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Adventure Camp #4 – About Town and SHOPPING!!!

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Wow, what I busy day we had today! Perfect weather, happy campers, and lots of fun activities made for a fun filled day.

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!

Fall Camp #10 – Graduation and Pool Party!

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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!

Adventure Camp #2 – Out in the Real World!

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For today’s Camp Adventure we took the dogs to an off leash dog park, to burn some energy, socialize and romp with their fellow campers, and then do some much needed one-on-one training.  We let all six campers roam free, and they quickly went into a fast paced game of chase and tag.  It was great to see how some of our shier campers are starting to enjoy their play times and socializing with the pack.  That’s what camp is all about!  We worked with each dog on some of their basic behaviors like sits and downs, and some of our more advanced campers got to practice their stays, and go to mats.  We also did some one-on-one work on their loose leash walking – rewarding them for walking on our left side, keeping a loose leash, and encouraging them to sit at our left when we stopped moving.

From there, we took the dogs to a playground so they could practice what they had worked last week with Liane out in the real world with kids who weren’t necessarily doggie-savvy.  It went WONDERFULLY!  The playground came to a complete stop as all the parents brought the toddlers to meet and socialized with the Campers.  The dogs took it all in very well, and we were very happy to see their polite responses and how even those who had been a bit unsure or shy last week, were happy to take in all the attention.  A great experience for both kids and dogs!!!

For lunch break, we took the dogs to Miami Squeeze Juice Bar, where they got to hang out at the terrace and experience the sounds of traffic and people nearby .  They did great and even took a potty break near the adjacent railroad tracks.  We are making sure the younger Campers, get lots of potty opportunities, and so far, everyone has been clean in the crates in the car, and have been happy to use the grass areas for their business.  We also try to consistently give them a group cue to “Go Potty” when we stop at a good spot, and reward and praise those that do their business, so they learn that will be their command to “use the facilities” 🙂

Our last stop of the day was out at the Hollywood strip mall.  We walked around the shops and restaurants with the Campers, getting lots of compliments from the people there.  We made a longer stop at a playground area for a final training session, so we could take some footage for your homework videos.  We worked on the different stages of the “Sit” and “Down” according to the level each Camper could work at.  Please take a look at these Homework Videos, and try and experiment with your dog and practice these two commands.  Keep training sessions short, 5 minutes at the most, and always end in a positive note.  And don’t forget to send us feedback on how your training is going and how the Campers are doing at home!

Thanksgiving Day!

Busy weekend at dog connection but  everybody is having a lot of fun!

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Fall Camp #8 Training & Beach Day FUN!!!

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After a quick morning greet and workout, we loaded up our Campers and headed over to Brickell Road Area to do some training and sightseeing. We walked the dogs calmly around shoppers, café tables, and along the sidewalk.  They all got quite a bit of practice for walking on leash, and a lot of exposure to strangers and different sights. Stores are setting up the Christmas decorations and preparing for the big Thanksgiving sales, so the area was buzzing! The dogs behaved wonderfully and didn’t seem at all fazed by any of the new sights. Crossing the street, or walking between tables with a well mannered dog is no problem and no one seemed to mind the dogs’ presence at all!
After our training fieldtrip we headed on to Key Biscayne for a beautiful and fun beach day. The day was sunny and bright, and the waters were calm and clear – a PERFECT beach day! The dogs got to walk in the shore, play in the sand, practice some training and manners in a new environment and even behave in the presence of many strange dogs and people. We took a minute for our picnic lunch, so the dogs got to practice settling by themselves while we ate – a BIG distraction! Many of our campers showed quite a talent for swimming, and others were VERY enthusiastic if not too graceful! It was a fun and educational day for them, and we hope they went home exhausted 😀

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