Yesterday was our final week of advanced obedience. I can’t believe it’s been six weeks since we started! The time flew by. Between the dog’s new classes, our continuing to train him at home, and his increased number of walks and outings (the latter is thanks to our having quit smoking), I feel like my dog’s quality of life has improved so much! It makes me happy in a way I don’t know how to explain. :)
Advanced obedience has definitely improved our dog’s responsiveness to the commands that he already knew but didn’t necessarily always obey. In addition, our dog seems more attentive to us (seriously, he looks up at us more on walks now!) and responds to us more quickly than he did before. All this should be a great help with his agility training.
Last week, we worked on teaching the dog that “sit” means “sit wherever you are and no matter where I am!” For example, we ran with the dog and then suddenly asked him to sit. We also practiced asking him to sit in a range of situations, such as while walking away and with our back to the dog. We also worked on having the dog sit and stay while we threw toys and treats around him and practiced staying even when someone came running at him. I know I sound like a mom bragging about my kid… but he totally nailed it! :)
In our final class, we worked on giving more commands from a distance, with our back turned to the dog, while looking away from the dog, etc. Our dog responded really well overall, but his attention span wavered a couple of times. I also am growing increasingly ambitious about the distance that I want him to respond from, so we will keep practicing these exercises at home.
We also did some more work on “leave it” and “come” by walking around with the dog on a thirty-foot leash, tossing treats and toys for him, and then calling the dog away from the distraction. Our dog is really obedient about ignoring such items at our command. Getting him to stop sniffing the ground itself, however, is a bit of a challenge (especially when walking over areas covered in leaves and/or grass).
The highlight of the class was definitely showing our trainer how, in the weeks since coming to class, we have taught our dog to “leave it” when we place a treat on his nose. Our dog not only responded to our commands, but also surprised us by tossing the treat in the air and catching it (after being told he could eat it). He’s such a little show-off. :)
Our dog has come to love his training sessions so much. He definitely knows when it’s time for class. Last week, we almost missed class, but the dog plunked in front of me and stared me down around the time we were supposed to leave! I wondered why he was staring at me, then realized the time, my boyfriend and I grabbed his gear, and we made it to class in the nick of time.
Thankfully, our awesome trainer said that we can repeat any of the lessons that we want to for free. I think we’re going to end up re-taking every lesson, ‘cause my dog is seriously attached to her class!
Now to sign up for agility lessons too!! :) 3 years ago