Fulton Gets Better Manners (We Hope!) — A Trip To Doggie Boot Camp

Things are much quieter (and less furry) at our house lately, because our dog, Fulton, is currently at doggie boot camp. I dropped him off a couple of Saturdays ago, and it’s a three-week program at minimum, so we plan to pick him up over Easter weekend. I miss him big time, but we’re hopeful this will be a helpful experience for Fulton.

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I’m convinced that Fulton really does have a kind doggie heart, but he also has a few not-so-kind habits that we definitely want to break. We adopted Fulton about a year and a half ago and don’t know too much about his life before he became a part of our family, but I’m guessing it wasn’t too awesome because he now has some anxiety-related tendencies that we’d love to see him leave behind. When he’s around certain people, or large groups, he sometimes nips at the heels or legs of a person as their back is turned. As you might imagine, despite the fact that he’s not being aggressive, we HATE this, and want to do anything we can to break him of the behavior. (Sincere and extremely embarrassed apologies go out to anyone who’s been on the receiving end of these Fulton nips. We are so very sorry!)

That, plus his lack of listening skills at times as well as his tradition of going totally ballistic when the doorbell rings all led us to bite the bullet and sign him up for a crash course in being polite.

So off to boot camp (Hook’s K9 Training Boot Camp in Middlesex, North Carolina — just east of Raleigh) Fulton went. Nancy Hook, who’s in charge of the camp, keeps several dogs at a time, so Fulton is — I’m sure — having fun socializing while he’s learning good etiquette. Nancy’s great about sending me updates, too, and I feel like a proud parent when I get reports from her such as, “Fulton is smart and sensible and is learning new words quickly.” (Kevin and I were convinced he didn’t speak English, so this news is huge!)

I’ll pass along an update on the Fulton-pup (and the training his owners are sure to receive from Nancy) when he’s back home in Winston in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, has anyone else taken their dog to boot camp? Were you happy with the outcome?

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8 Comments

  1. Nicole Spencer

    Anna,
    I’m so glad that you’ve chosen to help Fulton relearn new behaviors instead of giving up on him and sending him back to a shelter. Not many dog owners would put in the time, love, and money to rehab their pup. Makes my heart happy! Fulton sure is a lucky guy! I hope he comes back you the same Fulton, just a little improved! 🙂

    Nicole

  2. Julie Burroughs

    Anna, I am sure that you have seen my posts about Cooper – the dog who was rescued from a closed laundry room. I am desperately trying to find a Boot Camp type place. I think I will call Nancy. Maybe she would work with us on the costs … Worth a try. I agree with Nicole – so awesome that you aren’t returning him to the shelter. The love of animals is in our blood 🙂 Can’t wait for the next update!!!

    1. Anna

      Ali – We’re not 100% sure, but we did get one of those dog DNA tests and it identified boxer and sheltie as his two dominant breeds. He’s mainly pure mutt (a sweet one, though!).

  3. Matt Altman

    If you do not mind, may I ask how your experience was? We just put our APBT there last Friday and it is killing me. My wife keeps asking to go get her. Were you satisfied with the outcome ?

    1. Anna

      We feel mixed about it. Fulton came back more patient, but the anxiety issues we wanted addressed as our top priority don’t seem to have changed at all. He’s a better listener these days, but, honestly, we didn’t get the results we expected/wanted.

      1. Matt Altman

        Thank you for the honest feedback. I am not sure that is what I wanted to hear, but it is good to know. At this price I think I was looking for the dog whisperer. 🙂

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