Dog Training Spotlight: Bugsy wants to be a therapy dog, and now he’s one step closer to his dream job!
Bugsy is an 18-month-old, 7 pound Chorkie (Chihuahua and Yorkshire terrier mix) rescue pup. He happily visits residents of area personal care and memory care communities with his mom Robin, so his career choice is not surprising.
Bugsy loves people and is unfazed by wheelchairs and other equipment commonly found in care communities, but other dogs were not on his list of Things Bugsy Likes. Being a certified therapy dog requires completion of dog training, so learning how to get along nicely with other dogs, especially larger dogs, is important.
Bugsy came to Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center for help overcoming his fear of bigger dogs. On a leash, Bugsy would relentlessly bark at other dogs and pull on his leash in response to his fear. He was enrolled in the 15-day Play & Learn training program which includes being a student in our Daycare program.
“Two important areas of Bugsy’s learning in the Play & Learn program were socialization and learning to walk nicely on a leash. Socialization builds confidence, and confidence gives dogs like Bugsy the ability to feel comfortable around other dogs and people, as well as sets a foundation for learning new skills,” explained Jess Philips, trainer with Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center in Doylestown, PA.
Bugsy was slowly introduced into the Daycare group by first playing with dogs similar in size. He was then introduced to the dogs of the training and daycare staff—many of which are much larger than Bugsy. From there Bugsy’s experience and confidence grew with meeting more new daycare friends. He is now a confident member of the Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center Daycare program.
All the while, Bugsy’s training included multiple daily sessions with a total of six different professional trainers for basic obedience and training walks. When Bugsy’s session was completed, Robin joined him for a final lesson with a trainer to ensure consistency after the formal training program—and continuing to attend Daycare will reinforce good manners and learned skills.
“I wanted Bugsy to become comfortable around all types and sizes of dogs and expressed that to your trainers. If they were successful doing that, anything else was a plus in my mind. After talking to your trainers, my expectations for Bugsy were to walk on the leash calmly and listen to basic commands. Interestingly, prior to Play & Learn he was mostly house broken. He is now 100% house broken! In addition, he is generally better behaved at home – he sits, comes, and lies down when asked. He walks well on the leash now and does not react to neighborhood dogs when we walk,” said Robin.
Our Play & Learn dog training program combines professional dog training with all the benefits of a popular daycare program.
- A fun, supervised way for your dog to spend the day while you are at work
- Two options tailored to meet the needs and personality of your dog: group daycare or personal daycare
- A busy curriculum for dogs that enjoy an active, social atmosphere and personal attention from highly-trained, caring staff
- Convenient and efficient training for pet parents who are not able to spend the dedicated time on a daily and weekly basis needed to work with their dog
“After 2 weeks Bugsy’s behavior at home improved. And now that his Play and Learn dog training program is completed, Bugsy is calm and obedient when walking on the leash, and he is no longer afraid of other dogs. In fact, he stands in the middle of all the large dogs at Holiday House Resort & Training Center Daycare and he definitely shows no fear,” added Robin.
Bugsy is no longer a shy, fearful pup but a confident dog with improved social skills who is ready to continue training on his journey to becoming a super therapy dog!
If you are interested in a customized dog training program for your dog, call Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center at 215-345-6960 to schedule a training evaluation.