Foundations + Our Curriculum = Success
“Our Curriculum” is specifically created to support new owners of our pups during the early transitional period when the pups go to their new homes.
I have been asked, many many times, to create a “how to” set of instructions for people who wish to train their own LGDs. I have resisted doing this for years because I am uncomfortable with telling people what they should do. I am very comfortable with sharing my own experience with my Maremmas, and sharing what I have learned though working with other LGD owners, but telling people what they should do seems bossy to me. One of my dog training instructors pointed out to me that specific instructions were owed to buyers of my own pups. OK then, here goes.
Our Curriculum was written to support buyers of our pups. Our pups are six to twelve months of age when they leave me, typically, so the training required of new buyers has to do with continuing to support the trained behaviors the dogs have been taught through our extensive Benson Maremmas training program.
We require completion of the Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Foundations Course of our buyers before we place pups with them. This ensures that our buyers have at least a beginning understanding of the science of how dogs learn. Through the course, they learn the training methodology we use here to teach the pups to mand, to come when called, to walk comfortably on leash, and many other behaviors that are somewhat common to companion dog training as well. The course is written for owners of companion dogs. This is why I wrote my LGD Training Manual. This manual helps students in the course to find ways to apply what they are learning to what their LGDs will benefit from. This all is a substantial chunk of an education, but it only takes a new owner half way there.
Our Curriculum is LGD specific training instruction. In it I make the assumption that I don’t need to explain/teach behavioral science because that was covered in the KPA course. This curriculum provides instructions for how to handle the first minutes, hours, days, and weeks of the transitional period true for LGDs placed in a new home. This includes topics such as how and where to feed the LGDs, how to introduce them to household pets and to new livestock, what to do if excessive barking happens, what to do if the dogs exhibit chase behavior, and many other predictable situations a new owner with new dogs will navigate through.
In my opinion, this approach provides a balanced education for new owners of my pups. We’ll see; this is new!
I’m looking forward to getting feedback from new owners!