Dog’s Name: Bentley
Age: 8 months
Owner: Debi &Lynn Driver
Trainer: Wes Smith and Erin Hansen
Package Provided: 2 week board and train + 4 follow ups
Help Needed On: Crate training, leash pulling, greetings with guests, chewing on owner’s belongings, nipping, digging
Debi is a Hospice Care Worker and Lynn has retired from the medical field. They have used Suburban K9 with their previous dog who they lost suddenly from a rare bacterial infection. Not wanting to live without a dog in the home they got their new puppy Bentley. While Bentley is super sweet, he is a huge 85 pound puppy! Lynn has had several severe medical issues recently and is finding it harder to handle Bentley. It is extremely important that Bentley learn some manners as he can cause some harm to Lynn with his jumping, nipping and overall excitement. The Drivers just want a happy dog they can control and be a good companion for Lynn as he continues his road to recovery. Through the Board and Train Program and several Follow ups, we were able to help Bentley find his calm side and become a great companion for Lynn and Debi.
Summary of 2 week Board and Train: We have made progress on leash handling (heel including turns), sit, sit stay, down, down stay, and come. We have also worked on threshold, door manners, and item discernment. We have been strict about jumping, getting on furniture, and curbing his excitement so we minimize any risk of harm to Lynn and other family members as well as guests. So far Bentley has been excelling very well throughout his stay with Wes so far! Great job Bentley so far!
Summary after initial 2 week Board and Train: During Bentley’s 2 week board and train he was able to learn all obedience commands – heel, sit, sit stay, down, down stay, and come. We utilized e-collar for his come command. In regards to behavioral training, we practiced door manners and threshold, jumping, invite only for furniture, item discernment, and counter surfing. Bentley was eager to learn throughout our time together! During our go-home appointment I taught all obedience commands and corrections to Debi and Lynn. We also amped up Bentley’s excitement which caused him to jump on the couch and allowed us to show the Driver’s how to correct him. During our follow up appointments, I plan to continue working on more behavioral training and circling back to down stay and come as I don’t feel I allowed for adequate time for practice during the go-home appointment.
First Follow Up Lesson:
During Bentley’s first follow up appointment our trainers were greeted by an overly excited Bentley. We worked with Bentley right away heel walking with him until he was able to calm down. As we got settled in, the Driver’s explained Bentley had been obedient 90% of the time since he returned home. However, the other 10% resulted in him getting into trouble; jumping on Lynn, improper door manners, an instance of counter surfing, and a snack of toilet paper!
During our session we prioritized working on jumping on Lynn and door manners. Lynn was able to practice obedience commands come, sit, and down from the couch so Bentley would respect Lynn and his space near the couch. Next, we had Lynn practice e-collar correction for Bentley jumping on the couch without being invited up. We also invited Bentley on the couch when he was calm. Lynn says Bentley is a great cuddler when he’s calm with him on the couch! The trainers also had Debi practice door manners with Bentley. The trainers went outside and knocked on the door several times, working with Debi until she was able to answer and keep Bentley under control.
Second Follow Up Lesson:
Upon arrival at Bentley’s second follow up appointment trainers Holly and Wes were greeted outside by Debi and Bentley. Debi, Holly, and Wes took turns heeling Bentley as he was quite excited! Debi and Wes continued inside the house while Holly came to the door a few minutes later to practice door manners. Bentley did very well with this exercise – he was calm and did not jump to greet Holly. Way to go Bentley! We then practiced item discernment with some of Bentley’s favorite items to steal! He didn’t even try to take any! Next, we successfully coached Lynn to have Bentley come using while he was sitting on the couch. Lynn was also able to have Bentley sit and down near the couch. Lynn and Bentley did a great job together!
Third Follow Up Lesson:
During Bentley’s third follow up appointment Wes and Erin worked with Debi teaching them how to claim space in different scenarios. A major one was when Bentley would bring Debi a toy to play with and another was if Beneley had grabbed something he wasn’t supposed to have. While Bentley had done well with item discenment in lesson two, Debi mentioned Bentley still had tendencies to get into items he’s not allowed to have. To work on it this time our trainers set up a camera and went to a different part of the house where they could monitor and intervene if Bentley went for an off limits item. Wes reiterated the steps for the correction process as Bentley has had instances of jumping on Lynn and getting too excited since the last appointment. Lynn was not able to attend this appointment so we encouraged the Drivers to continue to practice obedience commands near the couch and stop Bentley for jumping up at Lynn or up on the couch without invitation. Debi mentioned that Bentley has made a lot of progress since we began our journey and received feedback from her vet how well behaved and different Bentley was at their recent appointment! Wes concluded the appointment by showing how to handle Bentley by doing wellness checks from nose to tail and explaining that handling Bentley makes trips to the groomers, vets, etc…more normal and less stressful!
Fourth Follow Up Lesson:
During Bentley’s fourth follow up lesson, Debi and Lynn reflected on Bentley’s journey in the Suburban K9 Gives Back program. The Driver’s discussed Bentley’s success and the positive impact of his training in their daily lives. It was heartwarming to hear the Driver’s feedback and knowing that their family was satisfied with all the hard work everyone, especially Bentley, put into the training. During our visit, Lynn was able to practice obedience commands near the couch using the e collar. Debi was able to practice a short heel walk in as well as door manners with Bentley. As we departed, we set a plan to continue additional monthly lessons to maintain the progress and foundation Bentley has established during his training to date.