Mar
14
9:30 AM09:30

FINAL WEEK UPDATE

The time is finally here, Elle is within her final week here at Knallhart. It has been such an incredible journey training her and seeing her progression week to week. She has come a long way and I am positive you two will be ecstatic with her results. She has been an absolutely amazing student. 

All the hard work and foundational skill have been laid and now it is time for the most important part of her training... her transition period back into home and work life. 

If you begin to let her get away with slacking on her skills and undesired behavior she will begin to revert back to some of her old ways... I do not want to see that happen so I am here to help you! 

To begin please read over PART ONE of the Knallhart Corrective Training Handbook to get down some of the basics about corrective training, why it works and how we do it. Please read it over and contact me with ANY AND ALL QUESTIONS. We will go over the concepts more in depth during our evening training session on March 20th. 

You will need to order the following two tools. These tools are vital to the transition period of her training. They will help you help her retain her skills and prevent undesired behaviors from returning back. They are not permanent of course, but temporary to help during her transition. Please have the e-collar charged and ready to go for the 20th so that I can discuss with you how to use, levels, when to use it and why. In the handbook the e-collar that is listed is the Sport Dog e-collar, for Elle I would recommend a Garmin Brand e-collar (the brand I use here at the academy) because of all her hair and fur. The links to the products I recommend are below.

Elle has all the necessary skills and has made amazing progress but without it being reinforced by the two of you at home, it will begin to become lost. I am here to help you the entire way. 

e-collar

https://www.amazon.com/Garmin-Delta-XC-Bundle-training/dp/B00V8ND7K8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1489530508&sr=8-1&keywords=garmin+delta+xc

prong collar 

https://www.amazon.com/Herm-Sprenger-Ultra-Plus-Training-Collar/dp/B0006L0UGW/ref=sr_1_1?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1489530534&sr=1-1&keywords=herm+sprenger+prong+collar

When I bring her home on the 20th, I know it is going to be extremely difficult but please PLEASE try to be as calm with Elle as possible. We need to reinforce a need association that home = calm and controlled. One of her "quirks", its not bad its just her personality, she is easily excitable and begins to rolls around and pee and whatnot... the way we have combated this behavior is to be calm with her and reward her for being calm and maintaining her composure.

During this training session, it can take anywhere from 1-2hrs, we will talk about all of Elle's progress, how to continue training at home, troubleshooting, etc. I know all of this information can be overwhelming, so I will bring notes along with me as well as worksheets and videos on how to continue working with Elle at home and help her retain all the wonderful skills she learned here at the Academy. 

I did not charge you two any of her food costs in hopes that you would be willing to write a review of Knallhart on Google and our Facebook page, your review credit I was going to put towards her food cost. If you would rather not, please just let me know and you can pay her $50 food cost. Elle is currently eating Victor High Protein. About 2cups a day (high protein food = less amount needed to feed). The link for the food is below 

https://www.chewy.com/victor-hi-pro-plus-formula-dry-dog/dp/129276?utm_source=google-product&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=f&utm_content=Victor&utm_term=&gclid=CjwKEAjwqZ7GBRC1srKSv9TV_iwSJADKTjaDl0k1p7hV7j8MudlKYOYQgeqO8SHVmQalX1IILLd2-hoCC3Tw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

I am in the process of editing her CGCU video and she will take her public access test this weekend! We will see you on Monday, please message me with a good time. 

Thanks you two. It has been an absolute pleasure. 

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Feb
15
2:00 PM14:00

Elle Update 19/42-24/42

Hello! 

Wanted to update you on Elle's progress! We are now a few days over halfway through her training and Elle is doing wonderfully!

She has currently passed her CGC with flying colors, she will take her CGC-A this week and CGC-U & Public Access Testing are to follow. As of right now there is a good possibility she will need that additional two weeks we discussed, I will have a final decision next week as we are working towards her final two tests for her certification. I would professionally like to send her home knowing that her skills are polished and not rushed. 


