Benjie – Cocker Spaniel – issues were: hyperactive, no recall from play, excessive barking both in and out of the house, general disobedience.
Hope you are keeping well – Benjie and I are doing fine. When you were here last, we discussed Benjie’s barking at cats and other dogs when on the lead. The barking at other dogs has all but disappeared, I just kept saying ‘no barking / quiet’ and walked on – he has responded well. I asked my neighbour if he barks out doors if I am out and she assured me he does not usually bark at all! Indoors he was barking at anyone/thing that passed window but now I only have to say ‘quiet’ and he stops. We are still working on this garden barking at cats and for safety I take him to and from car on lead.
He still enjoys unloading the w/mchne and now if I drop anything, he will pick up for me and hand it back, stretching to me as he knows it is no good dropping it on the floor – this includes keys, purse, any items belonging to me and he gets the post if I ask. He loves his ball games, retrieving a toy hidden in the woods/or around the house and playing with any of the dogs we meet at Lodmore or the beach (anywhere for that matter) – unless I call him away. I use the whistle which I am so glad you recommended. When he is swimming off down a river or out to sea, I can recall him easily without screeching in panic!!
I also go to Abbots. Gdns where dogs must be on the lead as there are ground birds and he has learned not to lunge after them. I do find now that when off the lead, he doesn’t wander too far and turns and waits for me. If he does run off for an exploration, he soon comes back.
I am thoroughly enjoying him now. We have also done quite a bit of work with behaviour around young children, several frightened children have ended up stroking him (with the parents there of course) .
I would highly recommend the one to one service The Pet Experience offers, especially to anyone who, like me cannot be sure of attending all the training courses. (Retired, not totally fit) I was quite nervous of having a dog – really because I wasn’t sure I could cope and I wanted to give the dog the best life I possible could. I found the personalized programme for Benjie has not only seen him and me through his puppyhood but I have been able to build on that initial plan and following Sarah’s follow up I feel we are progressing very well (Benjie is now 2yrs). I have spent many hours training and play training with him and I do go back to basics now and then which I would also recommend. Using the whistle has been wonderful – having poor lungs myself. I am really enjoying my dog and know that if there are hitches, I can still phone Sarah. I can take Benjie where there are crowds and know he will behave, he is friendly towards other dogs and because I have been able to grow in confidence, I can trust him – he loves exploring and swimming but I know he will come back to me. He walks well on the lead and knows that my pace of walking alters and he responds. He helps me in various ways and this all comes from the initial excellent help I was given in the beginning. When I was teaching, I use to tell students I could do so much but it was up to them to learn, I couldn’t do that for them. So it is I feel with dog training – Sarah can give the knowledge/experience/plan but we have to be confident and determined enough to follow through with our lovely pet!
Thank you again.