Thursday, October 15, 2009

Beyond Basics #5

Tuesday night Bug was a little rowdy; a few booming barks for no real reason. Everyone is always surprised by how BIG his bark is. My landlord is STILL having their addition worked on and the men were particularly loud Tuesday. I noticed that the DAP diffuser is empty. Hmmm…I wonder if there is a connection.

First exercise was Stay with distraction/Come with distraction. Three dogs and their handlers stood at the far end of the room in a line (side-by-side). The dogs/handlers on the outside put their dogs in a stay. The center dog was restrained and the handler walked away and then asked the dog to come. This was VERY hard for the dogs in the Stays due to the proximity. Bug did fairly well. The first time he stood up – although he didn’t lunge or attempt to “Come” with. He just found it a bit too stimulating. Next dog in our trio I made sure Bug had MORE treats and he held his stay. When it was our turn to do the recall, Bug came without a second of hesitation. Good boy, Bug.

Next exercise was Recall with distractions. Joyce asked us all to actively play with our dogs. If our dogs would not play in public she suggested having them heel around our chair. Anything that involved movement was good to go. This is a big class, so a come with all these dogs playing truly was a feat. Fortunately for us Buster, Bug’s Lab nemesis, was not in class.

There is another young male dog that is part Shepherd and just lovely. His name is Tagget and he is 18 months old. Bug is always very interested in him – friendly interested, not Buster-I-am-more-macho-than-you interested. Tagget was VERY actively playing during Bug’s recall. Watching Bug come was like watching a cartoon. He came quickly, in a straight line to me, but his head was turned watching Tagget the entire time. I laughed myself silly! And boy am I proud Bug could resist Tagget tugging!

We ended the class by individually loose leash walking around the room in a zig-zagging pattern – NOT a plain ol’ circle with a limit on treats – only two allowed. I think of loose leash walking as one of our weak points, but Bug did GREAT! I had him do some 270s and he stayed right with me making super eye contact

One more class left. I have really gotten so much out of this class. It certainly helps that the other students are equally committed to training with their dogs.

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