Elle's heeling on and off leash has made significant progress. She no longer feels the need to pull, she is not distracted by people or dogs (even barking) as easily. Her left hand turns need some work still, but she is getting better each session. She also knows to sit calmly when stopped. I would really like to see Elle apply her outdoor skills indoors more consistently. We have been working more intensely on achieving the same calm, composed attitude that she has outdoor to indoor training sessions. 

Elle's biggest improvement this past week has been in her "Sit Stay" work. Not only have we been able to increase the distance, but also time and adding another dog. When Elle arrived at Knallhart we couldn't walk even one step away from her before she would get up. She is now able to do a 2 min group stay with no issues! 

I am very proud of her effort. Her confidence is increasing more and more everyday. 

Elle has not been jumping on people, or counters. Elle has not been chasing the academy cat, she has not been barking in the crate or having any accidents. She enjoys her yard time (and getting muddy) with all her classmates and laying on the couch chewing on a bone. 

She has been eating her Victor brand food with no issues! 

We are looking forward to training at the retirement home beginning this Thursday and furthermore on Tuesdays and Thursdays! This is the perfect opportunity for us to polish her indoor public skills for her CGC-U, Public Access Test and her working career in the future.  

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Feb
9
9:30 PM21:30

Elle Update 8/42-18/42

Hello and greetings from Knallhart Academy! 

These past ten days have been full training, bike rides, and social time for Elle.

Everyday she wakes up happy and excited to begin the day! She has been getting along with all her classmates, playing respectfully, sharing toys and taking turns being the chaser and the one who is begin chased during yard time.

She has been phenomenal in her crate, no barking, no whining, and no accidents. When it is time to kennel up, she know which crate is hers and walking right in and waits for her yummy bone! 

She has been eating her Victor Brand food with joy. Since the food is high in calories she has been eating 1.5-2cups per day. 

Elle's vitals have been good. Her gums have been pink, nice wet nose, her joints are normal, no abdominal swelling, clear eyes. She is due for a bath within the next couple days along with a nail trim. This is included in her boarding stay. 

Aside from all the fun time Elle has with all her friends she has also been hard at work. Attending public training sessions at Petco, Lowes, Theisens, and others. And her most frequent has been the ARC of Iowa City comforting disabled children during their after school program.

We were going to attend the retirement home Knallhart dogs have attended for training in the past but they had another therapy dog coming in on the days we were going to go so we were unable to get scheduled as we wanted. However we are excited to begin working at the retirement home Elle will be working at during her work career, we are excited to begin visiting next week. 

Elle is now fluent on sit, down, wait, stay, coming when called and off (for furniture).

She is also respectful of the academy cat "kitty" and no longer feels the need to chase.

She has not jumped on anyone or anything. She took her Canine Good Citizen Test and passed with flying colors even at a very difficult venue. 

 

Moving forward, obstacles we are working on are Elle's confidence, coming into a new place calm and in control (not pulling on the leash, not submissive peeing, etc), off leash skills, and expanding the length of time in a stay at a distance. 

Elle is getting close to the halfway point of her training and everyone here at Knallhart, including the assistants are impressed with her improvements. They love how during her free time she just lays down and quietly chews on a bone next to "Kitty". She is never causing issues and always a great listener.

We hope you are as proud as Elle as we are!

She is on track to take her CGC-A at the end of next week! We will keep you informed with how she is doing and how her testing goes!  

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Jan
26
to Jan 29

Elle Update 4/42 - 7/42

Hi there Hamerlinck family! 

I wanted to update you on Elle's progress from the past three days. I apologize that I haven't updated her site daily we have been super busy with training, socialization, exercising and public work! Please plan on updates every few days in the future. I will message you when I plan on making updates so you know when to expect them! 

This week has been a fantastic week for Elle. She has really made some great progress being here at Knallhart. Her manners have greatly improved, she has been a lot more independent, confident, calmer and most important she has been happy eager to learn and train. She has made some new friends and she is a crowd favorite during socialization during yard time. 

