Archive for September, 2010

Jade makes a homerun in downtown Royal Oak

Jade is a beautiful 5 month old yellow Labrador Retriever who is owned by Carlos Guillen of the Detroit Tigers. Jade is your typical Labrador puppy full of energy, gets distracted easily and just wants to play. She is very mouthy, will jump and counter surf, but on the good side she is very sensitive. Another problem is that she is a little cautious of new things. Jade is a prime example of why it is so important to socialize your young puppies.

Just Hanging Out

Just Hanging Out

She has been in boot camp for four days now and besides training. I am working on socializing and desensitizing her to people, places, things and noises. She is also very cautious of new dogs and it will be very important to expose her to many nice dogs.

The training has been going well. She does an excellent sit-stay,

Jade in Royal Oak

Jade in Royal Oak

walks well on a leash with mild distractions, and does down, but struggles with down-stay. Don’t worry, by the time she goes home she will have a much better handle on the down-stay. Today was her first big trip to the city. We went to downtown Royal Oak to work around the people. She did great.  I thought she might be nervous, because the first time I took her to the pet store “Pet Food & More.” She was a little nervous, but after about 10 minutes she acted like she owned the store. This is normal for cautious dogs, so I figured that she would do the same thing in Royal Oak. Not at all, as soon as she jumped out of the vehicle her tail was wagging and she showed no signs of apprehension. In fact initially she was very distracted and wanted to investigate everything and say hello to everybody she saw. Within a few minutes I was able to get her focusing and start working on her obedience. She walked perfectly past people.

Can We Walk to Tiger Stadium

Can We Walk to Tiger Stadium

Okay her tail was wagging so hard that her body was twisting back and forth, but she stayed by my side. If I placed her in a sit-stay she would hold that position even if people walked past. I am also glad to say that she had the opportunity to be a therapy dog. There was a lady in a wheelchair and she greeted the lady making her smile. Tomorrow we will go to downtown Birmingham and work her amongst these busy city streets. I’ll keep you posted.

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September 22, 2010 at 3:26 pm Leave a comment

Training a Havanese, named Mojo

Mojo is a very exuberant little black and white Havanese, but also very sweet. Her owner lives half the year in Florida and the other half in Michigan. In Florida Mojo is the highlight of everyone’s day.

Spunky Mojo playing with Aggie

Anyone for a game of chase!

She is such a happy little dog, always wagging her tail and wants to say hello to everyone. Mojo only has a few flaws like: jumping on everyone she meets, pulling her owner around, running in front and tripping the owner, barks at everything she sees, hides under the bed and won’t come out. She also has a bad habit of chewing things. I had worked with the Daughter’s Wheaton Terrier several years ago and so they hired me to work with Mojo.

I showed up at the house and was soon greeted by a high pitched bark that I was told would continue for 15 minutes. I simply pressed the button on an Ultra Sonic devise and Mojo was instantly quite. Mojo was than lavishly praised for being quite. Because of the situation and circumstance (The owners 94 Mother was in the Hospital.) It was decided the best thing to do is send Mojo off to Bonny’s Boot Camp. The funny part is while I was explaining to them how boot camp worked. Mojo snuck in the bedroom grabbed a box of Kleenex, ran underneath the bed and chewed it up. It was almost like she signed her own enrollment forms. The sad part is that she was previously trained by one of the franchised training companies

Boot Camp was probably the best bet for Mojo. Havanese are very sensitive dogs and need a very positive approach to training. They need to have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. They need to be shown what you want, and feel comfortable doing it. The trickiest part is that they also like to act as if they are clueless of what you want.

DAY ONE: To be honest when I got her home I wondered if she even knew her name. I would say Mojo and there wasn’t even a glimmer of recognition. So we started with the name game and getting her to watch me. We had several sessions of this before I attempted to teach her anything else. Once I had her focusing on me it was time to teach her to walk on a loose leash. This was accomplished very quickly in the comfort of my back yard and with no distraction.

DAY TWO & THREE: It was very important to teach Mojo to walk perfectly on leash and so I spent a lot of time working on this. By the end of 2 days she was doing very well. She even accompanied me to one of my group classes and was worked around all the other dogs. I had worked a little bit on the control exercises like sit and stay, but my main goal was walking.

DAY FOUR & FIVE:  It was time to teach her down, work at her mastering the sit-stay

I can Stay!

I can Stay!

, work on come and of course all through out this we would do chew discrimination test. (You can see how to set one of these test up on my DVD, “Instant Solutions”)

DAY SIX THRU EIGHT: Continued working on all previous exercises except my main emphasis was on getting her to come. By day eight she would now come when called in the backyard or house with minor distractions, so it was time to start teaching her to walk off leash. Mojo is one dog that under the circumstances as stated earlier really needs to have good leash manners.

DAY NINE THRU TWELVE: Was all about working off leash taking her with me to client’s homes and proofing her on all her newly learned skills.

THE REMAINING DAYS:  had one new exercise to teach her and that was the place command. “Place” is where they learn to go to their dog bed lay down and stay. By the time we were done Mojo would stay in place for an hour and even held that position when someone came to the front door.

The real trick is working with Mojo’s owner to teach her what to do. What I really liked is how enthusiastic the owner was to learn. She keeps practicing the techniques and keeps bragging how she has a new dog. Originally the owner was worried that I would take the spark and spunk out of Mojo. The best part is that Mojo is listening to her and is still her spunky self.

September 3, 2010 at 8:50 pm Leave a comment


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