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Blog: Happy Tails! Alfie! You Will Be Missed



Alfie (Portuguese water dog) completed his 2 month training session with us on Friday, March 24th. He came to me at 4.5-5 months old, with very little training.

Some of the issues I needed to correct, or fears that I needed to address were: Leash pulling, jumping, biting, waiting at doors instead of lunging- out the door, and waiting patiently for his meals. The fears he had were odd; he was afraid of dogs, there are manners that dogs expect from one another, and Alfie had no concept, of polite interactions among his peers.

Ivy was extremely helpful, as I have shared in other blogs. She examines the client, in this case Alfie, and determines (while I observe) through her interactions, what issues I need to focus on.


After a full week, he finally began interacting with the pack. Even though Alfie was able to play with the dogs; he never fully learned proper manners within the pack. At times he would try and take on a dog that holds a position of authority/respect in their social order “down,” and this was not very well received, by the dog and he was immediately reprimanded, either by Ivy, Bronwyn but at times even Flora, said, “ENOUGH!” Ivy would at times step in, and break up the "interaction(s)" before it escalated.

I was not 100% successful in my ability to work out all of his issues. However, I was able to temper his reactions to certain situations. The reason being, my methods cannot be effective, if I as a trainer works alone. His owner was very receptive but inconsistent. This will confuse the dog. Plus, in Alfie’s case he is beginning the adolescent phase, and this all by itself, is challenging for a dog owner, even if you have laid a strong foundation (training) during its puppy phase. How much more difficult is it when you were not suppling positive training habits early on, in their development. The rebellion will come through stronger and will last longer. I assured her that he has come a long way but as I tell a lot of my clients that I have trained (humans). It’s going to get worse before it gets better. It just is what it is. There are some puppy’s that do not go into a severe rebellion phase but this is a very small group.

Through a long discussion, we decided to end one week earlier than agreed upon. I encouraged her to stick with my methods, and not to allow, Alfie to lead his human “pack.” I told her it was important to follow through with- consistent, positive reinforcement. We will continue to work together, if and when difficult issues arise. She is not alone and I am always willing to help in any way, I can. In a manner of speaking, “Don’t let your puppy wag your tail.”


It's NOT about co-Existing with your furry family member, but living in harmony.


Happy Tails! Alfie 🐾



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