November a young Black Labrador had stayed with us a few times on our boarding and activity packages. He had been coming to us since he was small and his owner decided that she would like us to do some training with him but there was one very special request and that was that there was no food involved in his training. November was allocated to me as I very rarely if at all use treats as I like to keep it play based. It was easy to see November’s potential as he was a bright playful puppy and although November had never really been a difficult dog to train, as he was getting older his owner noticed that he was pushing his boundaries a bit more and particularly his heel work on lead was starting to slip and he was getting more easily distracted. November was booked on to our three week complete training package. The first couple of days I spent out in the field playing with November with a toy, I wanted him to know that spending time with me would be a rewarding experience. I then started work on his heel work keeping it very short and breaking off the exercise with a game every time he did a couple of steps of really good walking on lead. I gradually built this up and started to add my voice in as a reward when he was getting it right and used a very quiet and clam technique when he was making mistakes. It didn’t take too long for him to work out what was more rewarding. Novembers owners had already done a great job with most of Novembers training an so I worked on neatening some areas up so that November could read our body language better and understand what was being asked of him. I also worked on Novembers down on command so that he learnt that every time he was asked to lie down it was also time to relax. When it came to November’s departure I transported November home as his owner was unable to come to Royvon for the lesson due to circumstances at home. I carried out the tuition in the street near her house, the location was perfect as there was a lot going on and it gave November the perfect opportunity to show off what he had learnt in a normal outside situation and also allowed November’s owner to practise all the techniques where she would need them most. I was very proud of how they both got on together and it really showed how fun training can be for both the owner and dog.
November’s owner said
“You’ve been a great help on November, and truly showed off what you can accomplish in little time.”
“Thank you again on the great work you’ve done on him, and I am sure it won’t be long until he comes back to visit you again”