Monday, June 20, 2011

Camp Doglando Week 2 Day 1

The kids are pros at the routine now.... does not take them long to adjust at all.

They completed their morning routine while waiting on two of the puppies to get dropped off from the weekend.

After their arrival, the kids met with Barb and asked her about her weekend with them and if she practiced their training. They also asked her about Mid Florida Sheltie Rescue's adoption standards and policies in preparation for a meet and greet we had later on in the morning. Then, we broke away for an extended training session which consisted off a review from last weeks lesson, and then a few tests in dog handling skills. We added distractions, and the true test came about when they had to take their puppies in amongst the daycare dogs and work them in certain exercises in the back.

The kids did very well at this despite the hard level distractions of the daycare dogs. All the pups are just incredible, and progressing so well in their training, maybe we should offer this ongoing through the year!

We gave the puppies a break, and then went back out with the daycare dogs. Each child received their own disposable camera to take photos of each other, daycare dogs and their own puppies. They had a blast doing this, we will get them developed later on this week and will share them with you then.

Before lunch we took a short field trip to Back To Nature Wildlife Sanctuary. Although they are typically closed to the public on Mondays, they allowed our campers to visit as Doglando has made small donations to their Sanctuary many times before. The kids were fascinated by the animals they saw, and even quite appalled to hear the stories of each animal and why they will live out their lives here.

My favorite was Jasper a 4 week old goat..... I have always wanted goats and soon we will! By the way, if you know anyone who needs to find a new home for their goats, we would love to rescue two! Help us spread the word!

After lunch, the kids didn't waste any time to get to the pool. We had one short training session in which they learned "settle." Every dog and handler team got it within their first try! This never happens even in our regular classes. See how far structure, repetition, and a well balanced routine of play, training, nap time and bonding goes?

They spent an hour in the pool with their puppies, and then every puppy got a bath, their nails clipped and ears cleaned. The kids did most of this on their own, with very little help from us. No more fighting, snarling or throwing themselves against us during drying time, the pups all stood calmly while getting dried before returning to their crates for a nap. Camp has been exhausting, even for the pups!

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