Hi! I’m Jules! I’m a young, rambunctious Great Dane and I live with Ashlyn. My sister, Chowder, wrote last month’s blog and I felt left out, so I wanted to write this month’s blog. I know a lot of you have kids that will be going back to school soon, but did you know that dogs can go to school too? Training, obedience and behavior school, that is. Or doggie daycare. Being the youngest dog in the Crossroads family, I thought I would be the perfect canine to write about training. I’m slowly learning, and I could be a little better at it, but I’m a work in progress.
There are many training facilities in the area. Some offer training and obedience, some offer agility, and some offer doggie daycare. Training can be used not only to teach your dog how to obey, but also how to handle stressful situations. The doctors at Crossroads even recommend training or play groups to help socialize your puppy. Treat visits are always welcome at the hospital, which means you can bring your dog in for a treat, no appointment necessary (but a phone call ahead of time is appreciated). This treat visit is a great way to help socialize and can also help calm them for future vet visits. When dogs are trained to play nicely together, it makes it a lot easier for you, the pet owner, to bring your dog out in public. And how fun is it to make a “play date” for your dog?
There are also some items you can buy to do some training at home. There are no-pull harnesses and Gentle Leaders to help with walking. These tools are great for dogs that pull when they walk (which is what I like to do, but I had elbow surgery, so my mom can’t use the no-pull harness on me yet because it can rub on my elbows a little. She did use it on my sister, though, and it helped tremendously). There is also clicker training, which is when an owner has a little tool that clicks and when their dog does something they are supposed to do (sit, stay, etc.) they click it and immediately follow the click with a small treat. Hand signals and touch training are helpful for deaf creatures like me and Chowder.
Whether you decide to send your dog to a facility for training or train at home, it’s important to socialize your dog. Heading out to the dog park or bringing your dog to daycare while you work is a great way to do this. Socializing teaches your dog that other dogs are okay to be around, and hopefully they won’t growl or bark at every dog they see.
My mom had to use special means to train my sister because she is deaf and blind. Well, she can see some shapes and shadows, so mom and dad used hand signals and treats to train her. Chowder was challenging to train, but she’s very smart and caught on quickly! I had to have surgery on my elbows, so my training was put on hold, but I am also deaf so I need to learn hand signals as well. And I need to learn how to not pull when I am on a leash. I’ll get there!
If you have any questions about training or socialization, don’t hesitate to call Crossroads. They are happy to help.
Thanks for reading! Hope your kiddos are excited to go back to school.