I thought you may like to know what life is like for a demo dog. A demo dog is the dog the trainer shows you during the consultation. My dog, Bracha, is a Bouvier des Flandres and is my demo dog. She lives at home with my family and she’s Daddy’s little girl. Even though she is considered a “working dog” she is also part of the family. I go to work, my wife Julie goes to work, our boys go to school, and Bracha goes to work too.
She sleeps in until about 8am, wakes up to go potty and then right back to bed she goes. When she goes back to bed, she gets into our bed. She sleeps there until I tell her to get off the bed because I need to make it and we need to go to work. Bracha drags her feet and is not in a hurry to get into the car to go to the kennel. I transport my dogs in crates. Crates are the safest way to transport dogs and keep them in the back so they don’t get in the way or block your view as you’re driving.
Once we get to work, the first thing Bracha does is go in the office and greet Christy. Christy works in the office and greets all the dogs that are checked in that morning. Bracha’s next stop is to say “good morning” to Doug. Doug is one of our trainers and he always has treats in his pockets. Both my retired dog, Titus, and Bracha make sure to show Doug respect because they know they will be paid with a tasty treat.
It’s now about 10am and during the day we are training, letting the daycare dogs play, and doing evaluations. During the training, I may use Bracha as a distraction for the training dogs. Dogs that come to us need to learn to ignore other dogs and obey commands. Bracha is great at being the distraction dog because she is calm and very obedient. She sets the example of what is expected for the rookies that are there for training.
During the evaluations, I work Bracha through the paces; sit, down, heel, place, wait and doing it all off leash. She ignores any distractions that the customer’s dog may be throwing at her (barking, whining, lunging). In addition to Bracha’s obedience commands she also knows how to shake, speak, turn and play dead. I explain that what they see in Bracha is the goal I have for their dog. Once you have that, you can confidently take your dog anywhere. We always finish training with some play. Bracha enjoys fetching and playing tug. She’s a good little Daddy’s Girl.
Bracha has a personality of her own and thinks she is management at our training facility. She walks around the daycare dogs and lets them know if they are getting too rambunctious and leads by example. If Christy needs the day off in the office, Bracha is happy to fill in for her. We typically end our day and get home for supper around 8pm. After everyone goes to bed Bracha is always the last one up to see if we may be having ice cream. Bracha like ice cream. She also likes popcorn, meat, and yogurt… there is not much of anything Bracha does not like. After treat time it’s back to bed to do it all over again.
Dogs do best when they have a routine. Dogs have an internal clock and it is very accurate. They know when its treat time, dinner time and bed time. A lot of the time they will have a schedule of going outdoors and doing their business. If you want your dog to have a happy, stress-free life make sure you keep them busy, give them a job and a routine. They will love you for it.