We started by polishing our leash walking skills with lots of new distractions at the walking circle next to the Aventura Mall. Baby strollers, joggers, bikers, construction and traffic sounds made for some new environmental stimuli. A short 20 minute walk was good to get the initial jumpinness and excitement out of the way.
From there, we went to the Bark Park at East Greynolds Park down at Biscayne Blvd. It was a LOT of fun, and the Campers got to chase each ther around, wrestle and practice some basic behaviors in smaller Training Teams. We worked on Recalls (as shown on our Collar Games homework from last week), Sits and Downs and even started on some Stays. It’s always good to keep training fun and short, so training at the park allowed us to do some impromptu practices while they played, then more formal work and play sessions.
After play breaks, it was time for some “real life” experiences. We headed to Bal Harbor Shops with the Campers, so we could walk around the stores, socialize them, and do some short training sessions. The Campers were a SENSATION! People would stop us to pet them and take pictures. We entered the Nieman Marcus store and were trated like royalty! All the Sales Clerks had to stop and compliment the pups. It was a lot of practice and GREAT socialization. They got to see the Koi fish and turtles swimming in the water fountains, admired the Holiday decorations, sat calmly by us while we “rested” on a bench, and of course pose for several pictures! Many of the mall spaces were under construction, so they go to see workers carrying equipment and listen to the hammering and banging nearby.
All in all, a wonderful experience for all!
Graduation Day is here – WOW! Time DOES fly when you are having fun!
At Dog Connection, we find ourselves as usual feeling conflicting emotions on this our last day of this Camp Series. We feel happy because the dogs had so much fun, proud that they have all learned so much and improved so notably, but we also feel a little sad because we know we’ll miss our outings and seeing them on a regular basis. It really is a lot of work planning and putting into practice each Camp session, but the rewards we get from each and every one far outweigh it. So this is not really a goodbye but a see you later, as we’re already starting plans for our next series – after a short break for the Holidays!
We would like to give a HUGE thank you to Rosemary and Pedro – Bella’s owners- for the DELICIOUS breakfast basket they sent us yesterday! It ended up being breakfast, lunch and takeout for all 5 of our Camp Counselors!!!! Also, thanks to Dana – Diva and Dude’s owner – for the wonderful treats – everyone enjoyed them. Again, THANK YOU, you really didn’t have to, but boy did we appreciate it 😉
Another HUGE thank you goes to Megan and the Webber Family – Bo and Sofia’s owners – for having us and all 17 campers for a fun filled day at their home and some swimming in their pool. We are really grateful for your hospitality and lucky to have such a wonderful place to celebrate our last Camp Session! We think the pictures speak for themselves, and the tired dogs we sent home yestersday will be further proof of how much fun was had. The Campers had a wonderful time romping loose in the fenced in yard, swimming in the pool and going through their obedience practice. We hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed spending the day with your dogs.
Finally, we would like to thank all of our Campers for joining us in this journey, for all the laughs and their antics, and of course to you, their families, for taking such good care of them and, of course, for trusting us with their care and training.
Please remember the Holidays can be a very dangerous and stressful time for your dog: lots of people coming in and out of the house raise the risk of escaping, and dogs can get a bit nervous with the unusual going ons. Gifts and decorations present new hazards for dogs who can become destructive or curious with the unexpected “surprises”. Holiday candy and food, as well as some of the more traditional plants can be poisonous to your dog, so make sure your pup isn’t chewing on your beautiful poinsetta as it can be very dangerous!
Remember to give your dogs a break from all the celebrating and enjoy this wonderful time with your family!!!!
See you soon for our next Camp!
Train & Romp at the Millers!
For our third Camp session we were generously invited to work with the Campers in a very nice and secure yard belonging to one of our students: Debbie Miller and her Boxers Sam & Delilah. The place is very spacious, with lots of grass, walks and even a pool! There we were able to let the dogs romp and play first thing in the morning so they could meet two new friends: Snowy the 4 month old Maltese boy and Leelah the 3 month old Bermese Mountain Dog.
After play time, we set up a few crates and took turns working and training with each Camper at their level on different exercises according to their particular needs. We were able to film and document our training so you will soon be getting new homework videos on things like crate training, sit and down stays, settle or place, door manners and even food bowl manners. The Campers all had a chance to rest in the crates and practice being quiet and relaxed in them.
After the intense training sessions (with short potty breaks interspersed) the dogs were mentally and physically tired so it was time for another romp and play session to unwind!
The Petsmart Experience!
From the Millers we headed to Petsmart for a fun Shopping visit! The pups were admired by shoppers and store personnel and got lots of attention, treats and even petting from strangers. The store was buzzing, so they were in the pressense of lots of people and strange dogs. They all got rides on the shopping carts and walks on the isles among all the distractions. Once we got staged in one of the isles, Paulina was official “Shopper” charged with getting the dogs acquainted with the unfamiliar surroundings and walking them around the isles, while Sheyla was the “Cart Wrangler” in charge of keeping the Campers calmed and sitting inside the carts 😀
It was a very busy day, full of fun, learning, new sights and experiences – exactly what Adventure Camp is all about!!!
After play time at the park, the Campers got some intensive training. Since we have had several weeks of camp, in fact we have many on their second Camp program, we figured it was time to challenge the dogs. After they got a chance for some one-on-one training with one of our Camp Counselors it was time for some Advanced exercises.
We decided to work Stays and use Recall exercises as a big distraction at the same time. We worked in groups of five; four trainer-camper teams were set up in stays making a hallway for the trainer-camper team practicing recalls on a long line. The dogs on the sidelines were working on Stays – nothing like a fellow camper running enthusiastically to their trainer in a recall to challenge the other dogs. At the same time it was a challenge for the recallers not to get sidetracked by visiting with their friends!
It was a very intensive and educational day, and all dogs performed remarkably well and have shown a lot of improvement. We hope you’re as happy with them as we are – we know they at least went home tired!
For today’s camp session we took the dogs to the Bark Park at Tropical Park. It is a beautiful park with a gorgeous view of the pond and surrounding park grounds, nice shaded seating for owners to relax and agility equipment for the dogs to play on and around in both the big dog and little dog areas (which are separated). Fortunately for us it also offers water fountains and a hose since the dogs were VERY excited about the many mud puddles and happy to get into mud wrestling matches 😉
It was a very busy morning at the park, so the dogs all got to meet and interact with strange dogs and people. As usual, the exercise is a very nice side benefit. All in all, a very fun and exciting visit!