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  • Results 1 to 9 of 9
    1. #1
      Senior Dog
      Abulafia's Avatar
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      Graduated from Puppy Therapy Class!

      Tonight was Hoku's last Puppy-level therapy dog class—she's done w/ the three month training! We worked on several skills that are on the TDI test, and practiced proper door manners, greeting groups of people who may not know how to pet properly, finally (not on the test!) walking up to a buffet table, telling the dog to wait, leaving the leash slack, and filling a plate.

      The class as a whole—another two labs, two goldens, a French Pointer, two or three I didn't recognize (maybe "labradoodles?") and another purebred something or other—did really great: ten or eleven beautiful dogs sitting and working calmly for about two hours. But Hoku, the youngest in the class by a few months, was the only one not to need any correction (!).

      She won't take the test until she's a year old, but even as she was going through our exercises and we were coming up to center room (for the "crowded petting" drill), one of the trainers said "Oh, she's so sweet, she's just going to do this with no trouble."

      And she did.

      At the "buffet table" test, we walked her up (to a table filled with quiche and egg rolls), gave a simple "Hoku, *sit*" and "wait," and just turned our back to her and loaded a plate. One of her other trainers, observing, sort of squealed "I'm SO proud of her!"

      I am too. It was really amazing to see her next to all these other amazingly well behaved dogs. She can sure be a lovable goofball at home ("THE BOY'S DOWN GET HIM A STICK!"), but when her vest and prong collar go on, she is all business. *All* the dogs were great, but I admit to being very pleasantly surprised by how Hoku performed.

      She's on total voice command for sit *and* down (!) now.
      "Wait" is really strong—we practice by throwing food on the ground and saying "wait." She doesn't move. I've had to use it in earnest a few times, and she's frozen in place.
      "Stay" is a new one, but I she's had no trouble with it at all.
      Her recall is getting really strong. We do recall relays in the house, even moving to different rooms so she has to find us. She loves it.

      Next up: continued advance obedience classes, and our first therapy group visit (which she can do under the auspices of this trainer), to an assisted living facility. She clearly enjoys classes, so we'll just keep this up for some time. After the dogs get through all the obedience levels, they do more complicated physical and mental work.

      Here's the graduate! (And one of her from her first therapy pup class, three months ago!)

      -hoku-graduation-jpg-hoku-graduation-1-jpg
      Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -hoku-graduation-jpg  

    2. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Abulafia For This Useful Post:

      Annette47 (12-06-2015), JenC (12-06-2015), Maxx&Emma (12-06-2015), Meeps83 (12-06-2015), Tanya (12-07-2015)

    3. #2
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      Abulafia's Avatar
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      Ok, I have no idea why that one posted twice. Apologies!

    4. #3
      Senior Dog
      Abulafia's Avatar
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      Oh, also—I asked one of her trainers about the brush phobia, and she spent a few minutes with us. Many of the suggestions made here she also made, but more to the point she just brought out a brush, put some peanut butter on it, and let Hoku lick it. A few more tests, and she was brushing Hoku. Not a lot—but as she said, Hoku doesn't have to love the brush; just be Ok with it. But Hoku was indeed a *lot* better with it than I'd seen her for weeks.

      Next to a great breeder, a great trainer is a godsend.

    5. The Following User Says Thank You to Abulafia For This Useful Post:

      Maxx&Emma (12-06-2015)

    6. #4
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      Congrats to you and Hoku!! The buffet test, wow! That might just call for a mop up if Maxx had to do that, lol! Therapy work is so rewarding, for the dog and handler. I know my Maxx makes me so proud at how well he "reads" those we visit with. He knows when when he needs to cheer someone up and he really turns on the Labrador clown/charm and he can then visit with someone that just needs some love and his compassion brings tears to my eyes. He makes me so proud to be his mama, I am so very grateful and blessed to have this amazing boy in my life! I hope Hoku's career is as fulfilling for you.

      And I completely agree, a great trainer is worth their weight in gold!
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      Maxx and Emma Jean

      Ozzy - 10/2002 - 06/2011 - Rest well my sweet boy. You are forever remembered, forever missed, forever in my heart.

    7. The Following User Says Thank You to Maxx&Emma For This Useful Post:

      Abulafia (12-06-2015)

    8. #5
      Senior Dog
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      POPTOP's Avatar
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      Congratulations Team Hoku!

      So much going on and all of it great. Most important is the bonding and understanding of each other. She loves having to learn and pleasing you. This in turn is going to extend to benefiting others with nursing home visits, one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. Keep up the great work.
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      Kissing Bandit

    9. The Following User Says Thank You to POPTOP For This Useful Post:

      Abulafia (12-06-2015)

    10. #6
      Senior Dog
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      Good girl Hoku.

    11. The Following User Says Thank You to Snowshoe For This Useful Post:

      Abulafia (12-06-2015)

    12. #7
      Senior Dog
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      Congrats

      Way to go

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      Abulafia (12-06-2015)

    14. #8
      Senior Dog
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      Congrats Hoku!

    15. The Following User Says Thank You to Meeps83 For This Useful Post:

      Abulafia (12-06-2015)

    16. #9
      Senior Dog
      Labradorks's Avatar
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      I'm happy to see you laying a great foundation for her. It will pay off in spades throughout her life!

    17. The Following User Says Thank You to Labradorks For This Useful Post:

      Abulafia (12-06-2015)

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