along for any ride or trip. But even with those stellar qualities, did I want an independent dog who didn’t need the affection that I so badly wanted from a dog companion?
I am so happy that I chose a Shepherd. Kinley is more than I could ever ask for in a dog companion and continues to impress me everyday. She will often join me on the couch for a quick cuddle and luckily allows me to drag her to the top of the bed every morning to cuddle for about 5 minutes while she is still to sleepy to realize it is almost time to go outside and eat!
What was your dream breed and what do you have now???
Some where along the way while educating and getting educated we have created absolutes. I love this post because it reminds us to not fall into that trap.
There have been so many times when people have told me that Kinley just wants to please me. Dont’ get me wrong, Kinley loves me but she doesn’t do much to try to please me. She loves to play, eat, explore, and she is prey motivated. I have seen dogs who live for affection and praise (lots of Goldens) but my dog does not. I am almost positive that she would be content if we never touched or spoke. She loves my presence.
Jean Donaldson is the founder of the San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers. Her books include The Culture Clash, Dogs Are From Neptune and MINE! A Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs.
1) Dogs are naturally pack animals with a clear social order.
This one busts coming out of the gate as free-ranging dogs (pariahs, semi-feral populations, dingoes, etc.) don’t form packs. As someone who spent years solemnly repeating that dogs were pack animals, it was sobering to find out that dogs form loose, amorphous, transitory associations with other dogs.
2) If you let dogs exit doorways ahead of you, you’re letting them be dominant.