June 30, 2017by doglando0

Today started off with some more work on “down” (adding distance, duration, and distraction) and recalls, as well as some loose leash walking along Colonial Drive.  However, we stopped by 10:30 am because the big hit of the day was canoeing/kayaking, with the dogs, at Kings Landing!

After an hour long bus ride we loaded up, three to a canoe, with either two or three dogs with us.  There were some people with us who did this trip last year and remembered how to canoe with a dog, and there were some new people who had never even canoed before.  Everybody worked together and now we all know how it works!

Kings Landing has a big open space with clear water, a sandy bottom, and a rope swing that you can grab onto and let go and land right in the deepest part of the pool.  It also has about a mile long loop of quiet river along which you can canoe and occasionally see wildlife.  Everybody at least tried the rope swing, or jumping off the dock, and everybody ran around in the sandy area with their dogs.  The larger dogs seem to like the water most — poor AnnaLesa, with her short little legs, did not like being in the water as almost everywhere was over her head!

Many campers took the chance to canoe around the little loop and saw some alligators and turtles and fish and all sorts of birds from the safety of their boats.

On the way home, we stopped at Twistee Treat (for one bus) and McDonald’s (for the other) and everybody got some ice cream.  The dogs slept almost the entire way home — what a day!

Tonight we have a SLEEPOVER…and tomorrow morning, graduation day, starts promptly at eight!

Carlyn and Girl - AS6J0637
Lynsey - AS6J0905
Peyton Lynsey Victor Chloe and Jack - AS6J0948
Chloe and Jack - AS6J1639
Ayla and Softie - AS6J1076
Alyssa and Chance - AS6J0827
Peyton and Lynsey - AS6J1259
Addison and Xena - AS6J0928
Ashley and AnnaLesa - AS6J1610
Ella and Colton - AS6J1295
Victor and Softie - AS6J1100
Mary and Gracie - AS6J0890
Audrey and Harry - AS6J1065
Rylan and Tanner - AS6J1457


July 11, 2016by doglando0

2015-two-week-camp-01Summer camp at Doglando offers youths ages 10-13 the opportunity to learn how to dog responsibly! Starting with what qualities to look for in a pet and working through how and where to acquire the “right” dog, campers will then experience first hand what is involved in caring for and training a dog all in an effort to increase understanding of what a dog needs to live a happy, healthy life as a companion. Over the course of the two-week summer camp, participants will be actively preparing dogs to be adopted into awaiting forever homes. This summer camp is a must for kids who have wanted a dog, and parents who are not so sure their child is ready. We will provide the unique opportunity for kids to work in teams training and caring for a specific dog on a daily basis; learning what it means to be a prepared and responsible pet parent.


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June 24, 2016by doglando0

WP421873In the morning we packed up our things, tearfully left the puppies at Doglando (no pets allowed at the Zoo!) and went to the Brevard Zoo to see how people work with other animals.  We got to see meerkats and siamangs and even meet some giraffes on the Zoo’s giraffe-eye-level feeding platform.  Everybody got to feed a giraffe a lettuce leaf.  The giraffe’s head was almost as long as some of the campers were tall!

When we got home we went swimming very quickly one last time and then went to work cleaning out the barn for graduation which started promptly at 4:00.  Almost 50 people were there, including everybody’s parents and even members of the community interested in adopting the campers’ dogs.  For the graduation presentation every camper showed a video about his or her dog, and then all the campers got up, got their dogs, and demonstrated all the things we learned over the last two weeks.  Everybody did great, at door exercises, crate exercises, cone exercises, bed exercises and even at loose leash walking!  We have all learned so much!

At the end of the day we paused to say goodbye to our camp dogs.  These dogs come to us from local shelters (in this case, Pet Rescue by Judy) and for two weeks, the dogs think that this is their new life, and we are their new owners.  We are very sorry that we now have to make the dogs sad by sending them back to the shelter, but dogs who have been trained at Camp Doglando always eventually get adopted, and are never sent back to the shelter once they are adopted — they have great training and great manners and every single one of them is fantastic with kids, a wonderful pedigree to get them the best new homes and keep them there.

On the bright side, Bella’s new family was here today to take her home after graduation, and Steven’s family adopted Diesel, who also went home right then and there!  Five other dogs have meet and greets scheduled soon.  Success!

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Ayla and Ella with lorikeet - WP421861
Dominic and Boris - AS6J2918
Kiera and Millenia - AS6J2461
Ella and Hilde - AS6J2448
Steven and Diesel - AS6J2616
Audrey and giraffe - WP421790
Eleana and Justin - AS6J2955
Sarah and Apollo - AS6J2743

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June 23, 2016by doglando0

Today we worked on loose leash walking some more (it’s very hard!).  Then we added some new tricks — “bed exercises”, which emphasize the dog lying down on a dog bed while the handler works on distance, duration, and distraction; “door exercises”, where the campers learn how to teach the puppies to go through a door politely; and “cone exercises”, or “around”, which teaches the dogs to move away from the handler, go around an object, and come back.  We thought about how tricks like this might be used in the real world — you will hardly ever have to go around a traffic cone while out for a walk, but what if your dog got his leash wrapped around a tree and you could just say “around” and he’d walk away from you, go around the tree, and come back, with his leash now unwrapped?  Cool!

At the end of the day we had a visit from Mary with Canine Companions for Independence, who taught us about how CCI “socializes”, or raises, their puppies to be incredible service dogs.  We got to meet Ralphie, a real service-dog-in-training!

