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Monday, October 08, 2007

Luey Returns Home from In-Kennel Training

Today I picked up our Chocolate Labrador Retriever Luey from his "Boot Camp" training. Ashley dropped him off there three weeks ago, and really is not a boot camp -- rather an in-kennel dog training session for three straight weeks with no visitation. For the reason that over the three weeks we really missed him, I was pretty excited for my 2:00pm appointment at K9's Only in Tarzana, having not seen our 4-year old Chocolate Lab Luey in about 4 weeks. I was equally anticipating some of the changes in his behavior and attention span.

Luey the Chocolate Lab at home after 3 weeks of training at K9's Only

(I had been meaning to post about our choice to send him for his in-kennel training and his progress report, but time got away from me. So, I will have to catch those up at some point.)

So, I arrived at 2:00 to K9's Only for the demonstration session and my own training (much needed!) on how to handle Luey. (Unfortunately, Ashley could not make it for the demonstration and training due to work) Our trainer Sharon came out after a couple of minutes and Bobby Dorafshar, the owner joined us for the meeting.

K9's only facilities in Tarzana, CA

The first 5-10 minutes Sharon and I spent talking about Luey's progress and some of the areas of difficulty -- mainly food and toys, which were known and common among most labradors. We also talked about how to handle Luey the next few weeks and what techniques to use in order to reinforce his new learned behaviors. Then, it was time for the demonstration.

Sharon brought Luey out into the training room where he could not see us through the darkened viewing room. Very quickly, I noticed some pretty big differences with Luey. He was attentive, kept his attention and obeyed many of the commands that he was given. I think the most impressive part for me was in his first stay, they threw tennis and other balls by him and he did not budge. You could see the desire in the Chocolate Lab's eyes, but Luey stayed and obeyed the command. In the next step, treats were placed near him, and while he was corrected once -- he was able to resist and focus on his commands.

Then it was my turn. After a few minutes of greeting Luey, we got started. Over the next 45 minutes Sharon showed me everything that she had taught Luey and I practiced with him. His performance and behavior was pretty impressive based on where Luey was when we dropped him off. I was quickly satisfied with our choice to trust our Chocolate Lab to K9's Only. After that, it was a matter of setting up our follow-up appointments to make sure we keep his training in place.

Tonight, I took him out on a walk and it was perhaps the easiest walk I have had with him. Granted, he was not perfect and needed occassional correction but his walking on lease was very enjoyable. None of the usual wandering, pulling, and trying to go wherever the dog wanted to. A nice change!

While we still have a lot of training and reinforcement to do with our dog Luey, we highly recommend checking out K9's Only if you are looking for some good dog training for your beloved pet.

Lastly, Luey the Chocolate Labrador Retriever with endless flows of energy is completely pooped out and laying on the tile. Looks like all the learning and exercise really gave him a good workout today!