Foden and Elsie inspired me to become a dog trainer. I trained with National Dog Trainers Federation Australia (NDTF) and had so much fun learning how to train dogs and was excited with the success that I was getting that I wanted to share this to help other dog owners. As part of my studies, I had to train a basic assistance skill. I chose to teach Foden to pick up rubbish and place it in the bin. He was so good at this he progressed to placing empty water bottles into the large recycling bin.
Foden – 10 years (2005 – 2015)
Wolfhound, Mastiff, Ridgeback, Bully X
Since the age of 6 weeks when he came home, Foden had no focus and trying to train him the same as my other dogs wasn’t working. He pretty much did what he liked, always having contention with leadership. Aside from that he was a good dog, I just didn’t know how to show that. After starting clicker training with him he started to focus and offer behaviours. Then we started agility which he loved but still not consistent with his commands or listening to me. NDTF taught me about the leadership Foden required and after changing my leadership Foden’s behaviours began to change. He loved to work. Foden’s basic obedience advanced to a high intermediate level working through distractions and his bad behaviours eventually decreased with 95% success rate. Foden loved agility, especially the tunnel and he learnt how to pick up rubbish and put it in the bin. Unfortunately he passed away in August 2015 from lymphoma.
Elsie – 8 years (2008 – 2016)
Great Dane Mastiff X
Elsie was 2 years when we adopted her from a shelter in Western Australia. Her obedience wasn’t too bad however Elsie didn’t like her paws being touched, hoses and some dogs. Elsie went through a desensitisation program to give her the confidence to cope with her fears. I could hold her paws, pat, tickle, apply pressure to her nails and use a nail file. We applied the same training to her fear of hoses and Elsie loved her baths with the hose. Her confidence around other dogs also improved, however she still had to be watched. Elsie loved to do obedience training was able to sit and stay at a distance until released. Elsie loved to target and her favourite agility obstacle was the high jump, though once she overcame her fear of the tunnel I couldn’t keep her out of it. She also loved her walks through town. Unfortunately Elsie passed away a year after Foden.
Dovi – 3 years (2015 – )
Greyhound X Boxer
Dovi was 6 weeks old when he came to live with us, Foden and Elsie. Dovi is an easily excitable dog. He sits next to me every morning for his massage which helps to calm him. He is progressing nicely with his obedience, starting to comply with commands at a distance and showing signs of improvements through distractions, though he still has some work to do. He is learning self-control, waiting to be released to retrieve a toy, bring it back and give, all on command. All great training for our gun work. He loves to run and run and run. He also loves to swim (after overcoming his fear and learning how to) and playing a game of tug. His favourite agility obstacle is the tunnel.
Maico – 3 years (2015 – )
Maico lived in a shelter since she was 6months. At two years she found her forever home. She was extremely timid and had no training. It has taken time and patience training Maico as she has had to learn how to learn. After a year of patience and no expectations, she has learnt some basic commands like sit, drop (from a stand) and to stand, all of which she is showing more reliability in doing. She is also showing self-confidence when meeting people for the first time. She used to step back or run away and now she is getting pats on the first meeting. She is also learning how to play and enjoying herself. It is great to see joy on her face. After overcoming her fear of the agility tunnel, she loves it. She is now learning how to jump. She loves to be chased by Dovi. Maico loves to sniff and is learning nosework.