Scout has been in doggy boot camp for almost two weeks. I went to visit him yesterday and was shocked at what I saw. I thought when he saw us he would go crazy and be so happy to see us, but that didn't happen. He was with his trainer and all his focus and I mean FOCUS with a capital F was on her. He didn't notice anyone else, not dogs, other people and not me and my son. He kept his eyes on his trainer and when she gave him a command he immediately did it. He doesn't even seem like my dog. He still has a way to go, but I had no idea he would ever be able to pay attention so intently. They said he was a very smart dog.
I'm really hoping when I go home with him that I will be able to do the same thing and be as consistent. They said he is definitely a working dog and I need to find things for him to do. I've been thinking about agility and the lead trainer thought that would be perfect for him. I also thought maybe he could be a therapy dog. He still has a lot of energy, but it is now managed quite well. It is like his whole personality changed. He is a respectful, obedient dog. The only thing that I felt a little bad about is that he was so focused on doing his job (the training) that he didn't even seem to notice us. He wasn't that interested, he was just focused on his training and I'm happy for that. Just miss the hugs and kisses and I'm sure when he gets back home with us he will be more affectionate. Our rules will also change when he comes home.
Two and a half more weeks til he is home again. I'm certain I did the right thing. This facility is so kind to the dogs and they only believe in positive training. The owner takes him home on weekends so he gets additional training and she can work with him on counter surfing. I'll let you know how things go when he gets back.
Should I be upset that he was so focused on his training and not distracted by anything including me and my son. I wish I could have gotten a big old hug, but apparently when he is working he doesn't want hugs, so I have to respect that.
Debbie (Scout's Mom)
I'm glad it's working out for Scout. I would probably feel bad if he didn't hug me to, but you're right, he needs to focus on the trainer. I imagine you will need to be as intent with his training when you get him home with you. Don't worry you will get your hugs and kisses too!
By being with his trainer he was probably "working" and therefore he knew that this was not time for play. I'm sure that when you get him home he'll know when it's play time and when it's time to listen. I'm sure you'll get many sloppy kisses yet!
I'm glad it's working out.
Thanks guys, I know he will be more playful and loving when he is at home. I'm just so surprised at his ability to be so focused, it is amazing. I'm very pleased, but admit the hugs and kisses are fun. I sent him there to train him to be better behaved and have good manners and that is exactly what is happening. I have nothing to complain about. It is just a weird experieince to see your dog in a totally different way.
Debbie (Scout's Mom)
What will this facility be doing with YOU after his training to make sure you are working the same methods as they were. One of the biggest downfalls I have witnessed with this method of training, is that they work like perfect machines for the trainer but when they go home they fall back into normal routine because the owner has not been trained. IMO training a dog owner is a thousand times harder than training a dog.
Scout is 6 1/2 months old. The facility does train the dog owner as well and they provide me with as much follow up help as I need. If his behavior starts to slip they will actually visit my house and see what I am doing and what the dog is doing and recommend any changes and show me how to do it. They know that owner must be trained as well. They train the dog, they train the owner at least four or 5 times before going home and give you a two hour training session when I leave. Additionally they provide DVD's of every training session with Scout so I can view how they handle things. I'm confident I will get as much support as I need when he gets home.
Appreciate your comments and will make sure I utilize the help they said they would give me. This was not a cheap way to go.
Debbie (Scout's Mom)