Appreciating this group!

We had another milestone week for both our 8.5 month old pup and really for us as her parents.

We are K9 SAR handlers who also travel to teach emergency care for Working dogs.

The human milestone was learning to say No to advocate for our pups own development timeline. We declined an opportunity to get helicopter safety sign off (which typically is only available once a year) because she just wouldn’t have been comfortable enough. Could she have pushed through it? Yes. Would it have been fun to have our 8.5 month sign off with such a important sign off? My previous self would have thought so. Would I have done it if she was comfortable and we had the time and resources to do enough baby steps? Yep! But we committed to letting her set the pace and we just aren’t there yet.

Separately, we did end up travelling with her to teach an intense course which included loud noises, a lot of other high drive working dogs, theatrical smoke effects and a lot of time asking her to be quiet and stable in new environments. We are just starting alone time, so we knew she would need a lot of support so we ensured we had someone dedicated to just her the whole time. In our industry it’s very strange to have a dog this old who isn’t alone in a crate, but we are trusting the process and following her lead.

She did amazing. She knew when she was getting over tired and self selected to go make her own crate time and then crated happily. She was her curious but cautious self the entire time. She flew over obstacle surfaces like metal stairs. She searched well in highly distracted environments. She was incredibly stable, and not in any subdued way. She learned quickly that potty times work differently when we travel. Each night she refilled her courage bucket with tight velcro snuggles all night long in bed with us. The final win was my husband’s observation, who was the primary caregiver over the week.

Previously, he has had a hard time with understanding and trusting this puppy raising process. Many many times he has asked “so when do start correcting her? If we don’t won’t that behaviour just get worse?“ Many times I’ve used the reassurance of this group to accept that she has an innate ability to learn and grow if we create the space for her to do so. It was so helpful warning him ahead of time that for a while in adolescence it’s gonna get worse before it gets better. That it’s expected, that we just have to dig in with some more patience and more time to support her through her teenage years.

So, He thanked me for the pup we have. And for the relationship we have with her. He can run off leash in the forest with her. She knows to come to us when she needs something. We can feel confident with her around other people and dogs. That he was prepared with the warning that there be regressive phases and that those don’t last forever!

And I told him that while her breeding is definitely a great start, that it was also largely this group that we have to thank for the relationship we have with our pup. ❤️❤️❤️🐾🐾🐾🐾
We still have what feels like a long way to go to get through to the other side of adolescence, but we both know we are on the right path.

Thank you so much!

On top of her brilliant support to build our dog’s confidence and find a suitable training routine for him, Emma went above and beyond to help urgently with sudden aggression – watching videos of body language to understand whether it was related to SA training, and giving advice on what else we could investigate to improve his behaviour. The group is excellent. RE

I joined the pre puppy group 6 weeks before we got our puppy. It’s been so helpful. No topic is off topic, so I could get advice on breeders, buying in lockdown, food and treats, neutering, worries I had about introducing our older dog to puppy, vaccinations, worming, flee treatment, sleeping arrangements, toilet training etc etc!!It helped me so much to feel prepared. We moved on to the follow on group once Poppy joined our family. It’s been fantastic to have expert advice every step of the way. Highly recommended xx KS

Lovely group with loads of supportive information! Has been great in preparation for our first family puppy. SCM

Can’t recommend this highly enough, I’ve had 2 months of premium membership now which has meant fast and very detailed expert support for my issues from one or more admins. This amazing value support is ongoing for either one or multiple issues. Many thanks for this amazing opportunity. CP

Definitely recommend the premium group if you need more ongoing support. It’s only £20 which considering what I’ve spent on behaviorists and trainers over the years is nothing. RI

