We adopted Malcolm from a rescue based in Toronto called Redemption Paws.
3. Why did you pick him?
The rescue described Malcolm as an extra large cuddle bug and they were right! During our first meeting, Malcolm plopped himself right on our laps and gave us kisses! This was our first dog, so we asked about various behavioural issues and Malcolm fit our criteria - a few challenges, but nothing too serious that couldn't be handled by first time owners
4. Why did you want to begin training?
We had tried to implement different strategies for various behavioural issues, but found that they weren't effective. It was hard to know if we weren't implementing the strategies correctly or if they weren't the right strategies for Malcolm to begin with. We wanted someone to get to know Malcolm and give us strategies that would help him and us specifically.
5. What were some of your training goals?
Our over-arching goal continues to be appropriate interactions with other dogs and people. We would like for Malcolm to be able to walk past another dog while remaining focused on us, greet another dog respectfully, and be comfortable meeting new people and trust that we will keep him safe.
6. What was the biggest obstacle to overcome during training?
The biggest obstacle was making sure my husband and
I were applying the techniques in the same way. This is why in-person training has been so great! Our trainer, Alec, can watch both of us apply the techniques and we can each get feedback. Watching and doing are completely different!
7. What are you guys working on now?
We are currently working on loose-leash walking, impulse control by implementing a "mark," and controlled socialization through the use of Alec's dog during training. The controlled socialization is a HUGE bonus to training and something we never could have implemented well on our own without guidance.
8. If you could give any of our client's advice about accomplishing your training goals, what would it be?
Take videos of your dog along the way. It's a slow process and it can be hard to remember what your dog's behaviour was like weeks or months ago. It's reinforcing to be able to look back on how your dog used to respond in various situations compared to what they can do now!