April Student Spotlights!May 04, 2023
Every month, we spotlight superstar client / dog teams in our KDP community. Here are the teams we celebrated in April:
Brett, Hannah, & Ella
Ella started her KeenDog training journey in April of 2021 when her owners Brett & Hannah knew they wanted to bring out her very best. They had watched all of our YouTube videos, but still wanted more one on one coaching, and since they lived in California we progressed via virtual lessons. Between April of 2021 and January of 2022 they made great progress and had laid a very strong base with Ella.
Fast forward to January of this year and I received an email stating they moved back to the East Coast - Long Island area, and even though Ella was considered by most a really well behaved dog, they knew she was capable of even more so they enrolled her in our 3 week "Keen Camp" program to fine tune her off leash consistency, clean up her walk (smells were always her down fall), advance her play skills in public (she checked out very easily to choose to smell instead) and get some positive exposure to a toddler (Peyton loves working with the dogs, as well as challenge them as toddlers do) since they are starting a family.
Timing worked out for us to meet them in the D.C area when we were doing another out of state immersion go home and Ella joined in on pack activities right away seamlessly! The work her owners had done really showed and she was an absolute pleasure to work with.
We got strict with those play sessions, if she checked out we would "all done" her and make sure she wasn't then free to sniff around. We utilized our dogs to motivate her on the sidelines and by the end of the program she would get corrected for checking out. Her play in public was most definitely a 180 when her owners came for her go home weekend. Along with her off leash freedom and consistency with recalls and the proper heel position - no more pulling out of position for those smells!
What is even better is that her owners have reached out since her going home to ensure consistency with any areas they had further questions on. We love when owners do this after completion of a program, don't wait until months later to reach back out - reach out right away as the consistency in your message when your dog returns home is of the utmost importance in their continued success.
We know that this family is going to live life to the absolute fullest and rep' the KeenDog lifestyle in Long Island.
Beth & Stanley
It was one of those days. You know those days where every decision you make leads to more decisions you need to make. I was scheduled to teach group class that day so I wanted to get to the park early and work Sagat to clear my head. I thought surely 20 minutes would give me enough time.
As I got out and started working my dog I couldn't help but notice this woman struggling to get her dog's engagement. As she turned her head towards me she had a look of desperation and that quickly turned into relief when she saw me. She started walking towards me and admittedly I created more distance as I just wanted to work with my dog. As her dog was pulling her she kept getting closer but was forcing a big smile as she optimistically said “we need help, this is Stanley.”
After that meeting I have seen Beth grow more confident every class. They say stress comes from the leash down but the opposite is the same too; confidence comes from the leash down. She always shows up early and never shies away from asking questions. That is what group classes are all about, to push your dog past the foundation work done with in-home lessons or “Keen Camp”, it is important to generalize behaviors in a variety of environments and having a trainer there to help you work through your struggles goes a long way for both dog and owner. Beth is a great example of what's possible when someone takes responsibility for their dog's behavior, doesn’t make excuses and shows up and does the work. She always makes me laugh and I look forward to continuing to see her and Stanley's relationship be an example and lead classes in the future.
Alexa & Hank
Hank is a big handsome 2+ year old Rottie that just went through training (Keen Camp) with Rachel Williams, and he is a total rockstar!
Alexa and Alex knew when they adopted Hank, that he would be a handful. That big, powerful dogs really need and thrive with proper training. He was a strong puller, and had a tendency to chase quick-moving things like bikes, joggers, etc., a potential recipe for disaster!
They did the absolute best thing anyone adopting a dog could do, and signed up for training almost right away! We already give them major points for this, but as we got to know this awesome couple better, we realized just how dedicated they are to giving Hank the best life possible.
Hank has come so far. He was a very intense puller, knew how to throw his weight around, and didn’t like jumping in the car. He is such a quick learner and LOVES training. The progress they made in such a short amount of time deserves some recognition. Rachel absolutely adored having him stay with her for his training, and love when he comes back to board.
Hank, Alexa and Alex have also become regulars at group classes - typically attending one or two a week. It is always a pleasure coaching them at classes as they are eager to learn and get so excited to see Hank learn new things and excel in new areas.
We seriously couldn’t be more proud of this little fam!
Tom, Lauren, & Lucy
Lucy completed our Puppy Prodigy program almost a year ago and is thriving with her family!
Tom and Lauren spotted a KeenDog group class at the Whitewater Center and loved what they saw. They were starting to think about getting another dog and the timing of Lucy’s program was just about perfect.
They immediately fell in love with Lucy, before even meeting her. For all that have met the wild child, know she is a lot of dog, even as a puppy. When Kat and Emily first met Tom and Lauren, each had a feeling it was going to be a great fit. Both were very interested in learning all the things and have very active lifestyles, exactly what Lucy needed!
We all love watching this team progress! Tom and Lauren consistency scheduled lessons during Lucy’s program, to learn the KeenDog way, right along with her. Even after she graduated, Tom and Lauren continue to work on sharpening Lucy’s skills through group class and occasional boarding stays. We love having her back and watching her thrive!
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