Toby is still an exuberant, playful dog but now he demonstrates good manners and obedience skills thanks to a professional dog training program.
Recently retired and with more time to devote to a pet, Linda and Rob wanted to adopt a puppy. They were in search of a mild-mannered dog breed with a sweet disposition that would be perfect for even the youngest family members. Already grandparents to one with another grandchild on the way, the qualities they wanted in a dog were very important.
They fell in love with a yellow Labrador Retriever puppy and named him Toby.
It’s no secret that Labrador Retrievers are a great family dog. As a breed, they have a great temperament and plenty of energy to keep up with little kids. Labs are intelligent and loving—exhibiting too much affection sometimes.
“Toby absolutely loves everyone. He’s an exuberant, playful boy who just wants to have fun with other people and dogs,” said Linda.
Labs puppies grow quickly, reaching adulthood by 12-18 months and weighing up to 80 lbs. Before you know it, the playful puppy can be a force of unstructured energy. Linda enrolled Toby in the dog daycare program at Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center when he was 6 months old for a few days a week while she was babysitting her first grandchild. She knew his puppy energy would be too much for the situation. Daycare was the perfect place for Toby to spend time burning off the excess puppy energy.
“Toby would get so excited about coming to the resort and being in daycare with the other dogs, so I knew he was having a great time,” added Linda.
An Emphasis on Learning
While Rob and Linda were preparing for a long trip, planning accommodations for Toby was a priority. Linda knew Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center was the best place for Toby, but she was concerned about leaving him behind for an extended stay. Toby completed the resort’s Puppy Social Hour, which emphasizes socialization, and had attended daycare, so he was prepared for further training. Toby was ready to learn new skills, so Linda asked about the Stay & Learn program.
The popular dog training program, which combines multiple daily training sessions with a variety of professional trainers and lodging amenities, was the perfect opportunity for a high-energy, smart dog to be fully engaged with learning. Toby was enrolled in the 20-day Stay & Learn program.
Four Paws on the Ground
Greeting people without jumping up on them was the primary goal that Linda and Rob identified for Toby’s training. Good social manners when meeting people is necessary for an adult Labrador. Toby worked with Sierra, Sean or Jess every day during his program, starting with learning basic commands such as name, sit, down, and wait to name a few.
“Toby had a lot of energy, so we focused on putting that energy into learning and working for his food. We hand feed Toby his food while teaching him basic commands. This food enrichment approach emphasizes focus and trust. Learning and working provides a dog with mental stimulation and a sense of accomplishment,” said Sierra, a senior dog trainer with Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center.
With a solid understanding of the basic commands, the training focus shifted to working through distractions and unwanted behaviors, such as jumping to greet people, with positive reinforcement. Training a dog requires the 3 P’s: Patience, Persistence and Practice. After lots of practice greeting resort staff and continually being rewarded with treats, praise or playtime, Toby achieved the goal of properly greeting people while keeping all four paws on the ground!
“Toby is still the same big, goofy, sweetheart but better, and we couldn’t be happier! He even walks better on his leash than he did before the training program,” added Linda.
Toby made great progress during his 20-day dog training program and learned the basic commands quickly. By redirecting his high energy into focused learning, Toby remains fun-loving and joyous with a clear understanding of expected behaviors. The goal of our Stay & Learn dog training program is to align expectations of the pet parents with what skills the dog needs for good communication and lifelong success.
Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center, in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, offers a variety of professional training programs. The Puppy Social Hour, held every Thursday at 7:30pm, is free and registering is recommended. Group classes include Puppy Preschool and Proper Petiquette. The Stay & Learn and Play & Learn programs are the most popular—combining a customized training program with either overnight accommodations and activities, or the Daycare program. Call 215-345-6960 for more information about any of our services and program, or to schedule a class or evaluation.