Saturday, 14 January 2012

Puppy School - Week 8

I thought we were going to be late for puppy school as I hadn't banked on having to scape the car but it was still minus 2 degrees when we went out! No wonder my feet got cold when we walked around the rugby field!

As soon as I got outside I started the car and set the front and rear screens to defrost and started to scrape the windows. Rodders was walking around the car with me and ended up looking as though he had been out in the snow! He wasn't very happy with the noise and did start barking when I was doing the windscreen.

I also decided to go the main road way rather than through the lanes and this meant going across town, not a good move on a saturday! Almost as soon as I pulled in the gate at Puppy School Rodders started barking, this is the first time that he has seemed to know where he is! I parked up and went to let him out of his crate, he was half out of it in seconds but did wait while I put his lead on. 

As we walked towards the others waiting he was pulling on his lead quite hard so I had to check him but it seemed a shame to have to curtail his excitement. I spotted Wordsworth (Cavalier) and Liam (Cocker) from last week but there were two other puppies as well, Bo (CockerPoo) and Lucky a rather large Staffie. It turned out that Bo was just there to have a quick look and see how things worked and Lucky was here for his first lesson. Rodders said hello to everyone and really seemed to like both the newcomers, especially Bo.

A few of the dogs from the class before us came to say hello and Rodders got his first experience of a big dog barking and lunging for him. He did go back for more so he can't have been that frightened.

Sam came out to join us in the car park and had a quick chat with Bo's owner and told him what he needed to do to register and then moved on to Lucky's owners. This really could be an interesting lesson as Lucky has had little training (he does know how to sit!), he is incredibly strong and just drags the very quietly spoken lady around. Straight away Sam said that she thought they were using the wrong sort of equipment on the dog as it had a harness rather than a collar which meant that it was able to use the full strength of it's body to pull her and asked her to look around at what other people were using. 

Sam left the 4 of us outside to swap puppy's and went off with Lucky and his owner in to the school to see what they could do to improve the situation. She came back out with a choke chain and tried to show the lady how to use it while we carried on swapping puppy's until we ended up with our own. By then she had managed to get the dog walking better.

She then turned her attention back to us and we started to do heal and turn up and down the car park with some sits and downs thrown in. Rodders has got much better at down and didn't need me to stand on his lead today. She made sure that Lucky was OK at all times and said that for today they should just concentrate on walk and sit.

After a short time we headed out to the field and practised wait and come while Sam gave some more attention to Lucky. Lucky's Mum really needs to learn how to be a bit more assertive and meaner, this staff is going to take some controlling. Sam was showing her what to do and then letting her try it, but with little success. I also heard Sam ask what had made them go for this breed, apparently her son wanted it as his cousin has the same!

We then moved on to tuggy's. Rodders is great at playing and lets it go when I say no but he cannot get his head around bringing it to me, I think I need more help with this. 

We then moved down the field to the agility course, Rodders loves this bit of the class. He got to go through the tunnel twice & we nearly got him to wait without him being held the 2nd time and I only just managed to catch him at the other end, over the A Frame twice with a stop to lap water at the top the first time and through a lifebelt - he wasn't so sure about this as he really doesn't seem to like the jumping side of it. Sam did ask if we were going to carry on and go through the agility classes after puppy school as he does seem to enjoy it.

Having disappeared off a few times to work with Lucky Sam diverted her attention back to us to watch how each of us were doing with each activity which is much better than last weeks trainer, I really do prefer to be at Sams lessons & it is a shame that she only does every other Saturday or that I can't find a way to get to Friday's class. I wonder if they change them in the summer and do evenings?

Anyway, we ended up still on the field at gone midday so we heeled back to the training room. I don't know if Rodders was getting bored but he started to mess about when he was supposed to be in the down position and rolled over on to his back for his tummy to be rubbed! After being firm with him he did behave though. Sam gave us all feedback, checked that we knew which week we were on (I was told week 9 but I have checked and it is week 8 so must make them check their records) and made sure that everyone knew that they can do the Friday, Saturday or Sunday class each week and then it was time to go for another week. 

We do have homework this week. We need to work on our heel work, turns, sit and down so we may end up tramping the streets for a little while in the evenings to do this as I still want him to have one play time walk a day.

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