There is nothing more satisfying as a dog trainer than when a student learns to LOVE training their dogs. Carol Hein-Creger of the Canine Training Center shares a letter she recently received from a student who has discovered this joy.
I talked to my Mom last night and she was very excited after taking Gator to his Calm & Confident class. I am so happy that she is doing classes with him and I know that she enjoys it.
I am so thankful for all that you taught me about dog training. There was a time where I was very concerned about Gator’s reactivity and wasn’t sure that it would get better. Considering how much he loves going with me everywhere, I knew that this would not be a good fate for him (or me). After Calm & Confident and Agility 1&2 we were able to learn the skills that would help him increase his confidence and increase his threshold. He even was able to go on a date with me at the end of the summer in a busy pedestrian mall in an outdoor restaurant (did I mention he likes going everywhere with me?). Despite many life changes in the past 12 months, the groundwork you instilled in us help give Gator stability that would help him grow into adulthood.
It is also so fun to see how easy it is to train Rory using the same methodology. I felt confident going into puppy training after my experience with Gator’s reactivity – but I hadn’t quite realized that puppies don’t know anything at all. For example, climbing up stairs? No clue! “Good boy!” No reaction. “No!” and Rory would continue his destructive behavior. After my initial moment of panic when I realized what I had gotten myself into, we were able to fall back on the basics I had learned and progress forward. In the first week I had him, he learned to “Sit,” “Down,” “Wait,” “Touch,” and “High-Five.” By the second week, he learned “Kennel,” and “Leave it.” Now, he knows leave it so well that he can be playing with a leaf across the yard and I can say “Leave it” and he will come running. Though it isn’t perfect, I feel confident moving forward and know that Rory has a foundation that will help him grow into a confident adult dog.
Rory and Gator are half brothers – so it will be fun to see how Rory develops. I have seen a slight reactivity in the puppy that we will need to work on, but so far he has done incredibly well in his new home.
Thank you for all that you have taught me. Though my dogs might not be perfect, they are absolutely perfect for me and you have helped us all realize our full potential.
Wish I was back in East Lansing so I could continue training Rory with you! Thank you again!
Take care, Charlsey
Carol Hein-Creger, the director of the Canine Training Center, has been training dogs and their owners since 1979. She has trained thousands of people, including many local dog trainers. Carol is the lead trainer at AnnaBelle’s Pet Station in downtown Lansing. Check out her upcoming class schedule. Do you have a training or behavior question for Carol? Send an email to email@example.com with “Carol’s Corner” in the subject line or use the “Contact Us” form.
LDV All-Stars vs. Fox City All-Stars and LJV All-Stars vs. Battle Creek Damzel Dollz.
Don't miss the Mini-Miskits (12 and under) exhibition period against the Damzel Dollz!
Where: Summit Sports
CC vs. Small Town Outlaws & LJV Miskits and LJV All-Stars vs. Toledo
Where: Summit Sports
Capital Corruption vs. Oakland County Rolling Rebels & LDV All-Stars vs. Naptown Warning Belles
Where: Summit Sports
A lot of us at AnnaBelle’s love dog gadgets and we have tons of the latest and greatest in the vast and varied world of dog care and training. But, probably the most important tool for effective dog training is a good leash that doesn’t slip in your hands. A leash doesn’t need to be custom-made or super-expensive to fulfill this critical need.
Deer Ridge Leather Leash
The most important feature of a good training leash is the material. Nylon, chain, and retractable leashes can cause injuries, especially during training classes and in other stimulating environments.
Even if you are using 100% positive reinforcement during your training, you must be able to comfortably, effectively, and safely hold onto your dog in order to teach him not to pull and to keep him safe.
Brahma Webb® Leash
easy on the hands. Leather is every trainer’s favorite for sure, but often has to be broken in to be at its best and most comfortable. While it is worth the work in our opinion, for more immediate, easy to use options that don’t require breaking in, we love the rubber Gripper® leashes and the Brahma Webb® all-weather leashes.
At AnnaBelle’s, we offer a variety of durable, quality, and moderately priced leashes that are excellent for dog training, walking, and every day use. And, currently registered training students get 15% off any of our leashes. Check out our selection the next time you’re at AnnaBelle’s!
First off, I wanted to thank you for a great class! This was Captain’s and my first class together, and it has really helped us both! He’s much more responsive off-leash, and we have an even better connection! We’re continuing to work on building the skills we learned, and both enjoy the training times. I’m also wondering if I might get some advice from you on one or two issues.
