Let’s all give a warm welcome and words of encouragement to the newest members of our Gives Back Program! Justine and her husband Jim, their children Carson & Casin, and their fur-children, Gunner (4 years young Labradoodle) and Honor (1 year young German Shepard).
Justine is a detective in the Milwaukee area and has high hopes for Honor to develop into a therapy dog for everyone at the station. Justine stated, “…in my field of work and a lot of first responders during this time there is nothing better than coming home after a horrible case/day and having those two sweet dogs greet you at the door, with so much love in their eyes, kind of makes it all go away in that moment”.
Gunner tends to be protective of their home and is a bit shy towards people. Although Honor is an extremely lovable dog, she has a tendency to turn that love into excessive jumping. She has also been backing Gunner up with protecting their home.
Over the next few weeks, we are going to work on calming them both down and getting them a ton of socialization. Follow along on their journey with the hashtag. #HONORingThoseMakingaDifference
#SuburbanK9GivesBack #DogTraining #SuburbanK9Milwaukee
During Gunner and Honor’s first lesson with their trainer, they worked on learning how to walk in a proper heel. This will give both dogs the ability to stay calm in any situation and make walks more enjoyable! Although, Gunner just needed a little tweaking to get him walking in a focused heel. Honor went through the whole process of learning to heel. By the end of the lesson, they were both making strides.
By laying a foundation by teaching heel and that both dogs know their obedience, we were able to start the second lesson with working on distractions. Most dogs can do well with listening to sit, down, stay, and come with not much going on, but the more important thing is listening to those commands with distractions present. They did well enough for the first time that their trainer was even able to start showing their owners how to get them to quiet down and not bombard guests at the front door!
When it comes to dog training, things aren’t magically fixed in a day. Training dogs new things and getting them to be extremely successful with the training times time and repetition. Gunner and Honor’s 3rd lesson started off with being calm and responsive when people ring the doorbell and enter the home. This is a hard situation for them. It took a moment to get them to calm down but then they were able to be successful with staying calm and listening. This is something that they will practice at the beginning of each lesson to make sure it continues to get better and stays better!
Today’s focus was both dogs staying calm while Justine gets ready to take them for walks. They both get so excited to get outside that it’s a hassle for Justine just to get her shoes on. Both dogs practiced and were quickly successful with down stay commands while Justine got ready! While Justine took Gunner outside, Honor decided to get jealous and scratch at the door but by the end of the lesson Honor learned to stay more calm instead of jealous and destructive!
The Justman family was given homework to continue to work on both dogs stay commands with heavy distractions going on. They practiced two ways during their lesson to help give them ideas on how to work on it daily. The first was while Justine pretended to get ready to take them for walks. The other distraction was throwing their treats all around them and expecting them to hold their stays. Because most dogs love treats it’s usually hard for them to listen properly when they’re present and this is why we love to use them as a high distraction; that way it helps us to prepare the dogs to listen in high distraction situations that we can’t set up!
Check out this video of both Gunner and Honor listening to their down stay command with treats tossed around! TAKE NOTE… both dogs learned their commands in German so you will hear Justine say “platz’ for their down command, how cool!
A huge stressor for the Justman family was Gunner & Honor’s chaotic greetings at the front door. They both love people so much it’s so overwhelming for the dogs. They’ve been working hard at staying calm in those times and today, man did they show off!! Lauren, their trainer, rang the doorbell and as she came inside both dogs were sitting nice and calm waiting for her! Notice, they’ve also been learning to take turns on greeting their guests. In order to do this they’ve been taught the “get” command so after they say hi to their guest they are told to “get” which lets them know. This makes things so much easier and calmer so they’re not competing for attention! Gunner really loves to have all the attention so this was hard for him but he did stellar!
Once Gunner and Honor were successful multiple times with greeting guests more calmly they headed outside to work on walking nicely in a heel together. Up until this point, Justine has been practicing heeling both dogs individually to get a better handle on them and make them successful. Ideally, she’d love to walk them both together, in a heel, and have complete control over them. They exceeded expectations! Honor definitely had to be reminded a few times not to stare at others. Besides that, they stayed in their heel 95% of the time and had no reactions toward other dogs or people!