Monday, November 4, 2013

Congrats, Bear!

Who is excited to graduate????

 Me Me Me!!!!

Yesterday, this 70 pound ball of fur graduated from Beginner's Obedience school at Petsmart. We took him to the same place we went for Piper and even used the same instructor. I know there are tons of different training options out there... from these interactive classes with other owners and pets, to schools where you can ship your dogs off for a couple weeks and they come back knowing what a salad fork is and which direction to pass the bread basket.

I personally think any training course where the owners are involved is the way to go. Yes, professionals can train your pooch, but I believe it's important for the ones who live in the house to learn as well. Since the dog is living with YOU, not Ceasar Milan, it would be helpful if you know what you're doing as well.

And that's why I like the course at Petsmart. It's pretty much the trainer teaching US how to train our dogs, demonstrating for us, letting us practice, and then most of the work is done at home. Since training is always an ongoing process, the hour long sessions just arm us with the tools and knowledge we need to implement a successful plan at home.

Another thing I love about this course is that we learn the psychology behind the training. I'm not sure if they are all like this or if it's just our trainer, but it's so interesting. (Shout out to Devin, the trainer in Hamburg! She's great!) I always loved psych class and Devin would always explain WHY we were using a certain method and how the dog's brain perceives it. And of course, they promote positive reinforcement training which I'm a big proponent of.

All in all it's a great way to socialize your dog with others, learn necessary commands and how to teach them, allow your dog to practice in an environment with distractions, and have an expert on hand to help with your specific training needs. But, most of the work is done at home! And while this is definitely hard to keep up with, we now have the tools to work with Bear on correcting any behaviors necessary. (And reward him with lots of treats!)

Things Bear has Learned:
  • Watch me, sit, stay, lay down, shake, leave it, drop it, take it, loose leash walking, come when called.
  • Bear has gotten better with impulse control. Just being in the training environment really helps with that.
  • Bear is listening to us when we tell him not to chase the cats (most of the time).
  • Bear has always been great with Piper, playing with her gently since she's smaller and putting up with her antics even when he's tired. (He's a great, patient, big brother!)

Things Bear Still Needs to Work On:
  • Apparently Rottweilers are extremely stubborn and will question what you say to see if you really mean it. Bear is stubborn and won't move if he doesn't want to.
  • Rottweilers are also very sensitive (who would've thought??). So we are learning that it's much easier to get him to do something (or stop doing something) if we speak in a high-pitched happy voice. If we yell at him or seem stern, it hurts his feelings and he is less likely to cooperate.
  • Bear is 70 pounds but thinks he's 15 pounds. I know this is an issue with big dogs but I'm trying to get him to understand he can't really sit on my lap.
  • Jumping on mom when he has muddy paws.

And here's a little side note since we are on the topic of dogs... If you are thinking about getting a dog, please consider rescuing! And especially consider rescuing a dog that's not a puppy! Trust me, I know puppies are adorable and I'm sure it's amazing to raise a dog from when they are very young. But, the designer puppies and the rescue puppies are most likely getting adopted. So I would urge you to consider adopting an older dog! Or even a 1-2 year old! I promise you will get just as much joy from rescuing these guys, if not more! And a lot of them are already potty trained and have manners (unlike the pups)!

There are some really great dogs at humane societies that can bring so much happiness and fulfillment to your life! Even if you want a pure-bred dog, there are rescues for almost every breed! And shelters have pure-breds as well as awesome mixes. (Honestly, I think mutts have the best temperament and are usually very healthy!)

So, please, if you are about to add a furry friend to your family, stop by your local shelter and check them out! 


Jade and Oak


  1. oh my goodness these pictures are the cutest things ever!! he is so cute! yay Bear!

  2. Visiting from Peacoats & Plaid Link-up! Congrats to your pup, he looks very happy in that graduation hat! :)

    <3 Vicki

  3. Awww what a cutie!! I want to squish Bears face.

  4. aww bear is adorable and love his graduation cap hehe. thanks so much for linking up. and so agree that rescuing is amazing. we were lucky to be able to rescue both of our pugs at different ages and it makes me happy that we were able to give them a better life. and now i'm going to start crying... haha. thanks again for sharing!
    -- jackie @ jade and oak


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