Issue 1 (the biggest): Pottying in the yard. We’ve been together 1 year, and it’s taken this long to establish at least a just before bed pee in the yard (he pooped there twice, even, in Feb). We potty on walks first thing in the morning, and while at work. So, it took him awhile to get the yard (and many, many trials of approaches) – he kept holding out for walks. I eventually got him to pee in the yard in the early evening, and just before bed. But now that the snow is gone, we’ve played in the yard a couple times (after he peed) and he is now being stubborn about using it to pee. He mostly will continue to do it just before bed, but early evening or any other time, he just barks and wants to play, now. He’ll lift the leg – but then decide not to go. Once he knows there’s a better option, oh-oh! He usually only poops a couple blocks away. Very particular! I’d also like to be able to offer him the yard OR a walk in the early evening when it’s nice, but fear if I do the walk once, it may make the early evening potty even more of an issue. I’m truly grateful for his progress of at least doing it before bed, AND that he does it outside!!
Issue 2 – Barking at home. We’re making progress! Captain likes to let me know when anyone on the street gets in their car, walks by, etc. He’s getting better about just alerting to door arrivals. But it’s hard to get him to settle once the person comes in and I say it’s okay. I’m not sure of approach or commands, so I know that’s part of it. His breeder/trainer said he responds to “Quit!”, which is true sometimes, but not always. I’ve tried having him sit, and reward him for that, which changes focus, at least. And then reward him for “quiet”, but I’m not sure this is being most effective. I will try with higher-quality treats and see if that helps… So, any thoughts you might have would be great, or setting up a consult would be fine, too. Hope you’re enjoying this beautiful weather, today! Gracie.
Thanks for your kind words. Captain is such a sweet boy! Here are some ideas for the issues you raised.
1. For at least a couple of weeks, I suggest that you do not give Captain the option of pottying outside of the yard. That does not necessarily mean you can’t walk him, but if you do, keep him moving right along. Don’t let him stop to sniff or engage in any of the precursor behaviors to eliminating. When you take him out in the yard, use a specific cue (I say “Get busy”) when you see him start to sniff or do anything he typically does before he poops or pees. Do not engage in any play until he goes. If he barks, either TOTALLY ignore him (to the point of even turning away) or take him back into the house. If you are concerned about him eliminating in the house, either crate him until you’re ready to take him outside again or tether him to you. Your attitude should be very matter of fact during this time, not punishing. When he DOES go potty in the yard, make a big deal about it; praise him enthusiastically, give him a treat and play with him. In short, teach him the “party starts” as soon as he does his business in the yard, not before.
2. Congratulations on the progress you’re making! As you know, collies can be rather vocal at times. To teach Captain to stop barking when people come over, use a specific command (“Quit” is as good as any) and then say something like “Let’s go get a cookie” as you take him away from the person into the kitchen where you’ll give him several very high value treats. You may have to initially have Captain on leash if he’s reluctant to follow you out of the room, but I have a feeling that won’t be an issue, especially after he’s been rewarded in the kitchen a few times. After a time, you should be able to reward him in the same room as the visitor, and then progress to having the visitor deliver the treats. I encourage you to consider enrolling Captain in an Agility class. Agility is a great confidence builder and I think you would both really enjoy it.
Director of Training
Canine Training Center
Carol Hein-Creger has been training dogs and their owners since 1979. She has trained thousands of people, including many local dog trainers. Carol is the lead trainer at AnnaBelle’s Pet Station in downtown Lansing. Check out her upcoming class schedule. Do you have a training or behavior question for Carol? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Carol’s Corner” in the subject line or use the “Contact Us” form.
It’s time to celebrate and share the love for all your favorite local Lansing businesses in the Top of the Town contest! AnnaBelle’s is nominated in the “Best Pet Services” category and would love to have your vote.
So celebrate your favorites and get voting! Thanks, from the Team at AnnaBelle’s.
Recently, the Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter (ICACS) bestowed an amazing honor on AnnaBelle’s Pet Station: Corporate Humanitarian of the Year for 2013. We are honored, proud, and humbled. There are many amazing people, businesses, and organizations who contribute so much to animal welfare in our community in countless ways.
We support events, promote the animals available for adoption, help raise money for the shelter, and offer free and discounted training services. But, each and every day, there are dozens of people at the shelter walking dogs, caring for puppies, kittens, bunnies and more, cleaning up after the animals, and giving their love to all the animals in the shelter and foster care. Every day, they are on the roller coaster of amazing success stories and heartbreaking cases of abuse and neglect. These are the people who give not just their time; they give their blood, sweat, tears, hearts and so much more to animals in need in our community.
Yes, we have made contributions to ICACS in many ways and love to do so. But, the honor of this award was even being included in the same room with all of those who are working in the trenches, saving lives, and making our community safer every day. We want the shelter staff and volunteers know how much we honor and respect their work. And without them, our small contributions would be meaningless.
Thank you shelter friends, for all you do. Much love, from the Team at AnnaBelle’s.