This is Winston – The 2.5 dog.
When we asked the breeder to pick out a Miniature Labradoodle puppy with a ‘middle-of-the-road’ personality for us – you know, not too hyper and not too mellow… we had no idea that our cheerful little puppy would turn into ‘The 2.5 Dog’. He’s really 2.5 dogs in one. Probably the most energetic, happy, social little puppy you’ll ever meet.
In addition to his exuberance – he’s the kind of dog that makes other dog owners envious. When they see the level of his obedience and the consistency that I enjoy all of the time… they just stare with amazement.
My boyfriend and I are first-time dog owners, and I’m the kind of person who does tons of research when making big decisions and expects the most out of the choices I make. Finding the right breed of dog for us took 2 years of research, and finding the right training style for our dog was a 1-year project.
We wanted to find training that he’d like and something that would REALLY WORK. Not only that, we live in a condo building with a somewhat militant strata council – so our dog would have to be the most well-behaved in order to stay where we live, without too much headache.
So I researched every training style there was and spoke to other dog owners for feedback on what had worked for them. The sad thing was, I noticed many owners really didn’t have total control over their dogs… even if they said they did. Most people’s idea of a well-trained dog was… “he listens to me most of the time”.
I also heard from many dog ‘experts’ about the wonders of so-called ‘positive-reinforcement’ training. But again, friends of mine who had trained their dogs with food, clickers, praise and reward only, showed only okay results. I couldn’t help but think – “if that kind of training is really working for them, why are their dogs only 80% reliable, and sometimes worse in a distracting environment?”
… why was obedience only part time?
Although we wanted an obedient dog, more importantly though, we wanted a happy, healthy, trusting dog. We didn’t want anything to change or break Winston’s spirit. As a puppy, the experiences he has in his formative stages can affect him for the rest of his life, so we had to be sure that training was fun and positive.
Now, Winston likes training so much, he prefers it over liver treats! He has ‘perma-smile’ and ‘perma-wag’ during sessions, and I really credit Sit Happens for much of what Winston is today – social and friendly with people, fabulous with other dogs, non-aggressive, and obedient.
The moment I opened my mind to give the ‘no limitations’ (www.nolimitations.biz) method a chance, I’ve never looked back. Despite differing opinions that some people have, I have held unwavering faith in Sit Happens training because the proof is in the dog. Winston’s happy, stimulated, confident, and listens to me ALL the time.