Abbott is the kind of dog that trainers love to work with – his owners did a lot of the right things in his first 11 months, mainly bringing him to my awesome puppy socialization class, so he has a strong foundation that eliminates a lot of problem behaviors that I’m often called into fix (good social skills, namely). This makes it a little easier to come in and help them with the little things that will make him an ultimately successful dog and a pure joy to live with.
This is mainly due toa combination of his sheer excitement and his size and power– he’s even pulled his owners down to the ground several times while being walked. He’s so friendly, that he is at risk to knock people over when greeting them! These types of issues turn what should be the perfect house dog into an unbalanced liability.
This is why good training is so important – friendly dogs need to know boundaries too – especially when they are strong and powerful. They must also know how to walk on a leash so they don’t get too excited and take their owners for a ride. I've met people who have had their shoulders dislocated and hips broken from falls they have taken while walking their unruly dogs. That's no way to enjoy walking a dog!
While with AWDT, Abbott is going to learn how to be calm (the most important thing I teach dogs) - but he's also going to learn when he can unleash his normal excited self. He’s going to be an expert at walking on a leash – and on top of that he’s going to be an expert at walking without any leash at all and that will give him plenty of opportunities to romp around excitedly. I never want to take the excited, joyful part of a dog away, just help them find harmony by channeling their fun energy appropriately.
I’ve long said that Golden Retrievers are the ideal companion for most American families and with proper training, Abbott is going to be a shining example of why.
Watch Abbott on day 2 - heeling through my neighborhood with no leash: