Bringing a puppy home is an exciting time. Don't let the stresses of house-breaking, socializing and training overshadow these special months. Enjoy this time and build a foundation for obedience early on.
When I picked Maddie up at 8 weeks she was a cute 10lb bundle of fur, very friendly and loved every dog she saw. I noticed a few bad behaviors in the first couple of months that I needed to work on, pulling on the leash, jumping up and eating anything and everything on the ground. But at 10-20lbs I could still physically control her…… and she was just soooo cute!! I enrolled her in puppy class and followed that up with numerous other classes but I couldn’t seem to find a training method that really worked with her.
If she wanted to go somewhere she would almost choke herself to get there.
Being dragged down the road by a 45lbs doodle was not my idea of fun!
She was quite well behaved inside the house and when I was alone with her, but when we went out for a walk and came into contact with other people and dogs, she turned into this super excited dog. Kids would flock to her at the park and I started to get concerned that she could easily hurt a child in her wild excitement.
I had all sorts of plans before I got her: running on the sea wall, stopping for coffee on a patio and she could even come into work with me when she was a little older. After her first birthday, and no sign of improvement , I had resigned myself to the fact that Maddie would never walk calmly beside me or be able to come into the office. The day she pulled me off my feet and I landed flat on my back I knew I couldn’t just sit back and accept the situation, it wasn’t fair to Maddie or myself.
So, my search for dog trainers resumed and I found Sit Happens on the internet. The name made me chuckle, so I read on.
“You should expect only the best from your dog.” I immediately sent an e-mail to set up an appointment.
Sit Happens met with me and, as expected, I had trouble controlling Maddie while we spoke. They gave me a demo of their training techniques with their dog, who was very well trained.
I was still skeptical that this would work for us, but after only 10 or 15 minutes Maddie was walking calmly beside me….. I didn’t even have food in my pocket!
After a couple of private sessions we were ready for group training. I was still a bit nervous about how she would behave in such close proximity to other dogs and people, but she did really well. We continued with weekly group training classes and I was amazed at her progress (and mine!). Now don’t get me wrong, there is no magic pill, you get out what you put in. I worked consistently with her between training classes and within a couple of months she was coming into the office with me, she will sit patiently outside of Starbucks while I pick up a coffee and walk calmly beside me as we pass other people and dogs.
I even get comments from total strangers on what a well behaved dog I have!
I can’t thank Sit Happens enough, they have taught me techniques that work in the real world and continue to support me throughout our training.
She is still the super friendly, slightly crazy dog she was before, just with boundaries and focus.