As we are nearing the end of the month, I would like to say thank you so much to Claire for being here to advise us with P over the past two months. I have to admit that I was a very anxious puppy owner when I first joined this group as I felt I knew so little, but Claire’s reassurance, advice and tips have been a godsend – I am now much more confident and feel better able to understand what P may need or want at a given time.
We went to a vet behaviourist a few weeks ago at my partner’s request and I didn’t quite agree with some of the behaviourist’s suggestions (in relation to leaving Poppy alone in her crate more, being firmer with a “no”, etc). I’m glad to say I haven’t had to implement any of those suggestions – we have continued to use Claire’s advice and the Units in the DTAS main page. We use treats, play and positive reinforcement, and she now has an even better association with her crate (she goes in whenever she needs a nap, instead of just at night). I also feel that our relationship has improved as she now actively seeks cuddles and playtime from us.
P has come in leaps and bounds since we joined this group, largely because I have learned so much. She behaves very well around people and other dogs, is learning to walk nicely on the lead, is almost reliably toilet trained, and just the other day, was able to relax quietly at an outdoor cafe while we had a quick meal. We still have plenty to work on (better recall, distraction training, occasional destructive behaviour, settling for longer periods, etc) but she is still young. I am prepared to put the work in and I feel able to with the help of the Units in DTAS.
Anyway, long story short – I am incredibly grateful to Claire, and all the other trainers on here for the materials and advice. RH

This is a great opportunity for some exclusive admin support – exactly when you need it. I used the July premium group – very reassuring advice from 2 admins to my immediate problem. I was very happy to sign up to the August group for further support. You can’t buy this kind of expertise for £20 anywhere else! CP

We were members of the premium group in August and found it extremely useful. We have a new, young, rescue dog with quite a few issues, so we had many questions. The admins answered my questions promptly, thoroughly, and in detail. It’s also great that there are vet admins, so we could ask about food and health issues too. Reassuring to have access to this level of expertise – great value for the price. Very much recommend. DMcC

Such a lovely supportive group! Highly recommend. PH

Can’t recommend the pre-puppy and first weeks sub-groups enough. Essential reassuring late night reading and professional advice so quickly on hand. Run by warm & lovely people too. YM

Can’t recommend the pre-puppy group enough – super-supportive & great advice. TH

I joined the January Premium Group and couldn’t recommend it highly enough…best decision I have made since getting our boy P. We have genuinely learned so much, both from our direct questions and from reading other questions. Super friendly admins who go above & beyond to help and really take the time to understand. I’m back for February and have also joined the Separation Anxiety group after such a positive experience. Thank you to all the awesome admins. LM

We have had access to the premium membership for a couple of months and it’s been invaluable. I never imagined having a puppy would be so hard! The trainers have answered my questions with patience and kindness and really helped us in these early days to learn more about our pup and enjoy having him! Such a wealth of knowledge I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. RC

Thank you Sally, I have had too some invaluable advice from you and the group and although our work with H is still ongoing and will take months I also think that with your advice I’m on the right track. I’ve learnt soo much in this group by reading everyone’s posts and most of the units but most of all I am soo happy to have find the right way of training and building our relationship with my pup. NS

Hi folks. This is a big Thankyou. I now find myself seeking out the dogs at home! No more of them being stuck to me wherever I go. I’ve filmed them when I’ve nipped down to the shop, a bit of a cry, but then they are more or less settling down and sleeping, with the odd wander around or chew of whatever has been left for them. I had to go off for a good few hours recently, and was dreading the mess I may come back to. It was brilliant. Nothing had been chewed, no pooh or destruction… So pleased. They are still reactive on the walks, but chicken liver has been my secret weapon!! They ONLY get it if we see a dog and the distance at which E starts to bark is so much shorter, and much less frantic, and J will be nervous, but still prepared to eat his liver rather than lunge. We’ve got up to passing on the other side of the road. I have also started to see the behaviourist again, once so far, and have great faith in her. She works as you do. What appeared to be pretty bleak is now very promising. JM

I really recommend this membership It’s been invaluable for my family trying to navigate life with a adolescent pup! Getting quick, thorough and easy to follow advice to all my questions (of which I had many…) was so helpful and made a tough couple of months with my boy so much better. We’re not signing up again this month as we’ve come out the other side of our challenges thanks to the help we’ve had from the admin team. RB-S

Just wanted to say Thank you to all the trainers for creating this group and offering their invaluable support and advice. I now know that I am on the right track and with consistency and perseverance on my part, we will eventually get to where we need to be. STH

Just wanted to thank you all for your help this month. It’s been great learning to understand R better and I really appreciate all your advice. R is doing very well, he’s young and has lots to learn but we’re on the right track so thank you for all your help. I’m definitely a more confident dog owner now than I was a month ago. AC