Greenwood Dog Training School

Greenwood Dog Training School Mary Woodward and Susan Greenholt brought motivational dog training to Delaware in 1994. Teaching using only positive reinforcement techniques, Greenwood will help you teach your dog everything he needs to know to be a well mannered family member.

07/15/2021

Socialization... it's probably not what you think it is.

Dogs go through a critical period of development that lasts roughly from 3 weeks-16 weeks of age. In this time, they're forming ideas and opinions about the world around them; good and bad. They're developing social bonds, and learning how their behaviour impacts other living creatures.

A dog that has a quality socialization program is one that will reach its fullest genetic potential.

Socialization is about giving them the tools and outlook on life to navigate through our society with minimal stress to themselves and others... now to my point.

If your entire plan for socializing your puppy is taking it to puppy classes, puppy play parties or the dog beach, you are GOING to have problems. Unfortunately, the idea that puppy-puppy or puppy-dog interactions constitute 'socialization' has been continually force fed to well-meaning, but misinformed pet professionals.

Either two things will come of such a plan...

1. Your puppy meets the wrong dog and has a bad experience. Bad experiences are just as bad as no experiences. A bad experience during the critical period can result in lasting negative impressions and behavioural problems; namely, fear and aggression.
2. Your dog has a positive experience. And that positive experience creates a positive value for other dogs. And their positive value out-competes the puppy's value in you. Doesn't sound that bad?

As it stands, the second problem is waaaay more common than the first. Right now, the issues associated with an extreme positive value in other dogs is taking up probably 70-80% of my workload. What issues are they, you ask?

- Inconsistent Recalls
- Poor Leash Walking Skills
- Reactivity (sometimes eventuating into aggression)
- What many refer to as 'selective deafness'; *Fido is perfect when it's just us, but as soon as he sees another dog...*

Just to name a few. And the thing is, most owners see all that 👆 as the problem. When in fact, it's just the various symptoms of the real problem; a poorly structured socialization program that's resulted in their dogs developing a TONNE of value in other dogs, and comparatively little in them. The owner. The one that feeds, walks, plays and loves them.

And the thing is, it's not the owner's fault. It's my own industry's. Other trainers. Well-known, well-read sciency-folk. And I don't know why other people aren't seeing the correlation. I very rarely see behavioural cases that stem from a LACK of experience, but that overwhelming stem from an extremely skewed socialization picture.

I'm sure the word 'socialization' is the problem too. It implies *social* experiences and interactions. When really we can broadly divide 'socialization' into social and environmental experiences. And of the 'social' experiences, MOST should entail NO direct interaction.

While a lot is missing from most owner's socialization programs, that's probably the biggest thing; they've never given value to themselves, particularly in the presence of other dogs. A huge part of what I do with my personal dogs is to take them around other controlled dogs, and pay them for looking at me. In their head, they're learning that other dogs are good (socialization), and that when they're around, I'm going to pay them really good stuff. Here, I'm giving myself value. I'm building the puppy's engagement in me.

Thus, what often becomes a distraction and a constant thorn in the side of obedience and manners, now becomes a cue to focus on me.

The graph below is an example of a (not very detailed) socialization plan. The exact percentages will differ between puppies a great deal, but the main point to note is that MEETING OTHER DOGS and MEETING PEOPLE constitute a tiny fraction of the whole shebang. And that ratio will stay relatively consistent across the board.

I'm not offering nor recommending any puppy classes anymore, with the exception of @dogmanaustralia. I'm now offering private lesson programs which I've found to be infinitely more successful in preparing puppies for life. If you're after a class environment, I'd also recommend you check out @northcoastk9academy. And for online training purposes (for my remote followers) check out @thedogtraininglab by @solutionk9dogtrainingtaranaki

06/17/2021
www.jaxhumane.org

So many puppies, not enough time! Here’s a great article on one of the top concerns of new puppy owners. This is a great blog for all types of dog behavior. Enjoy!

https://www.jaxhumane.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Living-With-Jaws-A-Survival-Guide-For-Puppy-Mouthing.pdf

Pennsylvania travel restrictions have been lifted! https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Travelers....
03/02/2021
Travelers

Pennsylvania travel restrictions have been lifted!

https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Travelers.aspx

November 17, 2020; Page last updated December 17, 2020 By Order issued November 17, 2020, the Wolf administration is requiring that travelers entering Pennsylvania from other countries and states, as well as Pennsylvanians who are returning home from other countries or states, have a negative COVID-...

