Training dogs: Mickey; “Red” Golden

Another episode of training dogs, meet Mickey

A happy dog and a half and one of the best Goldens I have trained.

Not to mention I love his color (yeah I probably am biased to red/rust).  That is a lot for me to admit as usually Goldens rate up there with my least favorite to train.  Now before you jump all over me for that, just understand where I come from.  I know there are tons of perfectly lovely Goldens out there,  but as a whole I feel the breed is hardly what it used to be train-ability, temperament, and health wise.  And according to recent studies Goldens and labs are right at the top for bite cases, but there are all kinds of factors that go into that and we won’t go there.  Anyway, usually if we have a golden coming in for training it’s pretty much due to it being a handful-and-a-half for the owners, and not usually a shining star example of the breed.  Mickey was a bit of an exception to this rule.

To be honest when I got the training lead on him for his first session with me I quickly began to wonder why they had even brought him in.  He was such an easy fix I had to quickly up the game and throw distractions in to make it a challenge for him.  He was a joy to work with, Mickey was a nice change from the typical Goldens I have had to train.  As a whole he is smart, has a great desire to please, very trainable, sensitive, level-headed, decently laid back, and rather mature considering he is a 2 year old intact male.  The areas he largely needed work was leash walking and greeting people.  The leash stuff came very quickly to him, he is a follower by nature through and through and happy to be so.  This was further confirmed when they first began to come in and work with him,  he kept checking over to me and wanting to pull over to me.  I always take that as a good sign that the work I have done with them is sound, having gained his respect and trust, and has been a good fit for that particular dog.  He made leaps and bounds when it came to greeting people, and I think given the proper help will continue to improve in this area.  When dogs leave here it’s usually due to the work with us being done, including the training up of the people (the harder job IMO), and it’s time for the owners to carry on what we’ve done and continue to build on it.  To be honest Mickey was pretty much finished with me within a couple days, it was just repetition for him to offset any drop in standards when his owners became handlers.  There really is nothing negative I can say about Mickey, he pretty much did all I asked, he has the potential to be a really phenomenal dog, I hope his owners set the bar high and make him be so. Now since I don’t have much else to say about him… on to more photos.

(His ears crack me up in this one)

I want the joy on Mickey’s face to be an example of how great the e-collar can be for off leash work/running, when done properly of course.  He had a blast running around the yard, and I feel these photos really show it.  Since working here I have not run into a single dog that has not taken to the e-collar, from the Dachshunds and Maltese to Goldens and great danes, when introduced properly they are a fantastic tool.  But I am also fully aware the used improperly and simply as “correction” not “communication” dogs can be ruined.  I’m happy to say that has yet to happen to any of the dogs I have conditioned to the e-collar.  But I will move on before I get anybody too hot and bothered.

Still working on perfecting these half portraits… so much of it just depends on the type of dog.

Can’t stop a Golden from a good roll in the grass, and if there is snow on the ground they love it even more.  And last but not least my favorite picture of him.

I am thrilled with this shot, and that does not happen very often. I may even get it printed, or submit it somewhere, you like it as much as I do? What is your favorite?  Speaking of likes and favorites…

Did you know AKG Inspiration is on Facebook?  Still working on integrating things, but feel free to surf on over and like us.  You may be privy to sneak peaks and photos I don’t get to posting on here.  And they don’t all have to do with Luna’s blog either 😉

Good luck Mickey and family!



About Anna

I am a native of Virginia but recently relocated to Maryland I often feel I am simply a visitor... here to take note of little things people often pass by... I enjoy photography, family, the outdoors, reading, my vizsla... etc etc
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14 Responses to Training dogs: Mickey; “Red” Golden

  1. Tina says:

    Last photo is wonderful!

    Love your description of Mickey and the training you did with him. What a lovely boy!!

  2. Love those front on half face shots… What a happy and contented looking dog…

    • Anna says:

      Thanks, I’m still working on that type. And he was pretty darn happy and content while here, another testament to him being a good dog.

  3. god he is the cutest thing ever!!!

  4. 2browndawgs says:

    Yes I do LOVE that last shot. It is amazing. You must do something with it.

    Ah Goldens. We had a Golden before our Chessies. He was super-smart, easy to train and friendly. After he passed, and we were looking for another, we also saw how the breed had changed in the 13 years since we got him. That is why we changed breeds. I have to say though that through our field work we have become acquainted with some very nice Goldens. I guess if we ever decided to get another, at least we know where to look.

    Oh and ours was a confirmed grass-roller too. Sounds like Mickey was just a joy to work with.

    • Anna says:

      I think it’s going to at least get printed. It may end up in a contest, have not decided.

      I agree there are nice goldens out there still, just require a lot of searching and research to find them. We have a new client who is actually a taxidermist and he has an adult female golden that he hunts with, and a new puppy too. His female seemed nice, and mindful. Totally field bred when it comes to appearance though. But they’re still out there for sure. Sad how so many breeds have been ruined over the years.

  5. He does indeed look like a real love. And yes, that last picture is beautiful. So nice, you can see the peace within him. Nice post! It’s hard to see the collar in any of the pictures and I haven’t looked back to see if you had previous posts on the e-collar — I’m not familiar with it.

    • Anna says:

      Glad you liked the photo. I don’t post too much about the e-collar, but all the training dogs I have shown on here off leash have been trained to it. Well every dog I have had come through our program has been to be honest. It is an orange collar you may see glimpses of it in some of the shots. Basically it’s remote controlled communication with the dog. We use it at the lowest level possible so to the dog it’s like a poke in the neck or static shock level, that lets them know we’re calling them. It allows us to have push button control of recalls in off leash situations, which allows the dog to really run and get exercise in a safe way, no matter what shows up. Maybe I will post more later, we’ll see. Sometimes I feel the need to educate people on the benefits of them, but at times I wonder why I should bother. Those opposed are usually not going to change their minds.
      Thanks for reading 🙂

      • Years ago I had dogs that we kept in our yard using the “fenceless yard” system — an e-collar system. I hadn’t made the connection between that and what you mentinoed! I do remember a trainer we knew that used the electronic collar for training hunting dogs and he found it valuable. Even though it worked with the brittany breed very well, I don’t feel it would be a good choice for Grace. She’s so nervous already, I don’t want to introduce something else that is scary to her. Do you agree?

        • Anna says:

          The e-collars I’m talking about is not the electronic invisible fence. Luna and Wyatt are trained to that as well. The e-collars I am talking about are the ones used in relation to hunting dogs. It is a very useful tool, especially when you have dogs who need run time. I have trained many types of dogs and then conditioned them to the e-collar too. And some of them were initially shy and nervous dogs, but after we got the foundation training done our relationship allowed for a rather smooth transition to the e-collar. But we are not going to ever force anything on a dog if it does not fit. But you have to have the right foundation first. It’s pretty complicated, but conditioning to the e-collar should not be scary if done properly.

  6. cauchy09 says:

    aww, sweet pup. i like your descriptions of training and concepts. nicely done.

    • Anna says:

      thanks, he was indeed sweet. A little too sweet and adoring at times. Glad you enjoyed the training portion of the post too. You are a woman of many interests apparently

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