Elle and friend German Shepherd friend Kovu (Service Dog Client)

This week she has accomplished consistent leash work, and she now is able to walk on leash with a flat collar. She also knows to sit when we stop at cross walks or to say hello to neighbors. She no longer pulls on the leash and keeps her head up/forward when we walk versus having her nose to the ground. She responds accurately to light corrections if she does get distracted! Within the next couple weeks we will begin working on her off leash skills, she is very close to being ready! 

Elle out for a loose leash walk 

Elle out for a loose leash walk 

This week Elle has also learned how to always sit at doors before entering and leaving. She also knows how to sit politely and wait for the release command before walking out of her crate. She is learning how to be polite and walk inside calmly and confidently without submissive peeing. 

Good Morning! Happy, healthy and ready for another amazing day!

Good Morning! Happy, healthy and ready for another amazing day!

We have also been working on the skills she will need to begin her advance training which begins this upcoming week, these skills include

  • Sitting politely for petting (not jumping, not licking, CGC requirement)
  • Confidence building (to prevent submissive peeing)
  • Sit, down, stay and come (for CGC testing)
  • Respectful socialization with other dogs 
  • Exercise (running, biking, yard time) 
  • Kennel training (no barking, no peeing)

Sharing a snack with friend Kovu!

Elle is now at the point where she is acclimated to Knallhart, she knows and follows our routine, and she has the foundation that is needed to being her advance training.

This week Elle will finish learning the skills she will need in order to be prepared and to take the CGC test. The skills she will be tested on are

TEST 1: ACCEPTING A FRIENDLY STRANGER

This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. The evaluator walks up to the dog and handler and greets the handler in a friendly manner, ignoring the dog. The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness.

 

TEST 2: SITTING POLITELY FOR PETTING

This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. With the dog sitting at the handler's side, to begin the exercise, the evaluator pets the dog on the head and body. The handler may talk to his or her dog throughout the exercise. The dog may stand in place as it is petted. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.

 

TEST 3: APPEARANCE AND GROOMING

This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit someone, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner's care, concern and sense of responsibility. The evaluator inspects the dog to determine if it is clean and groomed. The dog must appear to be in healthy condition (i.e., proper weight, clean, healthy and alert). The handler should supply the comb or brush commonly used on the dog. The evaluator then softly combs or brushes the dog, and in a natural manner, lightly examines the ears and gently picks up each front foot. It is not necessary for the dog to hold a specific position during the examination, and the handler may talk to the dog, praise it and give encouragement throughout.

 

TEST 4: OUT FOR A WALK (WALKING ON A LOOSE LEAD)

This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler. The dog's position should leave no doubt that the dog is attentive to the handler and is responding to the handler's movements and changes of direction. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops. The evaluator may use a pre-plotted course or may direct the handler/dog team by issuing instructions or commands. In either case, there should be a right turn, left turn, and an about turn with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The handler may talk to the dog along the way, praise the dog, or give commands in a normal tone of voice. The handler may sit the dog at the halts if desired.

 

TEST 5: WALKING THROUGH A CROWD

This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should continue to walk with the handler, without evidence of over-exuberance, shyness or resentment. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not jump on people in the crowd or strain on the leash.

 

TEST 6: SIT AND DOWN ON COMMAND AND STAYING IN PLACE

This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler's commands to sit and down and will remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers). The dog must do sit AND down on command, then the owner chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay. Prior to this test, the dog's leash is replaced with a line 20 feet long. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to get the dog to sit and then down. The evaluator must determine if the dog has responded to the handler's commands. The handler may not force the dog into position but may touch the dog to offer gentle guidance. When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of the line, turns and returns to the dog at a natural pace. The dog must remain in the place in which it was left (it may change position) until the evaluator instructs the handler to release the dog. The dog may be released from the front or the side.

 

TEST 7: COMING WHEN CALLED

This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog. The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come. Handlers may choose to tell dogs to "stay" or "wait" or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog.

