Gracie the Newfoundland joined us for training when she was 6 months old. She had developed major issues with jumping on people, and had injured a young girl with her over exuberance. She also pulled on leash, would bark in the yard, and was difficult to manage in the house. This increasingly frustrating behavior left her owners searching for help, and that is where we came in.
We had to solve these issues a few different ways. We had to teach Gracie how we wanted her to act, introduce her to consequences for bad behavior, and also give her outlets for her energy so that she was not likely to seek out her own ways to relieve boredom. We also had to make sure that all of these new behaviors and skills transferred back to her home environment.
Newfoundlands are a working breed, developed to work in tough conditions for long periods of time. This type of work required a dog with plenty of energy and the drive to work for long periods. If left to their own devices, the energy that made them great at their jobs in Canada can lead to a Newfoundland trying to find their own “jobs”. We use obedience as a way to give these dogs a job to perform, while also making them easier to handle and making their owner’s life easier.
Gracie’s owners did the right thing by sending her to us as a six month old puppy. Behavior issues tend to get worse over time, and can be harder to stop in older dogs because the habits get so ingrained in the dog. By getting out hands on Gracie at a younger age, we were able to stop the behaviors before they got worse, and were able to lay a foundation of obedience that will last for the rest of her life.