Need More Training?

by Valerie


My almost 5 year old golden is the baby of 4 dogs in total. I lost one of my pups a year ago, and the other two are 14 and their health is deteriorating.

Amy already suffers from separation anxiety. She and I attended McCann's when she was a pup, so she has retained some basic skills.

I am wondering if it would be beneficial for her to take her for re-training. I had hoped in the beginning that she and I would be able to visit hospitals and nursing homes, but the one thing Amy couldn't overcome was the need to jump when someone (even me) comes into the house and she is approximately 75-80 pounds. She gets much too excited although it doesn't last long.

While she requires a lot of personal attention, she is a gentle, love-able and smart girl. Unfortunately, she didn't get the hikes and excursions my older two did, partially due to cruciate ligament surgery when she was a year and a half. What is your opinion please?



Hello Valerie,

It sounds as though Amy could very much use some brushing up on obedience training. As you say, she is a smart girl, and her breeding makes her very eager to please!

Now, before I go any further, I am not in the business of putting down other trainers. That said, the training method at McCann's is quite a bit different than our method on this site at Precision K9. Amy was initially trained at an all-positive school - lots of treats and no corrections.

I teach balanced training - praising the good behaviour and correcting the bad behaviour. This makes things very black and white for the dog, and learning comes faster and is more consistent.

Take nipping, for example. Instead of ignoring it, or saying "Ouch!" or "No!" (which does NOT constitute a correction), we would show you how to give a proper one-second leash and collar correction. End result? The dog will remember the correction and won't want to nip anymore, preferring the praise that she gets for not nipping.

While some people might tell you that she's too old to be trained out of certain habits, I couldn't disagree more. A dog is never too old to learn new things!

So in a word - yes. I highly recommend getting Amy back into obedience training. You can still get to that point where you can take her in as a therapy dog.

Thanks for participating with this Q & A forum. I hope I've been able to steer you in the right direction with Amy.

Shannon Pennings

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