The most important thing to do when training any dog is to build a strong foundation, establishing a relationship, and teaching the dog how to learn. The foundation training I use with my dogs, both my own and my clients’ dogs, comes from Susan Garrett’s Recallers Program. Every year, there is a video contest to show when the online program opens for registration. Here is our video for this year. Enjoy, feel free to share, and consider the Recallers Program if you would like to build a stronger working relationship with your dog.
Every responsible breeder places puppies with the understanding that if a home doesn’t work out at any time for any reason, they can always come back. Last week, I had an adult dog returned to me for the first time.
Winston is a young male, out of Muse’s 2015 litter with Skycastle Yuengling. He had been placed with a family in North Carolina who had a PBGV in the past and were excited to have another. Over the past year, Winston’s family found that having a young dog in their lives wasn’t the right fit for their family so they recently contacted me to return him. I was sad to hear this, but so glad that they reached out to me first when they realized that it would be best for Winston to find a new home.
Last Tuesday, I picked Winston up at Philadelphia airport. Luckily, the weather was cool enough to allow him to fly up from North Carolina safely. Like a typical PBGV, he came out of the crate wagging and happy to see me, although he hadn’t seen me since he was 10 weeks old. We’ve spent the last week getting reacquainted and helping him adjust to his new surroundings, which included a weekend in the RV. Winston most likely won’t stay with us forever, but I want to get to know him well enough to ensure that we find the best possible home for him.
We’ve learned quite a bit about Winston so far:
- He isn’t that excited by food, although he really should gain some weight. He seems to prefer to eat in the evening rather than the morning.
- He really doesn’t enjoy grooming. He came needing quite a bit of work, but this is happening in 5-10 minute sessions daily to keep his stress level down. This means he is still a bit more unkempt than I would prefer, but he’s not matted and is more comfortable. Luckily, Winston has nice coat texture, which makes things easier.
- He is a really good boy in a crate and to walk on leash.
- He comes when called in the house and in the fenced yard, although he really loves to run in the yard.
- He enjoys the company of other dogs. We currently have girls in season, so we are doing a lot of rotating of dogs, but Winston is good with the spayed girls and likes to play with his half brother Gromit, even though they are both intact boys. (Once Winston puts on a few pounds he will be able to be neutered).
- He likes to beat up stuffed toys, shaking and barking them pretty roughly.
- He likes to steal dish towels and hide them in dog beds.
- He is reliably house trained. I expected some marking given the raging hormones that are currently circulating in our house, but have seen none.
- He drools some in the car, but Bonine helps.
Overall, a really sweet young PBGV who needs a bit of training. Hopefully Winston will find the perfect place where he can reach his full potential, but I’m glad that he found his way home in the meantime.