 

TEST 8: REACTION TO ANOTHER DOG

This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 20 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 10 feet. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in each other. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its handler.

 

TEST 9: REACTION TO DISTRACTION

This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations. The evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog, or dropping a crutch or cane. The dog may express natural interest and curiosity and/or may appear slightly startled but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise it throughout the exercise.

 

TEST 10: SUPERVISED SEPARATION

This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, "Would you like me to watch your dog?" and then take hold of the dog's leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness. Evaluators may talk to the dog but should not engage in excessive talking, petting, or management attempts (e.g, "there, there, it's alright").

Along with learning those skills she has been approved to visit both of our two therapy dog practice locations at the ARC of Iowa City and Oaknoll retirement home. She will be visiting a minimum of three days a week for the reminder of her time here at Knallhart to solidify her therapy dog skills she will need to the remainder of her working career. 

Hanging out with Knallhart's Academy cat name "Kitty"

Other Notes:

Elle had a deluxe bath and blow dry this week. Her fur was brushed and nails were clipped. She had a lot of debris hanging from the hair on her anus, so that hair was cut and she has no longer been scooting. The hair above her eyes were also trimmed so that she could see better, and so that we could see her beautiful eyes! Her ears were also flushed with cleaner and wiped out. She enjoyed her grooming very much! 

Food: Elle has been eating approx. 2- 2.5 cups of Victor brand food per day. She eats all of her food when offered and accepts this kibble during training as well. She has not vomited and I feel as though this is a good food fit for her. I will keep you posted. 

Playing with friends during yard time! It has been a cold gloomy week, but the dogs still seemed to enjoy being outside! 

Vitals: Her vitals have been excellent all week. Pink gums, clear eyes, no swelling of the abdomen, normal joints, wet nose. 

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Jan
25
8:00 PM20:00

Elle Daily Plan 3/42

Exercise:

No morning pack run today because of the rainy weather! 

Socialization:

Elle had an extended amount of socialization time due to fact we could not get outside and exercise. She has really opened up here and her personality is contagious. All the dogs from the German Shepherds to the miniature schnauzer had fun playing with her. She was not overly excited and played respectfully. She loves chasing other dogs and they all wore each other out. 

Rest time: 

Elle had a 1 hour crated rest time this afternoon. When I went to check on her she was asleep. She did not bark! Quiet as mouse and content to have some alone time. 

Training:

Since the weather wasn't so hot today we did three indoor training sessions. I continued working with her on what the clicker means. We practiced the consistency and accuracy of her sit, down, come, stay and no lick. Since she is doing so well with her training I have her on the calendar to attend our 3 scheduled public sessions at the Iowa City ARC next week to practice her therapy dog skills with young special needs children, she will also attend the hospital public work session. I am going to also do some training with her at petco since that is one of the hardest places for the dogs to focus. It will teach her no matter where you are at, you have to follow directions and say focused. I will try have my cameraman scheduled the best I can on those days for videos. 

 

Other:

Aside from therapy work and basic training I have been working with Elle on encouraging calm, controlled behavior. We have an academy cat here named "Kitty" who loves dogs. She does not run away so Elle has not be enticed to chase her. I praise her for leaving her alone and being respectful. 

 

**Tomorrow is bath and grooming day here at the academy. It is included in the cost you were charged for her board and training! Elle will get a bath, blow dry and brush out. I will also make sure her nails are not too long, ears are clean, anus is clear of any poo and eyes are free of debris. Be prepared for photos

 

CONCERN: 

Elle has been scooting her butt across the ground since the first day she got here. Is this something you have noticed at home? Would you like me to trim up the hair around her anus and uvula to make sure it is clean and not gathering debris and causing her irritation? 

 

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Jan
24
3:00 PM15:00

Elle Daily Plan 2/42

Exercise:

Elle attending the morning pack run and had no issues completely 2 miles on the trails. 

Socialization:

Elle enjoyed having multiple yard time sessions with the other female dogs. She took the opportunity to use the restroom and then play catch and chase with Molly. She was not interested in the toys that were offered. She enjoyed playing with the other female dogs and each socialization session she seems to be getting more and more comfortable being here at the academy. 

