Gretchen & Bailey
I am enclosing a new picture of Bailey and me, standing outside enjoying some of our beautiful fall weather. Can you tell we both look especially proud of ourselves in this picture? It is all due to the fact that we passed our American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen test on October 18. I particularly wanted to pass this word on to you because the skills you gave Bailey during his board-and-train last summer, I believe, were instrumental for accomplishing this.
When Bailey and I first came for the training with you, we had a number of issues. We had food guarding issues that had resulted in some biting problems with me and my husband. In addition, we had very little discipline for Bailey with regard to begging at the table, staying, sitting, coming, or remaining in a specified location, and walking in a manageable way. We had a list of things I hoped we could improve through training with you, but particularly food guarding and easier walks. I should add that Bailey is 7 years old now, so some of these bad habits were fairly well engrained.
Bailey’s training with you was scheduled for two weeks, and it really ended up being more like one week of training and one week of care-taking, because of the issue Bailey had with one of his hips where he had to be rested. However, at the end of the two weeks, Bailey was much better about walking on a leash, had a start on off-leash walking, and was much better socialized to other people and dogs. I was the one who needed more training at that point, and probably still do!
Since we returned home to Virginia after your training, Bailey and I continued working on some of our new skills. We focused on walking on the leash and some of the other skills you trained, such as the place command, that would alleviate some of the other problems we had. I also found a good trainer here who could help us with follow-up on some of the skills we were practicing and who held a CGC group training class.
For the CGC test I mentioned above, Bailey and I had to demonstrate loose leash walking, polite greetings to people and dogs, sit, down, stay, and come, polite acceptance of touch and grooming, and calm behavior while separated from the handler (i.e., me). All of this had to be accomplished without use of treats or special collars, such as prong collars. We were so proud to have passed this test, as it demonstrates how far we have come since last July when we started training with you.
While we still have a way to go and many more things to learn, life with Bailey is much easier and fuller with some of these skills now available to us. Bailey has always been a great dog, despite some of the earlier issues we had, but our household is much more peaceful now.
Best regards and thank you to a great trainer!