Saturday, March 2, 2013

Training: Week 3

For training class this week, we switched dogs. I took Thatcher and J. got Boden. Now, neither of the dogs is perfectly behaved in public. But I figured Thatcher would be a little bit easier than Boden, since he already knows a many of the things we learn in class. And since he's older and more mature. The logic is there, right? Unfortunately, my raw, leash-burned left hand begs to differ. These are a few lessons I learned with Thatcher that night:
      1. He is strong. Really strong. I am no match.
      2. He has mastered selective hearing. And the art of tuning out my voice completely.
      3. He does not like being stuck with mom instead of dad.
Watching dad and Boden across the room
We worked on a few different things during class. First, we practiced heeling again. Despite my practice with Thatcher before class, he made it look like he had no idea what heeling meant. He forged in front of me every two steps, so I gave him a corrective tug every two steps, and my arms were already killing me 30 seconds into it. Second, we practiced heeling with an "about turn", which is basically doing a 180 shift in direction, while keeping the dog close at your left side. Thatcher fought against every turn, bracing his body every time he saw it coming. Later, we started on "come". One person would go at a time. The instructor held your dog's leash while you walked all the way across the room from them. You then call your dog to you as the instructor lets go of the leash, simple as that. I half expected Thatcher to run to J. and Boden when the instructor let go of his leash, but he booked it over to me as fast as he could. Finally, something he did perfectly. 

His next shining moment came when we started practicing sit-stays and down-stays. Thatcher has always been an expert at the stay command. I don't know why, but this is one area he excels and one area that we have practiced countless times since he was a puppy. So my arms finally got a rest while we worked on staying under distraction. All in all, the night went ok. I'm not going to lie, I prefer working with Boden. He at least pays attention to my voice, unlike Thatcher who just mournfully gazed across the room at J. the entire night. I'm not even exaggerating. Every time the instructor was talking or explaining something, Thatcher would lay in front of my diagonally, turning his body so that he was facing the direction J. was in across the room. Every once in a while, he would let out a sad yelp, trying to get J.'s attention. He's definitely a daddy's boy.

1 comment:

  1. He sounds just like my 2 teenagers with the selective hearing. You become Charlie Brown's teacher( blah blah blah)