Thursday, January 3, 2008

Bittersweet

While this is Carmen's first class, it is my last at the shelter. Sniffle. I am going to really miss Denise, who has been my mentor at the shelter. She is a good trainer and a nice person - her classes have excellent flow and I have learned a lot from her the past few years.

The positive is I am training more for Katrin and her students tend to rock! What isn't better than people invested in working with their dogs? That's the big issue at the shelter - a lot of the people are there because their adoption contract requires them to be there not because they want to be there. Then I often end up feeling somewhat like a failure for not being able to get them excited about dog training! [cue violins]

Carmen was pretty good tonight. She definitely started to shut down towards the end of class, but she learns quickly. Carmen only knew "down" if lured. The new program at the shelter asks you to shape it. Carmen was downing within 5 minutes.

I am super tempted to TRY and teach her "touch." Like Ike she appears to have an aversion to touching things with her nose and tends to use her paws. It would require major patience on my part and would probably be a good training exercise. Can you tell I am not yet committed to the idea?

One of the other trial-students is a friend of Denise's who has a 2 yo Katrina rescue - the dog appears to be a lab corgi mix? Anyway, Hershey (the dog) is very fearful of people but fine with dogs. Carmen was a bit over excited by her, and at one point growled at her. Ugh!

I think Katrin's comment about a GL is right on. My in-laws used to use one (per my request), but Carmen hates it and repeatedly paws at her face while walking on her hind legs so we switched to the EZ Walk Harness. However, for training purposes I think I am dragging out the Gentle Leader.

Carmen is a great challenge - she has a lot of potential but obviously it will require a lot of work to bring it forth. My pie-in-the-sky trial hopes for Carmen should be pushed out another year!!

5 comments:

Katrin said...

Jeeze, now I gotta be careful, the shelter will be coming at me saying "you stole our instructor!!"

I got the better end of the deal! :-)

Glad you are enjoying yourself with "my" students (hehe, Maplewood is SUCH a dictatorship, and for once Monty isn't yet trying to topple that regieme)

JULES & IKE said...

I am hoping I can convince Denise and another woman at the shelter to think about taking one of your classes, too!

Shaya and Tom said...

Katrin, how do we know Monty isn't the real dictator of Maplewood. He might have typed that message so we wouldn't suspect... :P

Katrin said...

Eeeek! You've found me out!

-Monty

Soon I'm going to have to get him his own e-mail addy, jeeze!

-Katrin

Shaya and Tom said...

Ha, ha. He looks so cute in his dictator photo.