Friday, February 22, 2013

Training: Week 2

Boden waiting with mom for class to start.
Training was much less stressful than last week, mainly because we knew what to expect and how the dogs would react to the environment. The trainers require that we use leather leashes and some form of a training collar. Most of the people in our class use prong collars, but we decided to go with martingale collars - nylon collars that slip over the head, with a loop of chain that can tighten when the dog pulls. We had these on the dogs last week, but did not have them fitted tightly at all, so the effect was useless. This time, I was prepared. I fitted the collar properly on both dogs, and prepared to correct Boden each time he pulled. So despite my hands being a little raw from leash-burn, the night went smoothly. We worked on healing on-leash, sit-stays and down-stays. Thatcher breezed through most of it with J., but Boden did surprisingly well too. 

When the trainer asked for a doggy volunteer to demonstrate sitting and staying, I immediately raised my hand. We have not worked on stay at all with Boden yet, so I was interested to see how he would do. The trainer's first reaction was slightly unsure, "Ok... I see one of the Newfies volunteered. He's not going to drag me around the room, is he?" Of course, I couldn't guarantee that. She proceeded to take the leash from me and show the class how to teach a dog to sit and stay on command. She had Boden sit by her left side, then commanded him to stay as she took a few steps to the right, out it front of him, then back to the starting position. I watched proudly as he performed nearly perfectly. The last part of class flew by as we practiced what we learned. Towards the end, Boden was mentally drained and just kind of stared around the room in a daze. At home, like last time, they passed out the minute we stepped into the house. Another week down.

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