I’ve been new thinking about a new service of ours that I’m particularly enthusiastic about, but I think needs a little clarification. It’s called our Jump Start program. We’ve created it in order to be able to offer people who want a stay at home option similar to a boot camp. A traditional boot camp is where you send your dog to a training facility anywhere from 2-6 weeks where they learn basic behaviors and are guaranteed to perform when they get home.
1. We come to your home and work with your dog while you go on about your day.
2. We cater this service to dogs that are in need of a boost in their knowledge of basic behaviors. This is not for dogs who are aggressive to people or dogs. That is better served by our regular in-home, private training packages.
3. We offer no guarantees. We wish we could, but it is our opinion that to guarantee any living being’s behavior would be unethical. I ask you politely, are you 100% reliable in all that you know?
We call it JumpStart because, well… I’d like you for a moment to picture a lawn mower.
Neither illustrates my point. In fact, as I look through images of today’s lawn mowers, nothing looks quite like the gas guzzling one that my dad had me use to earn my allowance as a kid. It might have contributed to global warming.
I could only find a drawing and let me tell you, this one still looks a heck of a lot nicer than the one we had back in the day. So, for those of you who know what I’m talking about, the mower was fine once it was started, but getting it running was the trick. There was the pumping of the gas, and then the pull… pull… pull… pant, pant, pant, try again, … pull… and finally, music to my ears, it was running. (I promise this is going somewhere.)
This is similar to the way a dog learns new behaviors. The first stage of learning is what psychology books call the acquisition phase. This is when we have to get our dogs to understand what we want them to do and to get the behavior happening regularly. Remember, our canine family members don’t actually speak English. It’s not like we say Sit, and they come out of the womb knowing that this means, “put your butt on the ground”. So, for some pups, for example, learning Down is easy and for some it’s hard. The same goes for Stay or anything we want our dogs to know.
So, since we at AnimalSense, do this for a living, it would make sense that our ability to teach your dog a new behavior might take less time. Thus, we introduce the JumpStart program!
Now, back to my gas lawn mower comparison (have you stayed with me the whole way?): if someone got the mower started for me, the cutting of the entire lawn just got a lot easier.
The same goes for dog training. We can get your dogs doing Sit, Down, Stay, etc. at a very beginning level in 10 sessions, so your job, to practice the stuff they learn with us over the following months, is that much easier.
This can be a perfect answer for people who feel like they want some help getting their new puppy started and don’t have time to learn all of the skills needed to teach them all that they’d like them to know. Their dog can learn everything in the comfort of their own environment, which is an added bonus.
This doesn’t, however, get them out of training entirely. A dog matures over the first two years of their life and it’s important to keep reinforcing what they know over that period of time. The good news? Doing it this way, results in people having a language and relationship with their dogs for a lifetime.