Champion is an owner surrender who joined the Sanctuary after his owner’s job changed. Champion originally came from another local rescue after having been transported up from the south. He started having behavior issues while he was settling into her home, and because this was her first dog, she mistakenly started training him using correction based methods. He also went to a doggie boot camp which did nothing to solve the dog reactivity issues that she was having, Champion came to Our Companions for a Behavior Evaluation and attended our Family Companion 1 positive reinforcement training classes, and was a star pupil. He’s now moved onto living at the Sanctuary where he’ll continue learning new ways of interacting in the world where he’s rewarded for all of the good things he does instead of associating pain with things that stress him.
Champion is still settling into sanctuary life. We found that he wasn’t truly muzzle trained in that he wasn’t voluntarily choosing to wear his muzzle—in the past it was simply put on him. The end result of this is that the dog will start refusing to be muzzled or not enjoy his walks while he is muzzled. To counteract this we started muzzle training him from scratch, and rewarding him (with cheese—his favorite) for putting his face in the muzzle. He now will happily wear his muzzle while out on the trails. We needed to do the same for his crate. He was well behaved at his home, so the owner stopped crating him. At the Sanctuary, Champion was getting overly excited when dogs would go in and out. Now that he is properly crate trained and he chooses to go willingly in his crate, he is quiet while dogs are going past his room. Now that he is happily wearing his muzzle, we can start taking Champion on field trips so that he can explore other places than the Sanctuary trails.