06/24/2020

We are starting a slow, careful reopening of our school. We are offering limited, in-person group lessons at the Avondale location. Class size will be limited to 5 students, 1 person per dog permitted, with masks & social distancing practices mandatory. Please check the website for the most current schedule. We look forward to seeing you soon!

06/19/2020

I hope everyone is hanging in there. We will be restarting our in-person group classes on June 24th. I currently have room in my Level 2 Course. So, if you were waiting to get back to work with your dog - check it out!

Kai & Xarya are ready for some online learning. These last several weeks have been really tough. We at Greenwood hope th...
04/17/2020

Kai & Xarya are ready for some online learning. These last several weeks have been really tough. We at Greenwood hope that you and your families are staying safe & well. If you have the time & are looking to put some normalcy back into you life - these two think that training your dog is a way to do that. We are now offering virtual private consults, virtual small group classes & have added a private Face Book Group, Greenwood Dogs Plus!, for Greenwood students. Please contact us for more information.

Kai & Xarya are ready for some online learning. These last several weeks have been really tough. We at Greenwood hope that you and your families are staying safe & well. If you have the time & are looking to put some normalcy back into you life - these two think that training your dog is a way to do that. We are now offering virtual private consults, virtual small group classes & have added a private Face Book Group, Greenwood Dogs Plus!, for Greenwood students. Please contact us for more information.

03/16/2020

DUE TO THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK, WE HAVE MADE THE DECISION FOR THE SAFETY OF OUR COMMUNITIES, TO POSTPONE ALL COURSES & PRIVATE LESSONS FOR 2 WEEKS STARTING ON MARCH 16, 2020. WE WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR THIS RAPIDLY CHANGING EVENT & WILL NOTIFY ALL STUDENTS OF ANY FURTHER POSTPONEMENTS AS NEEDED.

We value each & every one of our clients & the wonderful communities within which we work. We wish you all health & wellness at this difficult time.

02/13/2020

Hey there everyone! We are excited to announce a second training location, giving us the opportunity to add some daytime hours. Late morning hours on Fridays begin on February 28th at the training room attached to Camp Bow Wow in Avondale. Check out our website for details.

From Flyndog Sports - this is excellent & easy to follow.
02/02/2020

From Flyndog Sports - this is excellent & easy to follow.

From Flyndog Sports - this is excellent & easy to follow.

Happy holidays! Check out our new Winter/Spring schedule. We look forward to seeing you in the New Year!
12/24/2019

Happy holidays! Check out our new Winter/Spring schedule. We look forward to seeing you in the New Year!

Happy holidays! Check out our new Winter/Spring schedule. We look forward to seeing you in the New Year!

The Danger of Agility "Just-For-Fun"
11/16/2019
The Danger of Agility "Just-For-Fun"

The Danger of Agility "Just-For-Fun"

Fun is the main reason and the reason we start and stay in agility, but there are dangers in agility "just-for-fun".

11/08/2019

This is funny & really accurate. Enjoy! Oh, and come join us for our Puppy Pre-K Course starting November 26th. Puppies will not wait until the holidays are over!

Congratulations to Advanced students Tonia & Harper on passing their Canine Good Citizen test, as well as Paws for Peopl...
11/08/2019

Congratulations to Advanced students Tonia & Harper on passing their Canine Good Citizen test, as well as Paws for People’s Standards of Excellence Test at the Advanced level. What a fabulous accomplishment!

I love watching our teams flourish!

Congratulations to Advanced students Tonia & Harper on passing their Canine Good Citizen test, as well as Paws for People’s Standards of Excellence Test at the Advanced level. What a fabulous accomplishment!

I love watching our teams flourish!

11/05/2019
Xarya & Susan competing at Cynosport 2019

Despite my case of extreme nerves at a National event, Xarya was my rock steady teammate. I often tell my students, protect your relationship with your dog, be their safety - in the end, that is what will stand any tests you may encounter. I'm not sure I deserved the degree of steadfastness that she gave me in Tennessee, her lovely attitude and willingness to give me her all, but she did. For that, and demonstrating what a kind & loyal friend she is and has always been, I am forever grateful.

Hedda worked very hard training  one of my Beginner students. A little nap between classes is in order.
08/27/2019

Hedda worked very hard training one of my Beginner students. A little nap between classes is in order.

Hedda worked very hard training one of my Beginner students. A little nap between classes is in order.

Xarya & Kai working through the weekend. My training assistant’s jobs are never done. They are the absolute best assista...
08/19/2019

Xarya & Kai working through the weekend. My training assistant’s jobs are never done. They are the absolute best assistants a girl can have 😊❤️.

I know I discuss this in class but I think this chart is really helpful.
07/07/2019

I know I discuss this in class but I think this chart is really helpful.

