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Congratulation to Georgina's GRK9 of the Month

How old was Cooper when you got him?

Cooper was eight weeks old when we got him.

Where did you get him from?

Cooper is what you would call a covid puppy, and as a result we got him from a breeder in Mississauga off Kijiiji

Why did you pick him?

We picked the goldendoodle breed because we knew they are supposed to make good family dogs, with a good temperament and are non-shedding which was a must when it came to getting a dog. However, because Cooper was a kijiji puppy we didn’t really get to pick him, we were handed what the breeder called “the pick of the litter” based on his looks, and to be fair he was the cutest of his siblings. Yet, when it came to his temperament we had no idea what we were getting. While Cooper is still the cutest guy, his temperament ended up being not one we expected, but we love him anyways!

Why did you want to begin training?

We began training with Grassroots K9 Georgina and Holly because we had gotten to a point with Cooper where we could no longer handle his reactivity. Being first time dog owners, we didn’t really know what to do when it came to properly dealing with a reactive dog. Cooper is a resource guarding dog, with other reactivity issues when it comes to situations where he is unsure, or uncomfortable. Having two previous trainers not be able to make a lot of progress with Cooper, and his reactivity escalating we knew we needed to get him the proper help he needed to feel more confident, and for us to have the right tools to support him.

What were some of your training goals?

Our training goals are still the same as what we have now, as resource guarding is something that never goes away fully, however, we also worked on dog neutrality and desensitization to everyday things that cause Cooper to react like the vacuum, his create being touched, and various noises, all in which he has progressed extremely well in! Cooper continues to work on his basic obedience skills like place, down/sit stays, loose leash walking, drop it and leave its, while we continue to build his confidence and teach him the tools he needs to not react when he his scared, or frustrated.

What was the biggest obstacle to overcome during training? Our biggest obstacle during training was making sure that everyone in the house was on the same page. With Cooper belonging to a larger family of six people it was challenging at times to ensure that whoever he went with the training and expectations of Cooper would be the same across the house. It took some time, but eventually everyone understood that Cooper needed consistency in order to thrive in his training, and it mostly came down to one person being responsible and everyone else followed.

What are you guys working on now?

Currently Cooper and I are working on muzzle conditioning as well as desensitization to his paws being touched, as Cooper struggled a lot with his paws being handled. While he has no difficulty with the groomer this makes vet visits and at home grooming very difficult. This is why muzzle conditioning was added to Coopers training, not only as a safety element for us and others who handle him, but also to allow Cooper to feel more comfortable when put in these situations. Cooper and I also continue to work on his basics like his place, and down stays with duration, however, his recall has been an area of focus lately, as that is one of his weaker commands.

If you could give any of our clients' advice about accomplishing your training goals, what would it be?

Setting realistic goals for your dog and putting them in a situation where you are giving them the best chance of succeeding! Being able to really look at your dog’s capabilities and set realistic goals for them that while it may push them outside their comfort zone they will still be able to succeed in what you are asking of them. Building up their confidence is important when working on any new skill or task, and part of that comes from putting them in an environment where they feel safe enough to try new things. Remember to have fun with your training, and record your progress along the way, as a little confidence boost for yourself to!


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