Sunday, January 24, 2010

Another Visit To Clean Run

I've mentioned Clean Run in a previous blog. It is a facility located in South Hadley Massachusetts. There is an indoor training area where seminars and workshops are held; and there is THE STORE. What a selection of items!! You can opt to buy on-line or go for a visit and browse the rows and rows of dog related items for both you and your dog. Shoes, books, dvds,leads, a huge selection of good quality dog toys, dog treats, dehydrated raw food, Taste of the Wild dry food, and mesh name just some of the items in stock. Whether you are a serious agility competitor, need a good pair of outdoor shoes, or looking for that special toy for your dog Clean Run is worth a look.

Thanks to all the staff at Clean Run for making Melissa's second visit to Clean Run another fun learning experience. Melissa met Norwegian Elkhounds Dakota and Aidan. Thanks to their owner who is a Clean Run staff member for allowing Melissa to meet first Aidan then Dakota. Meeting two unknown dogs at once could have been a bit overwhelming for a young puppy. So intros were made one on one, then the 3 were allowed to mingle.

Melissa is not quite 5 months old, she is still very impressionable and I want all her encounters with other dogs to be stress free and fun. The staff at Clean Run with their enthusiastic attitudes and knowledge of dogs added to Melissa's chapter on learning about life. I am sorry that I do not know all your names but thank you to everyone who made Melissa's experience positive.

Melissa also got to meet a family of Border Collies. Clean Run staff are able to bring their dogs to work, adding to the perks of working at Clean run! Indoor fenced areas are provided for the dogs. Plush beds, fuzzy toys, good chews are provided to keep them occupied when they are not busy greeting visitors. Staff members Pam and Kellie helped make a nice association between the Border Collies and Melissa who were separated by the fencing, by feeding tasty treats to all. None of the dogs were 'pushy' about food. All were polite and waited their turn. Well, I must admit, Melissa did poke her nose at the treat bag once or twice....but she is still learning. Manners do not happen overnight. Skills in self-controled are taught at an early age and then practiced in every day life. Melissa practices new skills at home where there is minimal distractions, we attend group classes to practice some more, and then we take it 'on the road' to practice even more. Sounds like a lot of practice? It is short one to two minute sessions of training thru out the day instead of one long training session. Every time you interact with your dog is a training opportunity. I set things up so Melissa is learning the good behaviors instead of practicing unwanted behaviors. We had practiced self control exercises at home, but at the Clean Run store with new people and the excitement and proximity of other dogs, Melissa poked at the treat bag. She wasn't being a bad dog, she was just figuring out what worked. Thanks to Kellie, who waited until Melissa backed off the bag of treats and then rewarded Melissa for waiting patiently.

Training is happening ALL the time, make the time you spend with your dog quality learning time. And remember to have fun.
Melissa was so excited to see her friend Liz and her Standard Poodle Kodi come from around the corner at Clean Run. Did we give them permission to play? We sure did. Melissa was allowed to go visit only after I gave the cue to 'go play'. She play-bowed inviting Kodi to engage with her. More about self control around other dogs in a future blog.


  1. Thanks for sharing your wonderful adventures of training Melissa as well as some great insights into the Clean Run dog training facility. This will help me to know more clearly what I should be looking for in a dog training facility. I am specifically looking to train my puppy in how not to bite and in potty training.

  2. Thanks for writing Andrea. Were are you located? How old is your puppy? Perhaps I can help you find a reward-based trainer in your area. Here is some information on how to choose a dog trainer on the website for the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.