Friday, August 06, 2010

The Dog Whisperer

Joe and I had a dog trainer come to our house today to work with Crumley. Crumley seems to think he owns the neighborhood so we have had problems walking him in the near vicinity of another dog without him totally freaking out; it's extremely embarrassing and makes him a bit of a problem. This is also why we don't take him to the dog park.

Our trainer was amazing. He showed up and immediately took control of Crumley. First he took him out on a walk alone and then later he had Joe and I go with him after he'd made his own assessments. We got lucky and saw several other dogs outside today. The first few times Crumley totally freaked out, as predicted, whenever we'd see another dog. By the end of our hour with the trainer, Crumley was walking right past other dogs and not even turning his head to look at them - wow. I had him at the end during those times while Joe and the trainer just stood back and watched. I almost wanted to cry because I was so proud of him! What a totally different labradoodle! So we'll see if we can keep it up. Right now, we need to walk both dogs seperately and do some "work" with Crumley inside...and Iris, too. And the trainer gave us some tips on how to teach the dogs to not freak out every time someone is at the door. That will be for a whole other day. But we are trying to change Crumley's way of thinking. He was in the routine, especially with me, that his job was to be the protector and now we are teaching him that his job is to just be a dog and we'll let him know if we need anything else from him.

We have to change other "little" things, too. Like no more sitting on us. Joe and I both think it's adorable for our big dog to come sit on our lap whenever we're on the floor but that's a no-no. And no more feeding the dogs breakfast or dinner until after we've eaten first. Just subtle changes that will hopefully add up to a little more dog obedience. This might prove to be the best money we've ever spent. Keep your fingers crossed!


Jeni said...

WAHOOO!! I'm so happy for you! Sounds like you found a great trainer, and sounds like Crumley will do a great job!

Judith said...

Good for you guys! We, too, have always been amazed how an experienced trainer can turn the tide so quickly--best of luck with continuing! (And we'll ask for tips about the 'barking at the door with arrivals'--that's one of our challenges, even with the sedate 'older girl'!)

Amy said...

Judy for the doorbell, the trainer suggested getting tape (like blue painters tape or something similar) that you can put on the floor and mark a spot, well past the door. Someone has the dog on a leash behind that line and someone is at the doorbell outside ringing it. Every time the doorbell rings you say, "Doorbell" and take the dog to his spot behind the line. Do this over and over again and eventually the dogs will just run to that spot behind the line when they hear the doorbell and stop barking and pawing at the door. We'll keep you posted!

prettykitty03 said...

This is awesome, Amy! Good for Crumley! Sending lots of good thoughts your way.

Mark said...

Sounds like my Goldendoodle could use a trainer like this. He does the same things. If he doesn't get his way, he will smack you with his huge paws too!

I've been working frequently with him and he does love to please, so it's easy to train him. I'm the one that needs trained, he's just a really smart dog that knows what he wants. :-)

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