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  • Results 1 to 3 of 3
    1. #1
      Senior Dog
      Abulafia's Avatar
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      New Obedience Class (and Hoku's particular personality)

      We started Hoku's new class today. It's a retake of the one she took in the fall, but this is to solidify some things, and they'll give her / me more difficult tasks.

      Other than the fact that I was welcomed with "stop being frontal with her," "we have to talk about her weight," "why are you using that leash?" and "stop doing that," we did well.

      The frontal comment has to do with her progressing in her therapy training—I have to be able to have her at my side or behind me and have her sit: no problem; the weight thing—she hadn't seen Hoku for two months, but we explained that we're on top of it; the leash—she wants me to use the leather therapy leash at all times: Ok, fine; I was just standing there when he said "stop doing that," but the point was for me to work on her "calm wait." All fine points, but these trainers pull no punches.

      As it was Hoku's second time around with this class—and she's been in school since 10 weeks of age—she as a bit ahead of the others (I wanted to assure the other owners that it's not that she's a genius—she's just been through a lot of training!). She did really wonderfully, and actually seeing her next to the others—about the same age, but without training—I was kind of impressed. She's a pretty darned well educated dog. Still learning, but for a 7 month Lab, she's pretty awesome. Her sits and downs are flawless, and we did a "wait" while we "met" another person (dog waits at side while other person, with other dog, stops to say hi and shake hands—the dogs are not to engage).

      Class included a "free play" break in the Big Field (the trainer is at a 5 acre farm about 45 minutes from where I live). There were three other Labs in the class—two black, one yellow. Also a German Shepherd, a German Shorthair Pointer, a French Bulldog—small, but dominant.


      The dogs raced and raced (esp the two Germans—man, they *flew*).


      Hoku played a bit, for sure. Especially w/ the other Labs. But she just kept coming up to the line of humans (we stand at the fence so the dogs can go full tilt), and walked back and forth, checking in. Avoided the (small) crowd, just kept checking in with the humans. Not in a frightened way. In a human-centered way. The other Labs (who were ADORABLE) kept bouncing around like the 6 - 7 month old pups that they were. Hoku's interest remained on the people.

      She did this with her very first puppy class, as well. During puppy play time, the other dogs would be racing around, and she would go and sit next to a person. Any person. Just sit by their side.

      She did this with these trainers last September (I think—her first class w/ them), and that was when one of them said "Hm. That's interesting." It was a couple weeks later that someone from the Therapy Dog training school was at the class, and came up to say "I think this is a good dog for therapy training. I think you should consider this."

      I didn't see what she saw back then, but now I do. Watching your dog socialize and play will tell you so much about them.
      Hidden Content Hokule'a ("Hoku") / b. 06.08.15

    2. #2
      Senior Dog
      Annette47's Avatar
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      Sounds like she’s doing great!

      I know what you mean about feeling the need to explain that they’re not genius, just that they’ve had a head start, LOL. The class we are in now is our first formal class, but we’ve been doing privates with the instructor since they were old enough.
      Annette

      Cookie (Jamrah’s Legally Blonde, BN) 6/4/2015
      Sassy (Jamrah’s Blonde Ambition, BN) 6/4/2015

      Chloe (HIT HC Windsong’s Femme Fatale, UDX2, OM4) 6/7/2009


      Remembering:
      Scully (Coventry's Truth Is Out There, UD, RN) 4/4/1996 - 6/30/2011
      Our foster Jolie (UCh Windsong’s Genuine Risk, CDX, WC) 5/26/1999 - 3/2/2014
      and Mulder (Coventry’s I Want to Believe, UD, VER, WC, RN) 5/26/1999 - 4/20/2015

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      Abulafia (01-16-2016)

    4. #3
      Senior Dog
      Abulafia's Avatar
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      Yeah, I sometimes feel bad, because other dog owners will see Hoku and say "Oh my god, she's so good," or "that's the kind of dog I want," and I'm all "yeah, she's good. But she's also been in a class nearly every week since shortly after we brought her home, and we train 15 to 20 minutes a day (at least)."

      Some of it is breeding and natural temperament. She is very biddable and human focused, and that makes her education easier. But a lot of it is that we started this early on, and have been consistent. It makes a huge difference. You can't get a well-educated dog off one 6 week puppy class.

      I just tried a set of "sits" and "downs" with her to my side, or even behind me, back fully turned, verbal only. She rocked it! I then threw a bunch of treats on the ground—she doesn't even need to be told "wait"—and turned my back. Not for too long, but this was the first time I'd tried it. Did beautifully. You could tell (when I turned back around) that she was really thinking "Ok, wait. This is something new..." but she didn't touch a bit until I released her.

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