Monday, June 2, 2014

GADA Team Training Day One

I arrived at Goodwill a few minutes early and Ramona came right out to greet me. She was excited as I was!!  It was going to be a fun filled day.

Mason, his mom, and his sister were right behind me and they were super excited to get the day started as well.

We all went in to fix our breakfast. There were Chick-Fil-A biscuits, sweet rolls, orange juice, coffee, and tea. Goodwill volunteer Deb graciously provided our breakfast. Everyone involved with the Goodwill Service Dog Academy has such a warm giving heart. It makes me smile knowing my family is now a part of this large family.

Rich, his mother, and his friend arrived just a few minutes later. After everyone polished off their breakfast, we got started.

For our first lecture, Ramona jumped right in with the ABC'S of dog training.  I must take a moment to brag on Ramona.  Not only does she know dog training forward and backwards but she is also a phenomenal teacher.  She never once stumbled her words or said one umm.  Ramona is a very impressive individual.  
A is for Association (How dogs learn and how to teach commands)

B is for Bond (The bond you have with your dog is very critical)
C is for Consistency (This is a key element to training)
S is for Synchrony (This is one of the most valuable tools in dog training)

Our babies when they were babies.

Murphy got to come to the classroom as the demo dog. Ramona covered the following commands with the class and Murphy demonstrated them.

That's it.
Thank you.
Let's go.
Free dog.

Mason and Danny
Jeremy and Jerry
Rich and Topper
Me and Murphy

After thoroughly explaining these commands, we were teamed up with our dog to give them a try. Each team did GREAT!!  But that's not hard to believe with these amazingly smart puppies!!

We then added additional commands and practiced those next.  They were:


Before lunch we wrapped up the ABC'S of dog training. Two other Goodwill volunteers provided us with Subway subs, chips, cookies and drinks for lunch. DeeDee and her mother Glenda are about the sweetest people you will ever run across. And they are TRUE dog lovers.

Topper thinks he's a lap dog
Okay, maybe he realizes he's a two lap dog

After lunch Ramona covered a lecture on Motivation.  Motivation is a HUGE part of dog training.  And they are motivated by the most simple things, such as your voice.  Dogs love to be talked to like a baby.  (You all know the baby voice I am referring to.) And, of course, food is a huge motivator.  But only dog food and dog treats.  Never people food.  Their favorite toy could also be a motivator.  Like us, they also crave touch....and who doesn't want to love on a cute dog?!?

Ramona and Murphy

We practiced a few more new commands before ending the day.  

Jeremy and Jerry
Mason and Danny
Me and Murphy
Mason and Murphy

The day wasn't entirely lectures and practice.  We had time to talk with each other as well.  It really is such a small world.  We discovered that Mason's dad and aunt went to high school with my sister and brother.  And Rich used to spend a lot of time at Island Cove Marina, where I currently work.  I look forward to these relationships growing into lifetime friendships.  

I'm sure we are all as tired as this sweet puppies after our eventful, fun filled day.  Until tomorrow.  :-)


  1. What a fun-filled day! I hope they provide a list of all the commands they know b/c I'd forget them as soon as I left! Haha

  2. I am gonna love following yours and Murphys Journey! Thanks for sharing with us Bliss!