Training class was uneventful this week. Our dogs aren't progressing as much as we'd like, but it's because we haven't prioritized practicing training during the week at home. We realized we need to remedy this, so we've been setting aside time each day to work the dogs during our walks. Heeling is one of our bigger obstacles, but we faced a new challenge this week which may have been the hardest yet. A "stand" command. Thatcher and Boden do not understand the concept of standing still. They are the lazy dogs in our class; they flop down onto the floor every opportunity they get between exercises. Which is why we cannot get "stand" to click in their minds. The trainer instructed everyone to physically hold their dogs in a standing position for a few seconds, until they start to understand what we're asking them to do. Of course, nobody in the class has dogs even close to Thatcher and Bodens' size, so it's a lot easier said then done. When I placed my hands underneath Boden's stomach and chest to keep him from sitting/laying, he turned himself into dead weight and we both crashed onto the ground. The trainer came over to assist, and the whole time Boden just flailed his head around, confused as to why he was stuck. Thatcher wasn't as big of a drama queen with J., but he doesn't really get it either. It's really funny, because they will sit or lay in place all day long. But standing is just way too complicated.
Many people have asked how I get the Newfies to hold still for photos. I don't. Once they realize I'm holding my camera, they'll pretty much stay in whatever position I put them in. In fact, I'm afraid I may have turned them into narcissists. Not only do Thatcher and Boden pose perfectly when I'm snapping photos, but they get excited when they even see my camera these days - even if I'm just taking it out to clean the lens or change the memory card. What have I created? It can be hard to get candid photos of them playing, because if they notice the camera, they'll come lay or stand directly in front of me. Case in point the photos below. All I did was sit down at the kitchen table to clean out my camera bag, but since they posed themselves, I couldn't turn the opportunity down. Maybe my camera is the magic solution - I'll have to start whipping it out to practice "stand".