Featuring Jen Larson, KPA-CTP & Clara Scott, CPDT-KA
Concept by Courtney Emken
We have so many stories from all of our wonderful clients and experiences training dogs over the years, we wanted to start sharing some of our most inspiring stories with all of you!
– Hi, I’m Jen, and I’m the manager of the training department. And this is Clara, one of our certified trainers. And we’re gonna talk to you a little bit about some of our favorite training stories that we’ve kind of lived through over these years training animals. So one of my favorite stories is about a dog who came to me and his owner was really frustrated and she loved him so much but she was really frustrated ’cause she just couldn’t communicate with him successfully and she described him to me as stubborn and he wasn’t listening to her and she was really frustrated and she actually cried a little bit during the consult. And so I started working with the dog and after just a couple of minutes I noticed that he couldn’t hear me and I realized that the dog was deaf. And so he wasn’t stubborn at all, he literally could not hear her. And so I obviously mentioned that to the client and we started doing some work with him with visual signals. And he started getting it right away and it was so cool to watch just how emotional the client got. ‘Cause she was like, “Oh it wasn’t “that he was stubborn or he was ignoring me “or anything like that. He really couldn’t hear me.” And so watching that transformation was so cool and I’m gonna try not to cry talking about this but the first thing that she taught him was the visual signal for good boy because she just wanted him to know that she loved him and that he was a good boy.
– One of my favorite stories, I’ve been working with a dog named, Jax; he’s a little boxer. And he just really struggled at the vets office. Anytime anyone would go near him, he was really uncomfortable. So we worked on a lot of things, like getting him comfortable in a muzzle, getting him to chin rest, so he could check in and tell us when he was comfortable. And just doing some counter conditioning and really making him feel comfortable when we were touching him. Preparing it with really high value rewards, and he was finally able to get all of his vaccinations, and I was just super happy about that. And it’s just something I’m really passionate about.
– That’s so cool. That’s great that you did that. Another one of my favorite training stories is, just from probably last year, I started working with a client who called me out for an in-home consult. And so I got out to the house and I heard so much barking, just crazy barking in the house and some yelling and stuff. And so, I went up to the door and she opened the door and there were seven little Dachshunds running around in there. And they were all just barking their heads off and going nuts and so we sat down and did the consult and they were barking the whole time and it was just clear to me that those dogs really needed reduction and overstimulation, over arousal, they were highly reactive, and so during the consult, we talking about how much rest time they were getting and they really weren’t getting much of rest time, any rest time at all. Because they were just out loose all the time, and so I mentioned to her that I really think that they should be rested more and they probably each needed their own quiet area to go to. A couple of weeks went by and I sent the training plan over and we were in contact and she texted me and she said she was really excited because she’d actually had her husband and her husband’s friend built, they built this really cool custom little kennel area. So each little Dachshund had their own little kennel room. And then like a little silk pillow and a little blanket and it was so cute. The next time I went over for a lesson, I walked in and she goes, “Do you hear that?” And I was like, “What?” And she was like, “It’s quiet.” And I was like, “Yeah it is quiet.” And so they were all in their little kennels and they were just resting peacefully. She saw a big improvement in their behavior from that point on. So that was really cool to see.
– I forgot one part of that favorite story, and that is that she used to bring the Dachshunds in every now and then to do onsite lessons. And she would wheel them in this little child stroller, and she would unzip it and all seven little Dachshunds would pop out and it was just the cutest thing and I loved it.
– I really loved my last CGC class. I had two dogs in there.
– Oh what’s CGC?
– CGC is Canine Good Citizen. So it’s actually just a way to show that your dog has manners in public and they’re able to be around people and distractions. And so my last class, I had two dogs who I also had in my basics class before. So it’s really neat to see dogs go from starting the basics puppy class and then going onto CGC and they’re able to get things that are a little more intense, they can work around distractions. One was a Great Pyrenees and the other was an employee dog. she works in our office if you see her. He’s super sweet and he just came so far and it’s really neat to see employees being so passionate about their dog going on and being successful and having nice behaviors.
– So one of my favorite training success stories, also is about one of my absolute favorite clients in the world, and I know she’s one of your too. And her name is Jane, so hi Jane.
– Her and her dog took my puppy class and so little Maisie was a little chocolate Lab and she was just about eight weeks old and she was the tiniest little puppy in puppy class but she was the most confident and she was just bold and just so much fun to work with. And so since then, Jane has basically taken every class and workshop that we offer here at DogBoy’s, from pretty much all of our trainers. And so Maisie’s just been so well socialized and really well trained and so she took our Canine Good Citizen class and now she’s actually a working therapy dog with Divine Canine’s. And so she goes out and does a lot of great therapy work. So that’s something that I think is really cool.