My name’s Ava.
I’m a very anxious girl. Club Pet Academy is helping me learn how to calm down when I board at Club Pet Resorts.
I have a tendency to get overwhelmed. I bark and bounce off the walls in frustration.
I may look tough but I’m actually a big softy! I love cuddling and playing with people!
Ava’s Photos and Videos
Dog Training Log
Dog Training Session 1
Ava did really well with training in her suite. It prevented her from barking and having, essentially panic attacks.
We focused on learning eye contact while in her suite.
She really got the hang of it and was able to make eye contact while I held treats at my side.
Additionally, she performed her shake and sit command, to keep her mind off being in the room.
I also took breaks to just give her love in her suite to try to make it a more positive experience.
Dog Training Session 2
Ava did great and was excited for training today!
We continued working with her anxiety in the suite and staying calm in her travel kennel.
Ava still hasn’t associated the action look with the word yet but with practice she’s going to get it in no time!
Ava loves giving you her paw and getting pets when she’s calm. I think this may be her favorite part!
Ava was calm in her kennel with me in the suite for 7 minutes straight!
Ava was calm for about 1 minute when I was outside of the suite
Before letting Ava out of the kennel, she must be calm and give me eye contact. Once she does so, I okay her to come out rewarding with treats and verbal reinforcement!
Dog Training Session 3
Today we practiced polite behaviors in daycare as Ava was targeting dogs, barking in their face, nose punching, neck biting and fence fighting.
We worked on gate waits and lots of redirection when she would become focused on another dog. Instead of treats we used verbal reinforcement and snuggles as she really enjoys that as well.
Ava did very well with this and the daycare handler supervising the group, continued with these exercises and Ava did much better the rest of her time in daycare
Teaching Ava look will help with this. Additionally, she struggles to focus or give eye contact when she gets anxious or overstimulated. We can use look to redirect her attention quickly.
Dog Training Session 4
Ava did absolutely awesome today!!!
We once again started by working on Ava’s eye contact.
Then, we moved on to timing her waits before panicking. I would always open the door and give her a treat before she began barking or heavy breathing.
Ava’s average amount of time she is able to wait and stay calm was about 30 seconds. Her max was 2 minutes!
She’s already made leaps and bounds from yesterday!
Ava also stayed extremely calm and relaxed in daycare.
She had an all around great day!
Dog Training Session 5
Another great training session with Ava!
We continued working on Ava’s eye contact, she really likes to do this! :)
We primarily focused on her kennel anxiety.
Ava was able to stay calm in her suite for 3 minutes!!
Ava also stayed extremely calm and relaxed in daycare for most of the day!
Dog Training Session 6
Today was Ava’s second time boarding and training.
We started by reviewing the eye contact command. Ava remembered it pretty quickly once we go to her room but was not able to perform it anywhere else.
Ava seemed a lot more anxious today than last time. She had a hard time settling and focusing. Did she get her trazodone this morning?
We then started working on her anxiety in the room by opening and closing the top door at appropriate times.
We had to start completely over, her anxiety would start before I even shut the top door. So I would just inch the door closer and closer to shut, giving her a treat when she stayed calm.
Her max for today was 25 seconds without barking.
Her average was about 5 seconds.
Her anxiety levels still stayed pretty high so went to go release some of it. We ran around in an empty daycare yard, releasing some tension and playing mental games, as well as working on recall.
She really enjoyed this.
I recommend signing Ava up for any or all of out a la carte options, such as cuddle times, individual play times, and field walks. I don’t want to break the bank but each of these are going to give Ava more exercise and mental stimulation. In turn, this will exhaust Ava, as well as, keep her mind busy all day (no time for anxiety).
Dog Training Session 7
This was my first time training with Ava and she exceeded all my expectations!
I pulled her from daycare where she was sitting calmly off to the side. It’s great that she can settle and feel relaxed in daycare!
When we started training she was very distracted, pulling me different directions and trying to dash through doorways.
To get her attention and also teach her how to politely go through doorways, we started “waiting” at each doorway.
To do this, I asked her to “sit” as I stood in the middle of the doorway. After she sat, I said “look”. When she made eye contact, I freed her and rewarded her with a treat. This is easy to practice at home too!
Next, I wanted to practice look in order to keep her attention on me and less distracted/anxious. We walked down multiple hallways of different levels of distractions.
In the noisiest hallway, I got her to walk at my side and make eye contact 70% of the time. That’s impressive!
