Friday, 18 November 2011

Our third day at school

Rodders and I left home to go to Puppy School. I was concerned that he wouldn't be happy about going back in the car but he was very good.

We got there in plenty of time and were first to arrive again. Gradually the other puppies arrived, first was Pippa a Cavapoo, then Tarka a Golden Lab both of whom are six months old, then Tinker a Springer whose owner had done the class before with Tinkers Mum.

Sam, the trainer, came out and we did the usual puppy socialisation by swapping dogs and giving them treats and then we made our way in to the hall, making the puppies sit and wait at the door before lining up with our dogs in the down position and us standing over them. Rodders failed at this so we need to practice down. There was a couple of surprises, two dogs were crated in the hall and Pete (who owns the Dog Training School) was doing the class with a 14 week old Cocker that he is looking after while the owner is on holiday.

As we started off we did heal and sit which Rodders is sort of OK with and then we went on to playing with his buggy toy and teaching leave. Rodders wasn't so good at this as the two crated dogs started to bark with the excitement and this distracted him. Sam decided that we should move out to the field so that there was less distraction.

Again we had to get our puppies to sit and wait at the door and we then lined up in the car park with our puppies sat at our side. Rodders did better at this today. We then walked to the field with our puppies walking at heal (not quite so good here as Rodders tries to run to keep up with the bigger dogs) and then we lined up with our dogs sitting beside us to practice down and stay. As Rodders is having problems with down once we got him down he just had to practice staying there. We then did recall using treats, Rodders is better with this but keeping his attention (even for liver treats) is a bit tricky. We also played with the buggy and got him to leave, Sam spotted that he is trying to bite me and did manage a quick nip and she was very quick to show me how to stop it by using his choke chain and saying a very firm no.

We then moved on to agility. Rodders was very happy going through the tunnel, not so happy going over the A Frame and a bit of a disaster coming over the (very low) jumps.

It was then back to the hall, with a sit and wait at the door, so Sam could let us know how we all did, and give us homework for the next week. We talked about him trying to bite me and when he does it. Sam has suggested that I keep his choke chain on for now and use his lead in the house so that if he is doing anything he shouldn't I can give it a quick yank as I say a very form no. She also mentioned that she will see us at Puppy Part on Wednesday as she also works at the vets.

It was interesting watching Pete training a puppy and it shows some of the things that Rodders and I are getting wrong. I don't think I get quite excited enough with him and I certainly don't always have his attention, especially when we are out, there are far more exciting things for him to look at. Room for improvement me thinks!

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