Saturday, 7 January 2012

Puppy School No 7

This was our first week at puppy school in a month and Rodders really needed it.

As I was getting him out of the car Rodders spotted Red a Welsh Spaniel and started to bark. There were lots of new puppies for him to meet this week and the class before us stopped on their way past to say hello too so Rodders didn't know which way to look next!

One of the new puppies, Wendy a King Charles, was frightened by Rodders approaching her and squealed really loudly as she disappeared behind her owners legs. I asked if it was her first class as he was trying to entice her back out and apparently it is her 2nd, on her first she squealed the whole time. There was also a clumber spaniel and a beautiful Coker Spaniel called Liam.

Class started by us swapping puppies and giving them all treats and a fuss, it was mayhem as there were 8 of us this week. At the first swap Rodders was not interested and turned his back on the chap that had got him, sat down, and just watched me! He was better with swap 2 and 3 but very happy to come back to me.

We then all lined up and started to walk up towards the field. Rodders was far too busy trying to chase the other dogs to heel properly and so earnt himself a couple of big checks. Once on the field we were all stood in a line with our dogs sitting beside us and we took it in turns to weave through the line from back to front. Rodders was quite well behaved while we weaved but he was a nightmare to keep still while he was being weaved around, he just wanted to leap up and play with the puppy walking past him.

We then did heel and sit as we moved up towards the agility course. Rodders loves the tunnel and the A Frame but his excitement nearly caused us a problem today with the tunnel. The first time he just would not sit and wait and our class leader was up the other end of the field setting up the low jumps so she couldn't hold him so one of the other puppy's owners held him for me. He ran straight through the tunnel when I called him. The second attempt he did sit and wait until I was almost at the other end of the tunnel before he ran through which meant that I wasn't quite there to catch hold of him at the other end and he ran off, luckily only towards the puppy's waiting at the A Frame! The first time he went over the A Frame he stopped at the top to lick something, the second time he stopped to have a look around. We did the jumps twice but he wasn't very happy going over them.

We then moved on to recall, where he has to sit and wait until I call him. He did very well at this (mostly) but I need to call him and wait until he is almost at me before I say sit or he sits wherever he is when I say it. This is another favourite activity as this gets him treats.

We then practiced down which he was quite good at to start with. We then tried a stay command while we walked round them. The first time I did this he was fine but the second and third time he tried to get up and when I put him back in to the down position he just rolled over on to his back and wanted his tummy rubbed.

Finally we played with tuggy's. Rodders had to play with it and them let it go when asked which he did beautifully for a while but then he got bored and wanted to go and play with another puppy and it was difficult to get his attention back. I think we had been doing this for too long but the instructor was concentrating on a couple of puppy's that were not doing very well. She then wanted us to move on to throwing it and getting the dog to hold it and bring it back to us. We did really badly with this as Rodders was fed up with the buggy by this point. I also wondered if he didn't understand what I meant by hold as we use fetch it at home so I tried that too but it didn't work.

It was then time to head in to the hall and Rodders was a star. He sat and waited at the door and came in when asked and then he went in to the down position and stayed there for ages while we talked through how we had all done. The instructor thought that Rodders was much better than the last time she saw him, he is but not as good as he has been.

I got him to sit and wait at the door on the way back out and as I was changing out of my wellies TJ, Red's Mum, stopped for a chat. She asked if I had done the friday class and what it was like. I told her that it was much quieter than the saturday class and I really like it as I prefer Sam as an instructor ( we only get her every other saturday unfortunately) but now I am working I can't do it. She is thinking of swapping as it will work out better for her if her husband is away.

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