Rest time: 

Elle took an afternoon nap in her crate, she also chewed on the bone that we offered her. She was content and did not bark. 

Training:

Session 1: I worked with Elle in the indoor training area on the basics of learning what the "clicker" means. She easily understood the concept and furthermore we worked on sit, stay, lay down and come. We then moved outside and worked on leash skills. Using my positive reinforcement method I was easily was able to teach her how to appropriately walk on the leash and stay focused. She did very well and was eager to please during the whole session. 

 

Session 2: Public work session at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (scheduled for 4:30pm) : The goal for tonight is work on basics with Elle among distractions. Training the easy things first will help build her confidence and reliability in different environments. There will be a heavy focus on helping her learn how to maintain composure when she is excited. Check back tonight for videos and details about the session. 

Elle public work session at the University of Iowa Hospitals went very well. Tonight we really focused on loose leash, focusing, teaching her that she doesn't get to say hello to everyone who walks past us, and sitting politely for petting. I am teaching her composure by making the association that she only gets attention from others when she sits politely, not by jumping and not by excessively licking.

 She did well with sitting initially, but her excitement got the best of her a few times and she had little moments where she wanted to jump. I was able to correct her and remind her sit politely = attention. She caught on quickly. I was also able to begin working on the "no lick" command. My observation is that the licking comes from excitement. This over excitement will decrease as we continue working on these skills. 

I am happy with her progress tonight!  

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Jan
24
2:00 PM14:00

Elle Day 1/42 & 2/42

Elle's first day at the academy went very well. She was very curious yet confident while she explored her new environment. Her favorite place to sniff was the indoor training area (which smelled like all the academy board & train dogs). She had plenty of socialization time with Molly a 8 mo old Vizsla that just comes during the day for daycare.

She slept calmly and quietly in her crate and ate her dinner with no issues. Aside from the one instance when she first arrive, she has not ill. I have been offering her pedialyte and water these first two days just to ensure she does not get dehydrated.  

This first day we did not do any heavy training. We went through a few test with Elle so that I could create the most efficient lesson plan for her. With the notes that I had from the testing she had done with you combined with how she performed with me here at the academy the lesson plan is the make sure she is reliable with not only you but any handler. The lesson plans are planned by the week and you will be able to access her training reports/ videos each day. 

Below is what was tested and how she performed. 

  1. Accepting a friendly stranger : PASSED--- was not afraid, happy body language, however she did break her "sit" command before being released
  2. Sitting politely for petting: NEEDS WORK-- Elle was extremely excited to be pet, and although her excitement is encouraged, more composure will be needed for her CGC-A test
  3. Appearance & Grooming: PASSED: Allowed helper to touch feet, lightly comb through fur and check her teeth. No resentment
  4. Out for a walk: NEEDS WORK -- Lacked focus, pulled on leash, was not focused during turns. 
  5. Walking through a crowd: Lack focused while walking through a small crowd of  people, pulled on the leash, a lot of sniffing. 
  6. Sit stay & Down stay: NEEDS WORK-- broke both commands on the return
  7. Coming when called: PASSED-- waited patiently and came directly when called in a happy manner. 
  8. Reaction to another dog: NEEDS WORK-- although friendly, Elle was not polite when meeting another dog. She pulled on the leash to say hello and was overly excited. Composure will be taught help her pass this test in the future. 
  9. Reaction to a distraction: PASSED-- Elle was not afraid and did not show resentment to a loud pot being dropped behind her. 
  10. Supervised separation: PASSED-- Elle was content with being left with a stranger for 3 mins, laid down and allowed them to pet her. 

This is not a list of the only skills the Elle will know when she leaves but it is a starting point of where she is at in her training.

 

Every day you will also be able to access her vital reports which is a check up that is performed 4x per day to check health status of each boarding dog. If there is something specific you would like checked or have a concern about something on the report please contact me. 

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