Louie – Day Fifteen (Final Entry)

After the last couple of weeks of working with Louie, I think he is going to make an amazing pet for somebody. He has not shown any anxiety about being separated from Lacy, and he has taken to the kennel very well. He does have a tendency towards fear, but a large part of that could be due to his age. Louie is 8 months old. The second fear stage in a puppy’s life can happen anytime between 8 and 16 months of age. During this time, a puppy may show caution or fear towards different people, objects, or situations. If their experience is positive, confidence will be built, but if it is negative, it can set the tone for a response for the rest of their lives.

In addition to the fear stage, Louie is also going through the rebellious teenager stage. As training has progressed, there have been times when he has shown a disinterest in working. This seems to happen when there is the distraction of another person or dog in the next room that he would rather be interacting with. During those times it is as if he has dug his heels in the mud refusing to be moved. I have had to turn the e-collar up as high as 20 to get him to cooperate. With gentle, clear, and consistent “yes’s” and “no’s”, Louie will come out on the other side of the stage of life being very happy to work alongside his handler in a sound confident manner.

Besides these seemingly stage of life issues, Louie shows a very classic Golden Retriever personality. He is extremely gentle and genuinely happy to receive affection – and to give it. He will be ready to find a new home as soon as he completes his obedience training. I’m hoping that will be in a couple more weeks, but I am taking my time with him.

In the last two weeks, he has had several sessions. He understands sit, down, and place. We have begun working on duration and a little distraction. He has gone from looking for every opportunity to sneak away from the place command to sitting still as long as there isn’t a distraction. As soon as a distraction comes into the room, though, he is up. He still has a long way to go in that department. You can tell when he is really fighting his impulses as he shivers. He is doing a fantastic job of sitting and waiting for permission to go through thresholds in both doorways and before going into or exiting his crate. He is also heeling very well so far. (We have yet to try walking past other dogs or high sources of distraction.) Louie has also quit trying to use excitement as a ploy to get out of working and to cover any nervousness he has.

There is a video of some of the work he has done below. I will post more in the next blog post.


Sweet Louie is having a rough time. One of his owners has suffered a stroke leaving the other owner very little time to love and care for him. He is a super sweet boy that has some anxiety along with the typical Golden Retriever hyperactivity. In addition to all of this, he was recently diagnosed with hip dysplasia in both hips. I have a feeling this is going to make it very difficult to re-home him.

He came to me with his sister. Many of you will remember Lacy. She has already found another home, but is here just for a refresher in her training and to build a little more confidence before she goes to that home. The suspicion is that once she is gone, Louie is going to go through some separation anxiety.

I have had to order another crate for Louie, so he is currently in the same room as Lacy. As soon as the crate arrives (in a couple of days), Louie will be moved to the common area of the house to get used to being away from Lacy.

Due to his hip problems, Louie is also going to be going on a diet and begin taking some supplements. I have switched him over to the Victor name brand of dog food. He is getting half active dog and puppy formula and half Hero formula. The Hero formula has a high amount of glucosamine. I will be monitoring how much he eats in order to get any unneeded weight off of his hips. He is also going to begin taking 1/2 to 1 tsp. of golden paste per day, the proper dosage of collagen by Modere, CBD oil, and Endurance by Volhard Nutrition.

This guy had his first session today. We did a little prong collar dancing to get him used to directions cues, and we did a little clicker conditioning. During the clicker conditioning I was able to lure him very easily between the sitting and lying down positions. He catches on very quickly and is eager to please.