Our Featured Training Team of the Month, Dottie and her Border Collie Bonnie, can certainly teach us all about how to reach for the stars just one step at a time. We are so thrilled to see Dottie and Bonnie now achieving the success they deserve. As you read their story you will see how Dottie carefully and methodically formulated manageable goals to help Bonnie through some of her early challenges.
“My wonderful sweet loving dog [Bonnie] came to me confused and wanting only to bond with my other border collie, Andy. This made training a hard process.
My biggest training challenge was getting her to focus on me and not other dogs and her surroundings. She had very strong urges to chase and herd other dogs or just go sniff. She gave the appearance of being dog aggressive, but she actually just wants to run and chase.
I enrolled her in Karen’s controlled unleashed classes. I received a mountain of valuable information that I could use with her. Although she did not respond well at the time I continued to use my acquired information, and as she matured it definitely was extremely beneficial and I feel it helped her to mature.
I then began beginning agility with Lynne. Bonnie just could not concentrate on the lessons with the other dogs in the class. Lynne realized she was just to stimulated, so we tried a semi-private [lesson]. Although Bonnie was starting to learn she still was distracted. So was the other dog in her class. At this point, I decide to try private lessons. By now Bonnie is about 15 months old or more. After about 5 or 6 lessons Lynne and I both realized she needed a break. I began taking her on walks on the sidewalk at Walmart and using all my ‘look at that’ commands Karen had taught me. I tried to take her somewhere different every day or so to get her use to distractions. I applied all my DogLogic Training when she would shy away from places or when she would see other dogs. We went to Tractor Supply often. We worked on our ‘heel’ commands and ‘waiting for release’ commands at doors. We walked at the park where children were playing and other people were walking their dogs.
After about 9 months of time off we began our agility classes again. Lynne realized Bonnie’s short attention span and was very careful not to let her get tired with what we were doing. She helped keep the lessons fun with as much play time as structure time. Lynne truly realized that not all dogs learn the same way just as children.
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We’re still looking for more volunteers to be our “DogLogic Training Team of the Month”. Don’t be shy. Everyone has their own story to tell – whether you are just at the beginning or have been with us for a while. Your friends would love to hear they are not alone!
We have a few questions that we can send to get you started, so no need to worry about writer’s block! Contact Lynne today, we’d love to feature you in a future newsletter.