Even before we brought Fletcher home at six weeks old, we knew that training had to be a part of our future. We knew that cute cuddly fur ball would eventually turn in to a big (95 lbs) energetic dog. A well-behaved dog was a must given that: we lived in busy Wrigleyville; some day we hoped to have a human family; and my mother-in-law was terrified of dogs. We also knew we weren’t wild about the idea of choke and prong collars.
We started class when Fletcher was 11 weeks old and kept taking classes as he grew. In class, the emphasis was on teaching my husband and I how to work with and communicate with Fletcher to achieve the desired behavior, rather than punishing him into submission. We often learned that it was our mixed signals to Fletcher that was the source of the problem rather than Fletcher being willfully disobedient.
At thirteen months old, after completing the AnimalSense Canine Good Citizen class, Fletcher passed the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen test on the first try. And just last week, at 18 months, Fletcher passed his Therapy Dog International certification test. We could not have accomplished so much in such a short period of time with out the wonderful guidance, instruction and support given to us by AnimalSense!
The only negative about AnimalSense is once you have a well-behaved dog, you don’t need to go to class anymore. Fortunately, AnimalSense now offers several advanced classes.