Saturday, 4 February 2012

Our first intermediate class

So we were up early today and ready for our first class with the big dogs. It had been very cold over night and there was a heavy frost so I kept Rodders on his lead while I started the car and walked around it scraping the windows, he wasn't very sure about this and kept barking at me.

Once the car was clear I popped him in his crate and we made our way to the Training School. We all gathered in the car park as usual and Rodders was very excited. After letting him say a hello to each dog I did manage to get him to sit nicely as we waited.

At the start of the class we all lined up with our dogs sitting beside us and the class leader checked who was there.  Rodders had joined from Puppy Class and Coco, an Alsation, had joined from 1 to 1 training with Pete. We were put in to pairs and then we walked up to the field with our dogs at heel.

Once we got there we stopped and did a right turn and our partners stayed back while we moved about 4 feet in front with our dogs sitting beside us. The back row then walked up through us and stopped so we could do the same thing. We did this again and then we walked past, turned and back through them. Rodders did quite well at this.

We then headed back to the edge of the field and then walked along the side, stopping and making the dogs sit or lie down on command. We then had a jog (didn't realise it was also a keep fit class!), then back to walk, then to a slow walk and then back to normal pace. Rodders was OK at this.

By now we were at the far side of the field near the rough grass, not been up here before. We all lined up and put our dogs in to the down position and asked them to stay while we walked about three feet away. The handler at the back then returned to his dog, picked up the lead and walked along the line. For the first two dogs Rodders hardly moved, for the next two he got up and I had to grab him and make him sit. I then stayed with him and kept him sitting until it was our turn. He walked past the other dogs without problem.

Some of the dogs were then allowed off lead and had a bit of a play but I wasn't allowed to let Rodders off incase he got nipped at by the bigger dogs. We then moved on to recall and Rodders was really good at this.

It was then time for the agility course and Rodders was his usual excited self. He really loves going over the AFrame and through the tunnel but needed lots of encouragement to go through the life belt or over the jumps. In this class they teach the dogs to go in to the down position as soon as they come out of the tunnel so that they don't run off, Rodders wasn't sure about this at all.

We then moved in to a circle and got the dogs to play with their tuggies, Rodders is very good at letting his toy go and will sit until you throw it again. He isn't quite so good at retrieve but we are working on it. Some of the dogs are really good at this so everyone threw their buggy in to the middle to see if a few of them could find their own toy. Only one managed it but they all still got lots of fuss for bringing a toy back.

It was time to head back to the classroom and Rodders must have been tired as he walked nicely to heel all the way and wasn't distracted by Sam walking past us doing a one to one with a nervous lab.

Rodders sat and waited nicely at the door but that was it for the day. He was messing about and wouldn't go in to the down position or stay there once I got him there. The tutor was happy with him though, she said he had done really well for a first time.

Rodders sat and waited nicely as we came out and then spotted the Puppy Class waiting and nearly pulled my arm of trying to get to Leon. As he was saying hello to Leon I got to give Beau a fuss and then all 3 puppies had a bit of a play.

There is a Yorkie starting the puppy class today, he is a rescue dog and about 4 years old but he doesn't seem to be very well socialised. Apparently he was found in the PE postcode area tied up in a car park and he was micro chipped. The chip was registered to a house in Edgware buy it was empty so, after some time in a rescue centre, he was put up for rehoming. The lady that has taken him on is concerned about how he behaves around other dogs as there is lots of growling and snarling but, after 2 weeks, she has already got him to sit and walk nicely when no other dogs are around and he is great at home. It will be interesting to see how he gets on. As we walked away we spotted Leo and stopped to say hello to him.

Sam was now in the car park with her one to one and was happy for us to be around the lab but not directly beside him. A few dogs from our class were also there and Rodders was happy saying hello to them when all of a sudden Coco managed to roll Rodders over on to his back and was standing over him, pinning him down. Rodders was squealing and I couldn't get him out of there so I dropped his lead and he got himself out. It all happened in seconds and everyone was stood there ready to grab Rodders as he made his escape. I caught hold of him and gave him a very quick fuss and then let him say hello to a dog I knew was OK with him.

Sam then came over to check he was OK and she felt him all over while saying to me the noise he was making was fright rather than hurt. He does seem none the worse for the experience but I think we will be giving Coco a wide berth in future!

As I picked Rodders up to pop him in the car Sam and her one to one were stood at the back of it and we got used as part of their training, making sure that the lab didn't react to Rodders me or my car.

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