The Joy of Training a Raw Dog

Posted on April 2nd, 2012 by FetchMasters in Positive Dog Training

UPDATE: Lucky successfully completed his Level One Obedience Training and was promptly adopted by a very nice family with another black Labrador about Lucky’s size. They consider themselves (in their own words) “lucky to have Lucky.” A special thanks to the woman who relinquished him. It is sometimes too easy to pass judgement, but it takes a good person to do what is best for a dog.

I find great satisfaction in my work as a dog trainer in Denver, Colorado. There are many things about my job that make me feel like my time has been well-spent.

For example, helping a dog with severe behavior problems stay in its home makes my day worth the hours I spend on I-25. So does watching the human-canine bond grow between my clients and their dogs. However, one of the things I enjoy most is training a raw dog (that is, a dog that knows nothing at all) and watching him grow into a great companion animal for some lucky adopter.

That is part of the reason I jumped at the opportunity to train Lucky, an adult, black Labrador Retriever that was relinquished by a very nice lady who just could not handle a third dog. Recently acquired by the Rocky Mountain Lab Rescue, Lucky is dog, all dog, and nothing but a dog — no socialization, no training, no manners, no nothing. But that also means he is a blank canvas awaiting the artist’s brush. There are no leadership problems to unravel or fearfulness issues to train out of him.

The project looks promising. It only took about 15 minutes to leash train him when I got him home today. He’s smart — darn smart.

Tomorrow, name recognition and teaching him that human words have meaning for him — good meanings. Then, we will push through house-training, and Level One Obedience. The goal: 2 weeks until Lucky is ready for a home.

If anyone is interested in adopting a black Labrador Retriever that has completed Level One Obedience, I can help make that happen, so give me a call. Based on my observations so far, I think Lucky will make someone a very good dog indeed.