Learning Dog Training in Delaware… What an awesome experience! I spent four weeks taking a course through Canine Trade Group. This was only the beginning of this career for me.
I stayed and trained at the DelMar Waterfowl Club, which was a perfect spot to call home for a month. I stayed in an old farm house, which I felt at home in from the moment I arrived. I treasure older farm houses. I was reminded the other day by a former coworker that from the first day she met me, she remembers me telling her that someday I wanted to live on a farm, surrounded by my dogs, and live a simple farm life. Well, I got a taste of that life this past month.
I woke every morning early enough to take my dogs for a dewy walk. What a way to start the day! The property at Del Mar is vast and I was able to let my dogs run free in the back. We would start and end the walk with Basic Obedience; heel, sit, down, stay. It’s a wonderful basis to start any walk that way. She would wait for the release signal “OK!” Then run free!! There is nothing more rewarding, in my opinion, than knowing that my actions allow my dogs to enjoy life to the fullest. The look on a dog’s face enjoying life is priceless. They get that goofy look on their face (you know which one: wide eyes, tongue hanging at their side, tail going so fast it makes you dizzy). At times I even rode the four-wheeler and had one of the dog’s running behind and another alongside. It was like there were cheetahs running behind me! I would laugh so hard watching their happy faces. They would rest peacefully the rest of the day after the morning walk.
I’ve always felt that tired dogs are happy dogs. As a dog trainer, I have truly come to appreciate and understand the value of tiring a dog physically, but most importantly, mentally. Dogs need experiences that challenge them emotionally and cognitively. But, I’ve learned that most clients don’t really know how to stimulate their dog’s mind in a positive way. For example, while one a recent consultation in Delaware, there was a dog that pulled on the leash terribly and was out of control at home. He was also obviously filled with anxiety and couldn’t seem to stand still and relax. When it came to asking the clients about mental and physical exercise, the client felt that taking the dog for a walk (a walk consisting of the dog pulling on the leash, the entire time choking himself) was enough to tire him out in the ways he needed. Of course, the dog was physically tired, but still found other ways to become destructive back at home. After explaining the many benefits, I suggested starting my Basic Obedience Program.
In my Foundation Obedience Program, I teach my clients many tools that can be added into a portion of the daily walk. Among them are heel, sit, finished heel, and down. I suggest starting the first 5-10 minutes of your walk mixing up the commands, all the while heeling. The dog’s focus must be maintained on the handler throughout the walk, staying conscious of the next command. I teach how to provide plenty of positive reinforcement at the correct time, allowing your dog to become increasingly reliable. The cool part is that they will have fun succeeding! Though the mental stimulation gained through Basic Obedience commands is absolutely exhausting, it is incredibly rewarding for the dog and handler alike. Doing it this way helps incorporate “training” into your daily routine. This way it’s enjoyable, and not a chore!
Good training is disciplined play! CALL ME to find out how your dog can be mentally exercised in the most productive and rewarding way possible. You can do it because you’re good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like you!