DF: How's puppy training going?
Post Family: Training is going great so far. We've had two classes and he's already learned a lot. He is consistent with "sit" and getting better at "down." More importantly, our family has learned HOW to train Fred. The treat-based method works very well because Fred is very food driven. Also having the whole family using the same "marker" word and commands is very important. We are very happy with what we've learned in the first two classes with Jada and Dog Face.
DF: What are your training goals in the next couple weeks?
Post Family: We are really looking forward to Fred listening to us better when there are distractions like other dogs or people. We're looking forward to him learning "come" since that will be an important one, we have already started working on it.
This is one of the MOST common topics we talk about in classes and with private training clients. Here is my very favorite video offering a simple, concise explanation (hint: it's just takes more training!) Watch this brief clip to learn why! Why Your Dog Doesn't Listen Around Distractions
DF: We talk about high value treats in class. What are some favorites that you've found for Fred?
Post Family: At home we use Zuke's treats. Fred likes them. I like them because they are small and then he doesn't get too full on them. At our 2nd Puppy 1 class we brought cut up hot dogs, per Jada's recommendation of high value treats. He definitely likes those! He was extra attentive when given the chance to earn hot dog treats. We're reluctant to try too many varieties of treats because Fred doesn't always have the most solid poops and we don't want to upset his stomach.
DF: Puppies are soooo cute, but they are not easy. What has been the most challenging part of raising a puppy?
Post Family: The toughest part of raising the puppy is the amount of time he needs from us. He is still working on potty training, so we have to take him out a lot. Also, he needs lots of exercise and attention. It's hard with two elementary aged kids, jobs and a puppy, but it's obvious that it will get easier quickly especially if we put the extra time in now working with Fred.
Fred is a lucky boy!
Meet our November All Star, Fred! Fred is a 13 week old Golden Retriever and newest member of the Post Family. The Posts are new dog owners and we thought it would be fun to follow them through their very first puppy class. Throughout the next 6 weeks, we’ll be chatting with The Posts about their class experience, Fred’s adorableness, kids and dogs and what it’s like to bring a puppy home for the first time.
If you’re looking at adding a puppy to your life, we hope you’ll learn a lot from their story and if you’re a veteran dog owner, let the sweet memories of “remember when” roll!
Meet The Posts! Jopp and Kelly wanted a dog that their kiddos, Phoebe (8) and Polly (6), could grow up with. With daughters old enough to help out and at a great age to develop skills to be responsible pet owners, the Posts brought home Fred on September 21, 2017.
Now, 13 weeks old, The Posts report that Fred is pretty much potty trained (AWESOME WORK!) and he loves playing and biting. One of their goals is to work on redirecting his biting to appropriate toys (one of our favorite topics in puppy class!)
In Fred’s first puppy class, he played nicely with the other puppies and the most important thing they learned was how to properly train a puppy with treats. The Posts are motivated to work on training at home because, as every puppy pawrent quickly learns, class is a very distracting environment! Since class on Monday, The Posts have taught Fred to manage the stairs in the house, thanks to tips from Trainer Jada. And, in true puppy spirit, Fred made a memorable exit from his first puppy class….by pooping, then stepping in it! Oh, the puppy life!
The Posts are eager to learn more about dog behavior and understanding how dogs learn and we’re looking forward to teaching them and watching Fred grow!
Jenna was my best friend & right hand gal. Because of her, I found my passion to help educate others about dog behavior and the science of positive dog training. She taught me to be patient and to live in and enjoy each moment of life, just as she did - Sara B.
Tell us all about Jenna:
My husband, for some reason, really wanted a Boxer. We had no dogs at the time and I wasn't keen on getting one. He found Jenna online, showed me a picture of her and I agreed we could meet her. Her then paw-rents brought her over for a visit to see if we'd be a good match for her. I kept my distance and let my husband decide, as this was to be his dog. I have him the go-ahead and Jenna quickly became my girl. The more I kept my distance, the more she wiggled her way into my heart! Jenna was the sweetest girl ever and the best cuddler. She was always by my side on the couch, half sitting on my lap. In her younger days, Jenna loved to play with her loudest squeaky toys in the early morning hours. She also loved learning new things, especially because she got super yummy treats. She LOVED to eat., She could hear a wrapper opening form the other end of the house and she'd be right there - head tilted, staring into your soul, as if she would pass out if she didn't get a bite!
What was your biggest training obstacle to overcome with Jenna:
My biggest behavioral obstacle to overcome with Jenna was her leash reactivity, particularly with small dogs. I'm not sure if this was an existing issues, before we adopted her. I was a novice dog person and didn't know to ask. Through positive training and desensitization, Jenna was able to become more confident and relaxed on our walks and was able to pass most other dogs without incident.
What advice do you have for dealing with the death of a family dog?
If you know your dog has an incurable or life-long illness, prepare. Know what to look for to indicate that your dog is uncomfortable. Dogs are experts at masking pain. This about a plan about how you want your dog to pass. Whether you choose to take your dog to your local vet, the emergency vet or have your pet euthanized at home, ask those difficult questions about the process. It will be easier when you know what to expect. It's so very difficult and heartbreaking to think about, but the more you plan and prepare, the better you'll feel about your decision. However, know that you cannot plan for everything. Accidents and emergencies do happen and you may not have time to prepare. Just know that you did your best, given the circumstances, and your dog is grateful for that. Know that no matter what, you'll probably have regrets as you go through the stages of grief. You may think your dog could've had one more good day or you may feel you waited too long. There is no perfect time, It's so difficult to lose a beloved family member, because they weren't "just a dog." They were likely your best friend, so grieve in your own way and on your own time.
What advice do you have for people who are looking to adopt:
Do your research. Think about your lifestyle and what you're looking for in a pet. Adopting a pet is not a decision to be taken lightly, it's a long term commitment and it is a lot of work. Wherever you adopt your dog from, please, please do not purchase a dog or puppy from a pet store. While you may think you're saving them, despite what the store tells you, those dogs have come from puppy mills and adopting them only lines the pockets of the people who make a living off of dogs living in deplorable conditions used as breeding machines. Please consider adopting from a rescue or local shelter. There are so many dogs in need of a loving, forever home. Lastly, training goes a long way! I promise you'll learn as much or more than your dog. It's a great way to bond with your dog while simultaneously teaching your dog polite behaviors. It's so much fun!
"There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm."