February client spotlight: Carly

Congratulations to our February client spotlight, Carly the mixed breed!

carlysnickerstootsie

Carly (L) poses with sisters Snickers (C) and Tootsie (R)

Carly is a mixed breed rescue who landed in a wonderful, loving home with two other rescue dogs, and three rescue kitties. It’s all far too adorable so it’s a wonder we ever get any “work” done. 😉 But in all seriousness, having Carly as a day training client has been extremely fun! Carly LOVES training and is very excited to learn every time I show up.

I did a 12-session day training package with Carly over four weeks to address her bolting out of the front door and having fun playing “keep away.” She was trained to sit-stay on a mat whenever the door was open, as well as working on her come when called, and hand targeting as an alternate way to call her. She’s done a stellar job and her mother has been very good about complying with management to set her up success (installing a gate so she isn’t able to bolt from the front door when we were still in training, and to give mom a break in case she doesn’t feel like ensuring Carly will do the sit-stay). Mom has also been great at practicing training techniques we’ve used to maintain the training.

We’re doing another 12-session package to maintain this training but also work on other items. It’s nice to have weekly visits with Carly and her sisters; while her sisters have not been the main focus during training, they often like to participate in sitting politely for treats, being a distraction for come when called practice, and playing the It’s Yer Choice game together (as well as vying for my attention and giving me wonderful kisses).

Thank you for entrusting me with your training needs!
Laura
Owner, Delightful Doggies

January 2017 clients

We’re off to a wonderful start to 2017. Thanks to all our returning and new clients for supporting us! We love working with all of you, and are looking forward to an amazing year.

Click on the below photo icons to visit our January 2017 Flickr album of all the wonderful animals we worked with this month. If you click on the slideshow button on that web page (top right computer/play icon), you can view them in a fun slideshow format. Don’t forget to LIKE and follow our Facebook page to see even more photos of client dogs, great articles, news items and blog posts. We also have an Instagram account!

Fitz and Gretel Joey Molly Tippy Knuckles Bella Tuti Rhodie Goldi Lexi Strider and Guillermo Ngala Lucy Mowgli Zuri Roo Carly Jasper Max Porter Luna Bronco Chai

Thank you,
Laura
Owner, Delightful Doggies

January client spotlight: Fitz and Gretel

Congratulations to our January client spotlight, Fitz and Gretel!

fitz-and-gretel

Fitz and Gretel are such charmers!

We go a long way back with these two! Fitz was one of my very first Delightful Doggies clients, a dog walking/pet sitting client as we used to offer those services in the beginning. Gretel was adopted later, so I’ve known her since she was a puppy.

I hadn’t seen these two for a while until I was asked to do day training with Gretel in November. She struggles with being leash reactive towards other dogs, and she and I did training walks together to work on this problem. In December, Courtney and I started working with both of them as we wanted to help support their very-busy parents and address other problems.

These two have had lots of changes in recent history, including moving to a new neighborhood with more construction and violators of leash laws, and adding a set of human twins to their family! We have been working a lot with not only having less stressful walks, but learning how to be calmer in the home. Gretel in particular has done great with the mat work we’ve done with her, and we’ve been working on desensitization and counterconditioning plans to items that cause them to bark. And we LOVE having the best fun with them–they are very sweet and sensitive pups!

Fitz and Gretel are blessed to have parents who love them dearly and are dedicated to their well-being and happiness. We are doubly blessed to get to work with all of them, and I cannot think of a more worthy client spotlight to kick off 2017.

Thank you for entrusting us with your training needs!
Laura
Owner, Delightful Doggies

New video: Ginger and Game of Thrones

We just uploaded a new YouTube video of our client, Ginger, a corgi who has a challenging time controlling her impulses when certain items are on TV: exciting sports events, action/adventure films, and everyone’s favorite, Game of Thrones!

In this video you will see me working with Ginger while we go through an episode of Game of Thrones. I’m using a VERY high-value treat (hot dogs) to pair with the show and its exciting elements to desensitize and countercondition her response to be more calm. We can then also reward calm behaviors like coming to me, disengaging from the television, looking at me, and sitting.

We love working with dogs on being calm and confident, and hope you will contact us if we can help you!

Happy Training,
Laura
Owner, Delightful Doggies

2016 client retrospective video

In 2016 we were able to assist more than 125 dogs and their owners with their training and behavior needs.

Thank you for choosing Delightful Doggies! Best wishes for a wonderful 2017,
Laura
Owner, Delightful Doggies

December 2016 clients

It’s hard to believe that 2016 is about to close out. It’s been an amazing year! We worked with 118 clients and their dogs with training and behavior modification this year. From Chihuahuas to Irish Wolfhounds and everything in between, it’s been a wonderful variety of people and dogs who have not only contributed to our small business endeavor, but to their own long-term health and happiness together. Thanks to ALL of you who entrusted us with your needs, and who continue to refer us to others in our communities. We love being able to do what we do, and your support helps us continue on this path we love so dearly!

You can click on the below photo icons to visit our December 2016 Flickr album; if you click on the slideshow button on that web page (top right computer/play icon), you can view them in a fun slideshow format. Don’t forget to LIKE and follow our Facebook page to see even more photos of client dogs, great articles, news items and blog posts. We also have an Instagram account!

Kerry and Murphy Luna Lexi Gyrus Fitz and Gretel Goldi Bronco Strider Guillermo Leo Morrie Lola Vader Kuma Gulliver Ngala Knuckles Bella Joey Tippy Rhodie Molly Tuti Jasper

Thank you, and Happy New Year!
Laura
Owner, Delightful Doggies

Client spotlight: Murphy and Kerry the Irish wolfhounds

Congratulations to our December client spotlight, Murphy and Kerry the Irish wolfhound pups!

murphy-and-kerry

Murphy and Kerry, ready for training!

Murphy and Kerry are working on their basic skills training in our Delightful Doggy Finishing School program, which covers how to do clicker/marker training, understanding dog body language and how they learn, and all the basic cues and basic problem solving skills all dog owners need in order to live peacefully and happily with their dogs. Their parents are very hardworking and dedicated, and are really building a beautiful bond with them!

At seven months old, they are certainly the largest puppies we’ve ever had. All puppies should be in training, but because of their large size it’s really good that they are learning how to be more calm and not jump on others. They have been doing excellent at learning how to walk with their parents and navigate the ranch on which they live. Their next big goals are to understand how to come when called with more distractions, and to better understand boundaries. We have no doubt they will do great, as their parents are doing their due diligence in foundations and proper management, and practicing their skills so they get stronger.

It’s a real pleasure to work with puppies and new owners who want to do what’s best for their dogs and learn the basics so they will hopefully not have to come back to us to solve problems or undergo behavior modification! We enjoy how much love and devotion their parents have to them, and the other animals under their care. Thank you for choosing us to help you teach these two sweethearts!

Happy Training,
Laura
Owner, Delightful Doggies

Teaching your dog to love his crate

Crate training is an important element in dog training. There are many reasons to crate train: to assist in house training young puppies and keep them safe when you’re unable to actively supervise, to give a dog a place to go that is safe and where no one will disturb him, to give your dog a break so he can relax. Those who participate in dog sports and classes also need crate training skills so the dog can be put away when not in competition or actively working. If you must evacuate in an emergency or your dog needs a medical procedure, confinement may be a necessary part of such situations. Your dog may need crate training just so he’s prepared for these possibilities, even if you don’t plan on actively using a crate for much of your lives together.

Some dogs adjust more easily to others when it comes to crate training. Anxious dogs can often have a hard time being confined as well. First and foremost, going slowly and positively is key in having successful crate training. If a dog finds the crate VERY scary, then you may want to take off the door and not worry about closing it for a while. As he’s able to stay in for longer periods, you can gradually shut it little bits at a time. By starting simple and working up to that point, and then gradually extending the time the door is shut, you can build his trust. Going too far too fast will only work against you!

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Charlie enjoys a Kong tie-out in his crate

I have put together a list of tools and strategies that can help with crate training your dog; they revolve around making it a GREAT place to be, at his level of comfort, as well as teaching behaviors we want.

  • Choose a proper placement. The placement of the crate is important. It should provide some privacy and be in a place that is comfortable for the dog to be able to relax, but not sequestered in the basement away from the family. Choosing a happy medium is important.
  • Feed meals in the crate. Your dog does have to eat so make it work for you! Putting meals in slow feeder bowls can also help him stay longer.
  • Hide goodies for him to find. I like to sneakily put in high-value treats, awesome chews and enrichment toys for dogs to find in the crate. If he doesn’t see me put it in there but he walks by and realizes what’s in there, it’s like the crate is actually making those things happen there, and makes it a really great place!
  • Use a Kong tie-out. Kongs and other toy enrichment where a dog has to lick food can be great for using in a crate. It’s not only a fun way to work for food, but licking can help a dog relax. The only problem with using enrichment toys is that a dog can go in for a toy and take it out! Kong tie-outs are a great solution for this. If you use a string or a section of a wire metal hanger that has a knot/bend at one end, you can feed it through the Kong from the larger hole to the smaller hole so it catches and hangs out of the small hole end. You can stuff and freeze your Kong accordingly, and then use the string or metal to affix it to stay in the back of the crate so your dog cannot go in and take it out. It also helps make the back of the crate the most rewarding place to be! A colleague of ours in Colorado Springs, Angie Neal, has a great video on making Kong tie-outs you can view here.
  • Reinforce calm and good manners. Barking, whining and pawing at the crate means you are ignored. Being quiet, calm, even sitting means you will get out. Most times if you are patient enough to wait for the behavior you want and then give the dog what he wants, and you are consistent with these outcomes, then he will know what is expected and will likewise be consistent in giving you what you want. Start where the dog can be successful and build on it. For instance, if the dog is having a hard time and barking a lot, I would ignore and wait for just a few seconds of quiet and then let him out. Over time, I can wait for longer periods of quiet, as well as more calm behavior.
  • NEVER use the crate for punishment. While a crate is a very good way to help puppies and even older dogs learn how to settle on their own and as management to halt unwanted behavior, you should be very conscientious of how you use the crate to these ends. If you’re putting your dog forcefully in the crate without anything good, you’re really setting yourself up for making the dog associate the crate with you being angry and them being isolated. It’s better to ask him to go in and give him something good for it, even if he just finished doing something you consider naughty!

If you’re facing serious difficulty acclimating your dog to his crate, don’t continue to push ahead without help. If it’s causing major anxiety or aggression, continuing to crate your dog can ultimately work against you and we advise consulting us or another qualified professional for help.

Happy training!
Laura
Owner, Delightful Doggies

November 2016 clients

November was another month filled with wonderful clients. It certainly helped me move past the loss of our beloved Uma, may she rest in peace. It has been bittersweet and emotional, and it’s still hard to believe she’s gone. I want to thank all my clients, colleagues and friends who have supported me this month through this loss. I am surrounded by so much love and positivity, and I am grateful!

You can view all our amazing November doggy clients by clicking on the below photo icons to go to our Flickr album; if you click on the slideshow button on that webpage (top right computer/play icon), you can view them in a fun slideshow format. Don’t forget to LIKE and follow our Facebook page to see even more photos of client dogs, great articles, news items and blog posts; we’d love to interact with you there!

Barney Gretel Lola Dieter Stella Gulliver Stout Parker Murphy and Kerry Sam Morrie Mueller, Kona and Ziggy Bronco Gyrus Leo Roo Winnie Riley Goldi Mochalatte and Katie Strider and Guillermo

Thank you!
Laura
Owner, Delightful Doggies

Client spotlight: Barney the golden retriever

Congratulations to our November client spotlight, Barney the golden retriever!

barney

Barney says, Autumn is amazing!

Barney was born at the end of February this year but he has learned TONS in his very short life! His formal name is Barnabas Digger, Son of Paloma, and he is a English cream golden retriever who is in training to be a therapy dog. He knows how to sit, lie down, stay and come, and he is getting better and better at learning how to control his impulses and deal with distractions. On a recent visit to Aspen Grove, he impressed many shoppers!

Not only is Barney an amazing learner, he is also a consummate charmer. He adores everyone and enjoys all the simple pleasures in life, like chasing a ball, going for a dip in the fountain, and getting lots and lots of belly rubs and butt scratches! He has this funny little quirk, the same one my dog Jasper has, of putting his head down on the ground and extending his butt upwards to get a good scratch! He’s really funny and loving, and you can’t be in a bad mood when Barney’s around!

Barney is a very lucky boy to have such great parents who are very diligent and consistent with training, and he will be an excellent therapy dog! We plan to take his Canine Good Citizen Test early next year. He will no doubt spread LOTS of love and joy to anyone who needs it.

We really appreciate Barney and his delightful parents for choosing us to help with their training needs. It’s been a lot of fun working with them and seeing this pup grow not only in physical nature, but mental nature. Courtney and her dog, Greta May, recently assisted in helping us with teaching him how to walk calmly past other dogs, and she couldn’t believe how great he already is–we all know it can be very hard for friendly retrievers to not want to say hi to everyone!–and he has been doing an excellent job.

Keep up the great work, Barney! 🙂
Laura
Owner, Delightful Doggies

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