Thursday, March 24, 2011

Obedience Class Week 3

Tonight was our last night of this obedience class session. Kind of a bummer. Kind of cool. My son, Zach, came with us and was a sweetheart videoing us a bit. As always, Laurie kept the class moving. We never stop participating which is nice. She also works with students a bit extra on what they have had no experience with.

When we first got there, though, I was starting to just practice heeling Leo next to the gates so he continues to work on being comfortable with them. Then I was going to work on stays and she asked us to come into the ring where she was working with another student, presumably in a private lesson. Her dog is having some trouble with stays, particularly stays with distractions. They asked me to heel Leo around in the ring, in front of the dog, etc. It worked out well to do that with Leo, combining my need to work him on attention to heeling and also halts, etc. Zach even got to play the part of a distraction.

Here are the things I'm proud of Leo for:

  • He's starting to take the dumbbell and hold, even for the briefest of seconds.
  • He offers attention often.
  • He's responsive.
  • He was excited to show up at class tonight - he knew where we were and was thrilled to walk in the door.
  • He understands recall and even that he's supposed to sit in "front." 
  • He's responding to hand signals for finish and "around." 
Areas we still need to work on:
  • Attention to heeling.
  • Long (and short) sits - he tends to slide into a down.
  • Working in close proximity - I'd still like to bring his heel in closer to me.
  • Dumbbell - a solid take, hold, give. 
  • Retrieve
  • Send over a jump and recall - promptness and not continuing to look for food.
  • Not paying attention to the person standing there in the figure-eight. 
We've just begun but it's so wonderful to have a plan and start to have a clue! I have such a willing partner I have no doubt as I learn he will continue to exceed expectations. It's exciting!

Our instructor has also made some changes to the classes she's teaching for the club. Instead of an afternoon class and an evening class, she's going to hold two evening classes. One will be for Novice/Open and the second for Novice. We'll be continuing in Novice this session. Since the classes are somewhat indefinite as far as I know, I'm excited to see what the upcoming months bring and hoping that when Leo can move up to the Novice/Open class, Vegas can move into the Novice class. We'll see. At the very least, I'll start renting some time at 102 to work the dogs in a ring.

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