This post was sponsored by Yuppy Puppy Pet Spa. All opinions are my own unbiased review.
This is Luna Rose Cupcake Palmer. She is our family’s goldendoodle. We adopted her almost two years ago. (My then three year old helped with the name LOL!)
We have two daughters, who really haven’t been around big dogs in their life. We had Belle, an 8 pound poodle mix previously. She really left the kids alone. She wasn’t into playing and she was older when the girls were born. Luna, however, is a different story. She is a very big and happy dog. She LOVES to play and requires a lot of attention right now.
When Luna was about 10 weeks old, we started looking into training programs. We wanted the girls to learn to train her and for Luna to see them as her leaders. I looked into a lot of different local places and options but ended up choosing Yuppy Puppy Pet Spa in O’Fallon, Missouri. They offer day training, board and train, boarding, full service grooming and even play camp during the weekdays.
We fell in love with the facility and the staff. They were so helpful and listened to all of our concerns and questions. We met with Miranda, the trainer, for a consultation and decided to start right away. We ended up choosing the two week day training to do basic obedience training. We dropped her off at 7:30 every morning and picked her by 6:30 every night. We decided to not do overnight training because she had just come to our house and she slept in her crate without any crying or barking from night one. I DID NOT want to mess that up! She was so exhausted and she LOVED going back every day. After a few days Luna could already heel on a leash and walk really well. We were so happy with the obedience training.
Moving to current times. Luna was about 10 pounds when she did her obedience training. She is now 60 pounds. The behaviors at a few months old are a lot different than at almost two years old.
The number one thing I knew going into this ,and that I still have to remind myself of, is that when she is acting out or driving me crazy, I have to look at what we are doing or NOT doing. The key to keeping the training is to practice it. CONSISTENCY!
After speaking with the owner of Yuppy Puppy, Jessica, she suggested Luna come back for a training refresher. Luna is now in her “teenage rebellion” stage and we were starting to not enjoy her the way we wanted to.
We didn’t want to feel annoyed and on defense with her all of the time. She was stealing hand towels and shoes to get attention. Not destroying them, but just taking and running to get us to chase her. She also would try to take giant hair bows out of my little Stella’s hair. That was a BIG NO! We also wanted to work with her when guests come over. She would get super excited, but didn’t know how to handle it. She was overwhelming to people coming in the door.
We met with the trainer Oscar, who Luna sees when she goes to play camp. (I need to write a review on that sometime, because it is also an amazing option!) She knows him by name and gets very excited when she sees him. He was very enthusiastic and confident that he could help her with the new and current issues and build upon what Miranda already had taught Luna. We decided to do a two week refresher day training again.
Once again Luna loved every single day and we noticed right away that she was listening and more engaged. Every night we got a communication folder upon picking her up. Oscar wrote down what they did and any notes he had for us. We wrote anything that happened at home good or bad for feedback. I loved this because I got to write what was working and what still needed work throughout the process. We even ended up brining in a bag of “triggers” from home. We took a pair of shoes, a unicorn headband, a JoJo bow, and a kitchen towel. I thought that was key for us because there are a lot more items at home that she reacts to.
At the end of the the two weeks we had an hour private lesson. He went over all of the things he taught her. He gave us SO many tips and tricks as to how to get Luna to do what we wanted based on her personality and situation. Any and every question we had was answered. We also decided that in the future we would like to do a few private lessons at home to work on transitions especially with guests. Oscar explained to us that Luna has a hard time not getting overly excited during transitions, especially new people coming over. This made sense. He really educated us on how Luna sees things. Sometimes the things that we viewed as her not being obedient were her getting anxious. She wasn’t trying to be rebellious.
At Yuppy Puppy, they are willing to use whatever works for each specific dog. Some dogs respond to food and praise and some don’t. For Luna we used an e-collar. I was very hesitant in the beginning, but after seeing how they use it I felt more comfortable. The collar goes from 1-100. Oscar was using it on a level 2 and Luna was responding so well. With consistent practice, we barely need to use it.
One of my favorite things that they learn in all of the training is the use of the climb. I purchased one right away! It can be a rug or an actual dog climb like ours. The dog is trained to stay on the climb when they are given the command until the command “free” is given. They can do whatever they want while on the climb. It is a safe, calm place for them. It’s a great place for them to calm down or for redirection. They can stand, sit, lay down, even sleep if they want. We are working with Luna on getting on the climb when we eat dinner and when someone comes to the door. Slowly, over time, you can have them stay on the climb for longer increments of time.
Luna LOVES the attention that her training and practice gets her. When her behavior slips, our family tries to do about 2-5 minutes each of practicing her tricks and training. It is a GAME CHANGER. It doesn’t take much effort or time to get her back to listening and feeling more relaxed.
It is easy to think that every dog should fit into this same little box and the reality is that they are just like us. They all have their own quirks, personalities and issues. Yuppy Puppy Training with Miranda and Oscar was such a great experience. We are enjoying having a dog again. Luna definitely still has things to work on, but we feel confident knowing that we have a resource to help us and the skills to help her. We are so grateful to have found this place that has become a second home for Luna.