Ayla and Sugar Berry - AS6J2351
Katie and Ross - AS6J2286
Ralphie from CCI - AS6J2381
Haylie and Bella - AS6J2308
Dominic and Boris - AS6J2263
Sarah and Apollo - AS6J2214

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June 22, 2016by doglando0

First thing in the morning we worked on loose leash walking outside some more.  Then we went to the Bithlo-Christmas Neighborhood Center for Families to deliver the meals we made last night.  Campers brought hot meals and water to people who really needed them.  (Doglando works with the Bithlo center as part of Full Tummy, a program which delivers free dog and cat food to families in need.)

Afterward we drove to the Greenwood Urban Wetland to let the dogs be dogs and to have a picnic in the park.  Dogs who enjoyed the water were allowed to fetch sticks out of the lake while other dogs preferred to play on the shore and just watch.

At the end of the day everyone was so tired we had naptime!

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Kayla and Natasha - AS6J1788
Ella and Hilde - AS6J1815
Ayla and Sugar Berry - AS6J2142
Steven and Diesel - AS6J2171
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Kiera and Millenia - AS6J1844
Dominic and Boris - AS6J2164
Justin and Bella - AS6J1740
Boris and Natasha - AS6J1946

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June 21, 2016by doglando0

In the morning today we worked on loose leash walking some more.  There is more room outside in which to work but there are also way more distractions outdoors!

After we worked on walking outside we went on a field trip to Panera Bread, which has an outdoor space where the dogs can learn.  We worked on pedestal exercises (climbing on and off a platform; staying on the platform until released) and then had lunch.  We even met some nice people who were interested in adopting some of the dogs!

At the end of the day it was back into the pool for more swimming.  Today we went in full circles around the pool and then each camper raced his or her dog to the ramp to get out!  (Mostly, the dogs won.)

We spent the evening making meals for the homeless, which we will deliver tomorrow.  Our fundraiser (we ended up having a bake sale instead of selling dog paintings) was a great success, earning $180 to buy food!  We made chicken, pasta, green beans, and corn, and the leftovers from our bake sale will go to the homeless too.

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June 20, 2016by doglando0

Today we introduced loose leash walking.  The only rule (for the dog) is that the dog should be on the handler’s left side with the leash loose.  There are a lot of rules for the campers to learn in order to teach this one rule to the dog!  It is very complicated to teach even simple things when you cannot use spoken language to communicate.  The campers learned to guide the dogs with their bodies and with food lures, and the dogs (sometimes) learned how to respond to the campers’ movements and the pull of the leash.  (It’s okay, everybody — we all start learning at the beginning!)

In the afternoon we cooled off in the pool.  Now the puppies are learning to swim past the ramp and spend more time in the water.  The campers are learning how to guide the puppies around the pool.  At the end of the day we let the puppies rest on the dock and the humans spent time learning how to dive off the dock into the water and catch a dog toy on the way down!

Ella and Hilde - WP420753
Steven - WP420933
Teena - WP421076
Kyla - WP420890
Jacob and Alice - WP420632
Jacob - WP420924
Eleana and Justin - WP420544
Haylie and Bella - WP420662
Kyla and Natasha - WP420551
Dominic - WP420879
Alyssa - WP420940

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June 17, 2016by doglando0

Today we had some fun on- and off-leash outside, with the campers and dogs learning to play with one another.  We added the “pedestal” to our training arsenal — this is a small raised platform the dog can learn to climb on and off of, and sit or lay down on.  In the afternoon, we brainstormed for a fundraiser to buy food to make meals for the homeless.  (To make 60+ meals, our grocery list started with 18 cans of corn and 18 cans of green beans!)  We decided to have the dogs make paintings we could sell, and everybody ran around covered with paint for a while.

Of course then we had to go swimming!  Today the dogs learned to swim a little further before getting out of the pool.  (This is how you learn to do things that are scary at first — take them in small increments.)  To help them feel safe in the water as they swam, the campers got in the pool with them, and supported their bodies as they learned how to move in the pool.

Eleana and Justin - AS6J1057
Steven and Diesel - AS6J1045 - cropped
Ella and Hilde - WP420441
Katie and Ross - AS6J0994
Kiera and Millenia - AS6J1155

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June 16, 2016by doglando0

Today the campers and dogs learned about interactive toys — toys that don’t just entertain the dog, but which require the human to be a full participant in the process.  Dogs and humans were meant to play together!  Everybody tried different types of toys — hiding toys which hid food, toys which made food hard to get, and a strange bell-looking thing which everybody just liked to chew on because it was made of wood.  (Okay, the dogs liked to chew on it — the campers, not so much!)

In the afternoon the puppies had their first swimming lesson!  Camp Doglando has a great, full-sized swimming pool, with a dock to dive off of and a rubber-covered ramp to get out with.  Campers gently placed their puppies in the water and guided them right to the ramp, so their first time in the pool was short and sweet!  Tomorrow will be much more exciting!

Jacob and Alice - WP420276
Justin - AS6J0598
Dominic and Boris - AS6J0640
Sarah and Apollo - WP420251
Natasha - AS6J0679
Ella and Hilde - WP420286
Eleana and Justin - WP420208
Sarah and Apollo - AS6J0629

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June 15, 2016by doglando0

Now that the dogs have the basics down, it’s time to work on the “three D’s” — distance, duration, and distraction.  The dogs can “sit” — now they have to sit for longer times (duration), sit while the handler is further and further away (distance) and sit even if someone has dropped kibble on the ground next to them (distraction)!  Not every dog is great at this at first, but we are all learning!

Everybody did so well today that we went on our first field trip with the dogs — to Twistee Treat!  Everybody had a great time and enjoyed their ice cream — even the dogs, who got “Pup Cups” of their own to enjoy, topped with a dog treat.

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