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!

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



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.



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!

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


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.

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


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!

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


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.



June 14, 2016by doglando0

Today introduced the basics of training.  Dogs and campers learned to do “crate exercises”, which is a fancy term for learning to come out of the crate politely, carefully, and only when asked.  Campers introduced the dogs to the language of learning — treats! — and brought them homemade tug toys made from old shirts so they would not be lonely in their crates.  Dogs and campers both learned about crate exercises, “sit”, “shake”, and “down”.  The dogs had their first bath, too!  We also learned about how working together with everybody else creates a web of responsibility — when one of us drops our part of the web, the whole thing falls apart!

A few lucky dogs even got to go home with their campers tonight!


December 1, 2015by doglando0


Event: Sand, Water and Dogs. Don’t sweat the clean up!

Purpose: Children and dogs learn much the same way. Both are born with the innate desire to explore, learn by touching, tasting, feeling and smelling more than hearing/listening. Kids and dogs, both crave to connect with nature. In doing so, they build confidence and courage and most of such experiences teach both respect.

Friendliness, sociable, compassionate, kind, intelligent, aware, sensitive, creative, bold, robust, driven are just some of the many constructs used to categorize character. These constructs are fundemental in defining individuals by their characteristics; everyone wishes their kids and dogs grow up to be superb members of our societies.

What does it take? It used to be said, “it takes a village to raise a child,” today, we believe it takes the “outdoors” to raise children and dogs. Our lifestyles have evolved to become fast paced forcing us to feel strapped for time, filling our days with programs, events and activities, lacking experiences.

At Doglando, we are committed to creating life self-directed experiences for dogs to “play” that enable them to connect with the ecosystem they co-exist and co-habitate in, enrich their quality of life through exposure, and empower them to make decisions for themsleves’ placing learning into their own paws.

The purpose of the event is to be part of an interspecies play experience where kids and dogs build their own experiences; meeting their own challenges, asses their own abilities, so they can be active, build confidence, autonomy, resilience, develop skills, solve problems and recognize their own limits. Yet being aware of species specific differences.

Date: Sunday January 31, 2016

Time: 10am – 11:00am

Cost: Free

Dogs: No personal dogs allowed. Only a limited number of Doglando’s Teaching Dogs and puppies enrolled in our programs will be participating.

Children: Ages 15 months to 29 months (must be able to walk unassisted). No children beyond ages of 2.5 years allowed including kids in the same family.

What to bring: Your camera and essentials/change of clothes for your child. Please no food/snacks or drinks allowed in beach area.

July 17, 2015by doglando0

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!


July 16, 2015by doglando0

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.