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Site Last Modified: 1/06/15

Yespup.com Contents
Copyright 2000-2015
Tracy Atkins
Complete Canine Training LLC


Private Dog Training Case Studies
by Tracy Atkins CDT
Complete Canine Training
The Woodlands, Texas
281-825-6404 www.YESPUP.com

Each household and pet are individuals, therefore, each private training is unique. Below are actual case studies from Tracy Atkins, Head Dog Trainer for Complete Canine Training. Because most sessions are sixty to ninety minutes, these cases include overviews of the Private Training Sessions.

The intention of sharing these cases studies is to show progression of training and learning of average households.


Holly - 12 week, intact, female, Shih Tzu
Presenting Problems: Manners and House Training

Owners Reason for Call: Owners have unsuccessfully tried to house train puppy. Using crate and laundry room area to confine. They also want to teach house manners so they will have a dog to be proud of.

Household: Husband, wife and two children under four years old.

1st Session: Entire family is present. Puppy is energetic and excited around the family. She jumps up and mouths children's hands. Owners are taught how to properly house training the puppy. They use a crate and the puppy sleeps in the laundry room. The puppy is having accidents when she is not being watched or confined. The trainer suggests they stop free feeding her and put her on a feeding schedule. The trainer shows them how to teach the puppy to signal to "go out" by having her sit at the door, before they take her out. The trainer works with the puppy on "sit" and by the end of the session, the puppy has stopped most of the jumping and will sit with a hand signal for both children.

2nd Session: One month since the last visit. The puppy is doing much better at potty outside. No accidents at night. Will sit for everyone in the household. Mouthing has decreased. The family is now having fun training the puppy and most of the common puppy issues they have dealt with. The trainer works on sit stay and roll over with the puppy. The puppy progresses quickly and when the trainer leaves, the puppy can sit/stay out of site of the trainer. The owners are shown how to continue with sit/stay and roll over.

3rd Session: Two weeks since last visit. Owners are teaching the puppy to sit/stay at the door - puppy sit/stay's at the door very well when the trainer arrives. (Especially since the children are very excited to see the trainer.) The owners are further taught how to prevent door escapes and encouraged to attend a basic obedience or trick training course. Owners indicate they feel they have much better control. Puppy is now going to the door to indicate it needs to "go out."

Four Months After Last Session: Owners are pleased their puppy is developing into a mature, affectionate puppy who is well mannered and obedient for their children.


Rocky - 3 year, neutered, male, white Boxer
Presenting Problem: Aggression/Lunging at Door/Windows

Owners Reason for Call: Dog lunges at window hitting the glass when people approach the front door. Dog is hyper with the youngest son who is eight years old. A pool is being put in and the dog is aggressive at the back door if the workmen are present. The dog has never bitten.

Household: Husband, wife and two teenage children.

1st Session: Entire family is present. Very friendly adult dog. Coat appears diminished/dull/hair loss. Dog jumps up and is a bit pushy for attention and, if ignored, will go to another family member. Owners are concerned the dog is aggressive at the window and is now showing aggression when in the yard. Owners are taught how to get the dog to sit and stay for a hand signal. Dog is distracted, but is eager to learn. Trainer suggests they start making the dog earn attention and food rewards. To get the dog better mannered they are instructed to teach the dog to sit before going out, playing, eating, etc. Food change to a premium adult maintenance is recommended.

2nd Session: Two months since last session. Owners say the dog is much improved and better with the youngest son. Door aggression is still occurring, but is reduced.

Follow up three months after last session: Dog is in control and even when owners are not present, dog barks, but does not lunge or attack door, even if doorbell is rung. Owners are satisfied with progress and keep dog on a maintenance schedule.


Ruger - 2 year old, neutered, male, Rottweiler
Presenting Problem: Aggression - without biting

Owners Reason for Call: Dog escaped fenced yard, chased and jumped on neighbors child, causing no injury to the child. Owner was present and dog did come when recalled. Dog growls when touched.

Previous Training: Four weeks board and train service with a compulsive trainer. Owners have continued training. Dog will sit, down, come, stay, stand.

Possible Factors: Owners have no children; live in a fairly rural area; genetic predisposition; previous training methods; breeding/genetics

Other Pets: 4 dogs - 3 yr neutered/male/Yorkshire Terrier; 2 yr intact/female/Rottweiler; 1 yr/neutered/male/Yorkshire Terrier; 3 month/spayed/female/Schiperkee-Border Collie mix

Current Condition: Owners have decided to euthanize the dog based upon vet and other trainer suggestion. We have been called to evaluate the dog and confirm their decision.

1st visit: Owners are extremely concerned the dog may injure a child. Owners are childless and willing to work with the dog if his aggression can be controlled or eliminated. The dog was purchased from a local flea market with the intentions of breeding and showing him. The owners are extremely organized and committed to their dogs, however, they are willing to euthanize the dog if the problem
can not be repaired. The dog is growly when touched, but in general shows no fearful or aggressive signals. The owners describe how they can not wipe the dirt from his feet without growling. They are concerned that the dogs seems to growl and become still when he is physically touched. The dog is highly food and ball motivated.

Trainers Evaluation: Trainer worked with the dog by using clicker training (lure/signal marker/reward). Dog is highly motivated and progresses quickly to no growling while the trainer touches his head and shoulders. The owners demonstrate their procedure for feet wiping. The dog is clearly concerned/fearful with their touch. Dog growls as expected. Owners explain they have been performing "alpha rolls" since the dog was a puppy. Owners are now taught clicker method to get the dog to respond without growling.

1st Evaluation Results: Because of the dogs extremely quick progression, the fact that the dog has never bitten and because of the owners commitment to train and to properly supervise the dog, the trainer recommends the use of a Gentle Leader Head Collar when out for walks and the continuation of training sessions to gain control. Trainer suggests the owners view a Ttouch video to assist them with massage techniques.

2nd Evaluation: Dog has make extreme progressions. Growling has all but eliminated when owners wipe feet, pet the dog and on leash. Owners indicate massage, training and behavior modifications have created a more calm, confident dog.

Results: two years later, the dog had virtually no growling. He graduated from intermediate obedience, was excellent and totally reliable on and off leash, with and without distractions. Although growling occurred occasionally, the dog was extremely controlled, well mannered and adjusted. The dog was diagnosed with Canine Hip Dysplasia one year after training started and underwent pain and inflammation treatments.

The owners continued to be extremely committed and continue training until 2001, just prior to the owner giving birth to their first child. After much emotional and financial struggle on the owners part, the dog was humanely euthanized. Ruger lived his last three years of his life a happy and fun dog, who was carefully managed by his owners.

Copyright 1994-2007 Tracy Atkins, Complete Canine Training, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No portion of this site may be used or reproduced without prior written consent.

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