How your dog interacts with other dogs often changes as they develop sexually and socially. Although your dog may have felt one way as a puppy, it may change as they age.

This resource helps describe social levels of your dog. Where do you think your four-legged friend falls?

Great local restaurant & local rescue, CompAnimals. This Sunday, 6/23, 4:30 to 9. 15% of your check will benefit CompAni...
06/21/2019

Great local restaurant & local rescue, CompAnimals. This Sunday, 6/23, 4:30 to 9. 15% of your check will benefit CompAnimals Need a New Home Campaign. Make a reservation - this is a very popular local restaurant. Hope to see you there! Oh, mention CompAnimals when ordering.

Great local restaurant & local rescue, CompAnimals. This Sunday, 6/23, 4:30 to 9. 15% of your check will benefit CompAnimals Need a New Home Campaign. Make a reservation - this is a very popular local restaurant. Hope to see you there! Oh, mention CompAnimals when ordering.

Come join us for fun & education while supporting a good cause.
05/30/2019

Come join us for fun & education while supporting a good cause.

Come join us for fun & education while supporting a good cause.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDlJvGh-5_QCheck it out! Greenwood Dog Training School and CompAnimal Rescue of Landenbe...
04/16/2019
FitPAWS® Equipment for Canine Fitness

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDlJvGh-5_Q

Check it out! Greenwood Dog Training School and CompAnimal Rescue of Landenberg will be hosting an Introduction to FitPaws Seminar with Master Fitness Trainer Maureen Burke on July 21st at the CrossFit Thunderhill.

Great training, great fitness, great fun and a great cause! Space is limited to 12 dog-handler teams but we will be offering unlimited auditing. Stay tuned for details to follow, or contact Susan at [email protected].

How important is core strength in canine fitness? http://www.fitpawsusa.com The core is the POWERHOUSE of a dog's body. Helping your dog develop strong core ...

https://denisefenzi.com/2019/03/wait-im-not-the-perfect-trainer/As many of you know, I respect and admire Denise Fenzi a...
03/14/2019
Wait. I'm not the perfect trainer? | Denise Fenzi's Blog

https://denisefenzi.com/2019/03/wait-im-not-the-perfect-trainer/

As many of you know, I respect and admire Denise Fenzi as a trainer. This post had me laughing out loud - this is so me! I'm glad I can share this distinction with Denise. Enjoy!

I got the following response to a recent blog: "I'm pretty sure I've heard YOU use No Reward Markers in your training." I have no idea how to respond to that. You should see what I do when a squirrel cuts across the front of my house and all three dogs go careening and screaming from window to windo...

No time to train your dog? Have a new puppy & don’t know how to begin? Want an experienced trainer to do it for you? Con...
03/08/2019

No time to train your dog? Have a new puppy & don’t know how to begin? Want an experienced trainer to do it for you? Contact Susan for details - [email protected].

No time to train your dog? Have a new puppy & don’t know how to begin? Want an experienced trainer to do it for you? Contact Susan for details - [email protected].

This post is dedicated to our beloved Vista. We gave her her wings almost two years ago. As I was rereading this book, I...
03/06/2019

This post is dedicated to our beloved Vista. We gave her her wings almost two years ago. As I was rereading this book, I remembered that Vista was THAT dog who had the wonderful skill of calming so many issues in our student’s dogs. Best yet, she shared her skill willingly with us.

I recall many years ago, we had a student with a young pit bull who they had recently adopted, & he was loudly reactive to the other dogs in class. We had to keep him separated by a barrier. We decided one night to “ask” Vista what she thought. Was it aggressive displays or frustrated desire to interact, to connect with the other dogs? I explained I could only ask Vista to help. If she refused, we would stop. I brought her onto the training floor, the young dog barking & lunging wildly. Vista used some quick calming signals & then went right to the youngster. They began eagerly sniffing each other, tails wagging happily. Vista showed us that this young pit bull wanted connection with the other dogs. He had just forgotten or never learned how to do it politely. She showed him how. I miss you so much our sweet girl.

Thank you to my long time student & friend, Holly Rybinski, for reigniting my curiosity about this subject.

A cold morning walk for Xarya. She has her fleece on & is with her best friend, my daughter. She is very happy & warm 😊.
03/06/2019

A cold morning walk for Xarya. She has her fleece on & is with her best friend, my daughter. She is very happy & warm 😊.

A cold morning walk for Xarya. She has her fleece on & is with her best friend, my daughter. She is very happy & warm 😊.

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Lincoln University, PA

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I thought this was funny after yesterday’s class. 😊