Rascal’s Story: Housebreaking and Coming When Called

We have a Shorkie (Shih-tzu/Yorkie mix) who just turned a year old. His name is Racal, and there’s never been a more suited name for a puppy! Rascal is indeed a rascal.

Rascal is our first dog, so we were really novices when it came to raising one. We adopted him when he was 3 months old, and for the first several months we were pretty clueless as to how to modify some of his behaviors. We did a beginner class at a local pet supply store, and that was pretty effective for some of the basics like sit, down and leave it. But Rascal is a pretty strong-willed little guy, and we continued to struggle with our two most important issues…housebreaking and getting him to come when called consistently.

During one of my many (and by that I mean a hundred or so) internet searches for puppy training tips, I landed on the link to Beyond the Dog. What a blessing that turned out to be! For one thing, the website was well designed and easy to use. I called right away and talked to Sean about the issues we were having with Rascal, as well as our best options for successful training outcomes. Together we selected the in-home training option, primarily since housebreaking is much more successful when conducted in the puppy’s own environment. We set up an appointment only a few days away, and I immediately felt like help was on its way.

Kristyn came to the house and did a thorough analysis of our training styles and skills, as well as Rascal’s current situation. We determined that he was about 70% trained at that time and really just needed that final push to get him to go consistently and exclusively outside. She helped us to understand that he needed to know that outside wasn’t just one option…it was the only option. The biggest aha for us was recognizing that we were doing the work for him by taking him out on a regular schedule. What we needed to do instead was force him to make the decision as to when he needed to go so that we could help him make the right decision as to where to go. Within a couple of weeks of Kristyn’s visit, Rascal was going to the door and either scratching or barking to be let out. No more accidents in the house!

We had Kristyn come back for a follow-up visit to work on coming when called…consistently. Rascal has a mind of his own, and he likes to decide if he wants to come or not. Kristyn worked with us extensively on that command and gave us an action plan for working with him on our own. She made recommendations that we never would have come to on our own. And because she was familiar with Rascal and his little personality, it’s really been effective.

Kristyn does a great job of training. She’s very talented, professional, personable and practical. I would recommend Beyond the Dog to anyone who’s trying to train a puppy quickly and successfully.