We made our way to her suite to work on her kennel anxiety.
I started inside of the room with her, asking her to sit , down, and look. This kept her brain “working” and she was less distracted and anxious.
When she seemed calm, I left the suite with her loose, closing both top and bottom doors. I waited about 3 seconds and opened the top door to reward her with a treat. I repeated this about 5 times and she didn’t panic or bark at all. Yay!
Then, I walked down the hallway to fill up her water bowl which took about 30 seconds and she didn’t react!
Then, I put her in her travel kennel and gave her a couple treats occasionally *as long as she was calm and quiet*.
When I felt she was comfortable, I left the suite, closing both doors, and taking a step away so she couldn’t see me. I only left for about 3 seconds and then came in to reward her for staying quiet. I repeated this about 5 times.
Then, I increased the duration to see how long she could go without panicking. She made it about 30 seconds before she heard the dog in the suite across from her growl and then she started barking. I waited for her to stop barking and then rewarded her. We ended there.
We had a long session so she was mentally tired when I took her back to daycare. After the session, she was more relaxed and less anxious. I look forward to the next time I can work with Ava!
Dog Training Session 8
Today was the start of Ava’s 3rd board and train.
Ava remembered from last time! She did so well! We picked up where we left off.
Her average wait time was 2 minutes and her max was 3. She’s catching on very quickly!
Please keep working on the eye contact command, this will help get Ava “in the zone” quicker.
Dog Training Session 9
Ava was absolutely fantastic today!!!!
She averaged at 2 ½ minutes and maxed at 5!
We worked on her being more comfortable with dogs barking at her when she walked through the hallway. I think this is a big spur for her anxiety.
I still recommend signing her up for some of our a la carte activities during her next stay to continue to process along. As well as give her more mental stimulation.
I also still recommend bringing an item of clothing (like your smock) for Ava to smell while she’s in her room. This may help her sense your presence allowing her to stay calm.
Dog Training Session 10
Ava really struggled today. She ran out of trazadone and did not receive it until 4:30pm.
We started training shortly after she received her medication.
We started by making her wait and collect herself at every door.
Then we walked up and down 2 hallways to get her used to dogs barking at her.
She shut down when we started walking in the second hallway. There were a lot of other dogs barking at her. It started off as a whine, but escalated to her full blown anxiety attack. We waited it out and walked it off. After that, she was able to focus again and perform the eye contact command.
When we finally arrived at her room, she was extremely anxious to go in. I made her wait until she could make eye contact and calmly enter.
She went directly to her kennel and started to calm down further.
We continued working on her waiting in the kennel without having anxiety.
We made it to 1 minute max today. This is still much better than her first day with trazadone.
Her average was about 30 seconds.
Dog Training Session 11
Ava struggled a little today but overall it was a good session.
She’s a big door dasher so I focused on her sitting calmly at every door and holding eye contact for 5 seconds before passing through after me.
We practiced her leash manners in different hallways varying in distraction level.
We started in a low distraction area because she was already anxious (panting heavily). She was pulling quite a bit so I did a lot of circles, turning around when she would get ahead of me and rewarding her with a treat when she was at my side and making eye contact. I also had her down in the middle of the hallway and would reward when she was calm and looking at me.
Once she was more settled, we went down the hallway towards her suite which she recognized and started to stress out again. We walked up and down, practicing leash manners and focusing on eye contact. This gives her a “job” to focus her attention on instead of the stressors around her.
We walked past her door multiple times until she was completely calm near it. Then, we entered and I had her in a down while rewarding her for being calm.
Next, with her loose in the suite, I left, closing the bottom door and rewarding her for staying calm. Then, I closed the top door. She freaked out at first but as soon as she settled (not barking or whining), I opened the door and rewarded her. We did this multiple times. Her best with both doors closed and me out of sight was 20 seconds.
We also practiced with her in her kennel. She went in and I rewarded her a few times when she was quiet. Then, I repeated the same steps I did when she was loose in the suite. She freaked out twice but I waited for her to settle and then rewarded her A LOT with praise and treats. Her average was 30 seconds with me out of sight.
To practice calming her down at home, try ringing the doorbell, knocking on the door, or anything that might stimulate Ava and cause her to bark, then redirect her attention by saying look and rewarding her when she is calm and making eye contact with you.
Please keep practicing look (eye contact). Ava will also benefit from a lot of impulse control exercises like sit stay and down stay.