Finally the big day has come, it seems like the 2 weeks these kids and dogs shared has flown past!
To prepare for our big Graduation we had a celebratory trip to the Dog Beach in New Symrna Beach!
All the dogs who enjoyed the water were loaded up with their kids and we made the drive out to the beach to enjoy a morning of splashing, digging, fetching, swimming and .. jellyfish collection?
After the beach we made it back to Doglando to clean the Barn and set it up for Graduation. We shook off some nerves, filled out food pouches and worked like we’ve been training for 2 weeks in front of a crowd of eager watchers. Family, friends, Judy and some of her volunteers as well as potential and confirmed adopters of some of our Camp dogs!
The kids did a fantastic job working with these dogs and turning them from rowdy untrained dogs to focused eager dogs. Training doesn’t solve all behavior problems, and simply knowing commands will not do it either. It is important to remember that picking a dog that is right for you both in activity level and drive is an extremely important factor!
Great job everyone!! We will see you all next year!
Today we continued working hard on all of the commands we have been learning as well as starting to advance those cues to higher levels of Distance, Duration and Distractions. These teams are working great together!
In the afternoon we had a very special guest speaker Brian with his family, to have a very difficult but extremely important discussion with us. Brian and his family had adopted a dog from our Puppy Breath program. Puppy Breath is a program that is run by volunteers of the Doglando Foundation here on the University of Doglando campus where we take in a pregnant mother dog, whelp the puppies and allow them to stay with their mother until she is ready to naturally wean them. We incorporate training, housebreaking, and socialization with various ages of humans and then adopt out all of them, including the mother, when they are ready.
Kenai was adopted by Brian and his family and enjoyed an extremely happy life with a family who understood his quirky habits of opening doors and embraced him for those quirks rather than seeing them as a problem. Brian told the story of Kenai’s last day, where he played happily with a friend dog in their backyard with the family, and then suddenly passed away. Understanding this very difficult time, and that it will unfortunately happen to all of us who love and live with dogs is an important thing to consider when adopting a dog.
Today we worked on loose leash walking during the morning hour when the sun wasn’t beating down on us and the dogs. The walk went well, some dogs are still slightly distracted by birds, squirrels, people and traffic, but others are doing super!
This afternoon we took a training field trip to Tractor Supply where we got to get the dogs ready for more human interaction! The youth and dogs did excellent! They worked on loose leash walking down and through aisles, with a stop and sit at the end of the aisles, and the youth would randomly stop to see if the dogs were paying attention. Another tool the youth used in their training is the sit and wait, which gives the handler time to pick objects off the shelves and check items out.
Outside in the equipment section at Tractor Supply we worked on more loose leash walking with a more challenging distraction….CATS!! The dogs did well and so did the youth! Great team work, inside and outside turns when the youth felt the dogs were approaching a distraction, and above all wonderful manners from both! Tractor Supply welcomes us back!
Today Doglando has been invited to showcase what we do at the annual Chick-fil-a Cow Appreciation Day. We assessed all our camper and dog teams and decided upon Ella and Meadow as the team to go. The kids dressed up in cow outfits and we loaded up to drive over at lunch time.
Ella and Meadow took the stage and despite the rock climb beside them, the stage, audience and speaker feedback the team did fantastic, deftly showing off all the training they have worked so hard on! Everyone received a free meal that afternoon before loading up and heading back to Doglando to train with all the other pups.
Today’s adventure is Kayaking! Some of the pups, who are really nervous about the water, stay at Doglando to relax while the rest of us head to Lake Mills and board our kayaks.
All the dogs and kids did great as teams as they paddled about the lake. A few of the dogs were so excited that they wanted to swim beside the kayaks instead of ride in them! After paddling around for a while and having an epic splash fight we came ashore and played with the dogs on the beach area and had lunch.
In the afternoon we had a strong training and playing session with the dogs who had not gone kayaking while the other dogs rested.
The weekends are exciting times as a few of our dogs get to go home with their trainers and spend the weekend relaxing in a home. Quite the treats for these pups.