Taking on multiple dogs at once can be fun and productive, but also chaotic. But in the case of Bowie and Stella, I think it was pretty great! 🙂
Bowie and Stella are two adult rescues from Wings of Love, Kuwait. Yes, they were rescued from Kuwait and rehomed here in Baltimore. While neither dog had any formal obedience training, both were friendly and interested in our sessions. It was really interesting to see how they progressed at varying speeds, were differently motivated and excelled at different things. What a great reminder that no dog is the same!!
One of the hardest things to teach Bowie was to respond to his name. But boy, was he the champ at ‘hi-5s’ and ‘lay downs’! He naturally offered the paw when we wanted something, and it was really easy to put that on a command. He loved attention and belly rubs, so naturally, moving him off treat-only rewards was easy!
Stella picked up all commands, including the recall, really well. Like really really well… except for the ‘lay down’. She only did that on the couch, never on the floor or grass #diva (Jk!). While Bowie was still learning his name, Stella was able to connect several commands to behaviours. The challenge with her is to wean her off treat-only rewards, because, well, she’s figured the game 😉
With rescue dogs, who are often mixed-breed, it’s relatively hard to understand what will motivate and excite them since we don’t know much about their breeding, early puppyhood, and past experiences. As a trainer, I had to constantly try different things and be on the look-out for that glimmer of comprehension and enthusiasm in the dogs. It’s been great, and I’m very proud of Bowie and Stella and their pet parents!