Thursday, August 03, 2006

By George, I Think She's Got It!

Banana Dog had her 3rd class yesterday. She was awful. And I love her, so if I thought she wasn't getting it, I can't imagine what the other folks thought.

All she wanted to do was to play with the other dogs, and sniff the bushes, and rush out of the training area. She did NOT want to practice walking, heeling, coming, or sitting. And definitely not staying. She's scattered in class on a good day, but I could see her completely give up and check out half way through. She was so frustrated with 12 dogs within bouncing range, and not being allowed to bowl over any of them. She strained at the leash and whined for 20 minutes straight.

So I spoke to the trainer after class, and asked him how strict I needed to be with her during lessons. I mean, I need her to learn this stuff, but if she's not having any fun at all, then maybe she's just too young. Or she'd be better if we trained her one on one, away from all these distractions. Not that I can afford private classes for her, but the point is to train her and us. And if she's not paying any attention, then what good are we doing?

He assured me that she may never seem to be settling down in class. But she won't be walking around and around in circles with a dozen strange dogs in the real world. As long as she's getting better outside of class, just be patient and don't worry about her behaving as well as the older dogs. After all, she is the 2nd youngest. Most of the other dogs are 3-7.

Class is more to train us than her.

Ouch! Hopefully, I'm getting it better than she is.

And then, when all hope had faded and I had resigned myself to failure, today she obeyed "sit" a full 80% of the time! Off leash! Without snacks! I know that's not a great record, obedience wise. Still, for her that's "My Fair Lady" breakthrough territory.

But if she breaks into a chorus of "I Could Have Bounced All Night" in Marni Nixon's voice, I'm gonna be really scared.


At 12:46 PM, August 04, 2006, Blogger bwb said...

Congrats on the snack and leash free successful sit command. I have faced similar challenges with my canine companion Little Dog. She is, shall we say, very easily distracted. But I love her so.

At 1:58 PM, August 04, 2006, Blogger panda said...

Can't help loving them. My little dog, the Shi Tzu, is always trying to obey the commands I'm giving the puppy. I can just see her out of the corner of my eye, sitting there, at attention, shaking wildly. "Hey! I'M sitting! Over here! Look how good I'M being! Hey! Over HERE!"

Of course, pre-puppy, the sit commands were completely ignored by her too. Sometimes, competition can be good!

BTW, love your blog!


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