|You’ve never had a dog like this before! If your
dog were human he would be tagged with one of the psychiatric labels such as
ADD, hyperactivity, ADHD, OCD, paranoia, schizophrenic personality disorder.
You might swear that your dog carries grudges, and his mission in life seems to
be to defy you, his owner. He reacts fearfully or explodes angrily. You think
maybe your dog is protecting you, his home, his car, his bed, his food dish,
his beloved toy. But your dog can’t tell the good guys from the bad guys! Your
dog acts with such bizarre, outrageous behavior that you are almost ashamed to
admit to strangers that, yes, this is your dog, the one that shares your food
and bedroom every night. However, your dog also has good moments. Your dog is
so adorable with you alone—as long as no one rings the doorbell, grooms his
ears, tries to cut his toenails, touches his tail, or gets too near with a
black dog, blond dog, big dog, small dog, a puppy, a cat, a man with a hat, a
woman with a broom, a boy on a bicycle, a girl in a wheelchair, a stranger, the
garbage man, the postal carrier, the school soccer team, a UPS truck, your
You have made up your mind to help this tortured creature who is, in turn,
psychologically, and maybe even physically, harming you and others. You may or
may not have been to trainers who have given you all sorts of advice, mostly
about showing your dog who is the boss (you). However, although your dog, when
commanded, may now sit down faster than ever, the training advice doesn’t seem
to be touching the dog’s major, bad, behavior issues that concern you. Some of
your dog’s behavior seems to be worsening. You have considered putting your dog
on doggy Prozac, putting yourself on Prozac-- anything to get the problem
If the above description sounds somewhat familiar to you, then maybe you and
your dog ought to consider coming to Tough Dog Camp and it’s companion seminar
Help! My Dog Is Aggressive! held at Raspberry Ridge Sheep Farm. The good news
is what is learned by your dog, including aggressive or avoidance behavior, can
be relearned, and behavior improved! We can show you how. However, how
successful we are in turning your dog’s problems around will mostly be
dependent on how re-trainable YOU are! You may be amazed, once you yourself
grasp the training and management principles and make them habit, how easy it
is, how little time-effort it can take from you on a daily basis to train your
dog to be the calmer and gentler canine good citizen you always thought he
Your dog is so bad you can’t take your dog anywhere? Well, we welcome you to
bring your dog to our farm for an intense week of work (& fun!) as we help
your dog unlearn his undesirable behaviors! Tough Dog Camp is for owners of
tough dogs who need to practice how to apply
positive reinforcement training principles and canine management in
their lives so that they and their dogs can be successes in daily life rather
Tough Dog Camp gives you a chance to experience total immersion dog training
and companionship with your dog, Monday through Friday.
Positive reinforcement is emphasized in all Raspberry Ridge dog
training. You and your dog will have ample time to focus on and practice
various training exercises. We will provide you with different experiences and
new, useful training ideas as well as sufficient time to practice them. The
week-long camp format should give you sufficient opportunity to practice
building training progressions so that you can be more successful in continuing
to build the behaviors you want from your dog when you return home.
The aims of Tough Dog Camp are to: 1)Teach your dog how to relax, 2)Build the
necessary, basic, positive
reinforcement training communication tools between you and your dog
through specific training exercises that will help you to teach your dog to
learn to relax, 3)Teach you how to be more observant and more effective as your
dog’s positive reinforcement
trainer, and 4)Design and work on a customized desensitization program
addressing your dog’s specific trigger stimuli, the situations that now provoke
your dog into his undesirable behaviors.
We want to teach your dog to relax, not to be provoked! Many of the training
sessions at Tough Dog Camp will be with you and your dog alone or in limited
exposure situations, not necessarily in large group training situations. When
the training focus is on you and your dog, other handlers may watch and learn
from you, either in sight, hidden out of sight, or on video, or they may assist
you in your training session. Large group training situations—tough dogs and
handlers-- will occur only if appropriate for the dogs involved.
This is total immersion dog training and an unparalleled opportunity for you to
learn. Depending on how much stamina you and your dog have, theoretically, you
two can have as many as 16 training opportunities (or more) per day. Your dog
will receive as much down time to rest or exercise as he requires to make him a
more efficient student. During your dog’s down time, you will have the
opportunity to remain busy and sharpen your skills by observing, helping, and
role playing with other students. You will also listen to lectures, watch
demonstrations, and watch videos. Besides all the training, depending on the
interest and suitability of activities, we may-- with or without canines-- go
swimming, hiking, or shopping.
We take a baseline measurement of each dog at the beginning of the camp and at
the end so that you can see your progress. We cannot guarantee that your dog
will be completely cured of all his bad habits by Friday. However, we can
guarantee that you will see measurable, significant improvement if you
follow-through on the training principles that are presented to you in Tough
Dog Camp, and by the end of camp, you should see measurable improvement.
One of the main objectives of the camp is to make sure you the handler are
proficient in the many areas that need to be addressed in order to rehabilitate
the tough dog.
Focused discussions and demonstrations will address:
Doggy zen, arousal, displacement behaviors—sharpening your
awareness and recognition of these behaviors.
Keys for Observing a Dog.
The rules of the
and how to apply them to stimulus presentation.
Evaluating a stimulus—neutral, attractive, arousing, or calming—and changing
its value for your dog.
Default behaviors—recognizing what is not desirable and identifying what is
desirable. How to elicit desirable default behaviors from your dog.
Practice in debunking dominance, pummeling the importance of punishment, and
negating negative markers.
Practice in applying positive operant and associative conditioning principles.
Establishing the basic communication building blocks-- Practice in suggested
training exercises—the fab five and beyond.
Desensitization training scenarios.