Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Camp Doglando Day 2

Session 2:

Pups ready to go, where are the kids???????? "They could not get here fast enough" said one of the mothers.

No standing around, not talking, no nonsense, off they went to start their morning routine. By the time I lugged all my things in, they had their dogs outside going potty, and some had their crates already cleaned out with new bedding. Way to go!

We had an arrival of a new team.... one more camper and one more dog. The kids introduced themselves to the new camper and each one of them shared valuable advice from the lessons they had yesterday. They took turns explaining to her everything from the clean up routine, training whys and why nots, breed specific behavior, and things I had forgotten about! Wow....

They demonstrated some of the lessons from yesterday and then as a team played the Hot Cold game. Have you every played it? Everyone except the dog left the room to discuss what they were going to shape the dog to do. The task was, the dog had to go over the shelf and pick up the spray bottle. Using the words hot and cold, the trainer had to shape the dog to do that. Now remember our dog is one of the campers in this game!

So, we had one camper the dog, one trainer, and the rest as audience. It was so funny, the dog/camper, demonstrated the same levels of frustration as a dog would when learning to sit or down or stay for the first time.... and the audience and trainer were equally frustrated because the could not effectively communicate the task to the dog, and the dog was unable to effectively understand their directions.

Then, I played the came and showed them with a clear idea and quickness, how much faster and easier it is to communicate and the dog immediately caught on and walked towards the spray bottle than grabbed it. This was a great lesson for them to realize how clear, consistent and concise they need to be, and the patience they needed to demonstrated when working with the dogs.

We broke off for our first training session: a repeat from yesterday and application of sit and release to door exercises. Being in Florida, our summers are not the most friendly in terms of temperature so now we battled a difference circumstance. The kids started off great, but then it got too hot, their dogs stopped responding, and they were left challenged. One of the campers said, "oh man this is a lot more work than yesterday."

So, on that note, we need a "pick me up" and we called for a huddle. Everyone came back inside and we discussed the challenges we faced today compared to yesterday. Of course, the biggest one being heat. Other challenges were: distractions and handlers allowing their dogs the freedom to roam into other dog's spaces. Upon addressing each one, we came up with solutions to combat the problems. We were all in agreement that avoiding the heat was certainly not conducive to what we are trying to accomplish... thus we set small accomplishable goals for each team, and they only practiced in sets of 5 repetitions before putting their dog up for a break, then repeat. Working in short sessions with clear goals that are achievable and measurable, those were our goals!

That led to a great afternoon training sessions. Dogs and kids, mission accomplished! Over the course of the two weeks the kids will continue building on this strong foundation.

After lunch the kids played Price is Right, calling out prices for various dog products. They were split into two, and one of the teams was five points up, so on the last item we gave the other team to tie the game, which initially the kids were not so happy about.... until they learned the prizes were for their puppies.... then of course they wanted all the puppies to get the prizes not just one team's puppies.

Our afternoon was filled with more training, more play time with daycare dogs and beautification. The kids learned to clip nails, clean ears and bathe. This was great fun for the kids, they really enjoyed seeing their dogs all cleaned and feeling good, especially the two dogs that have mange.

Chores completed and before we realized it, it was 4pm.

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