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Dog or People Training

February 4, 2012

I think we are due for some more training class stories.  We have been going for three weeks now.  However, the last class was by far the most entertaining yet.  I wasn’t really in the mood for training.  My husband had to travel for work unexpectedly.  I had to call Grandma at school and see if she could come watch my croupy kids.  I was so glad I went.  I could barely keep a straight face.

There is a decent mix of people in our class.  We have only 2 small dogs and the rest are larger.  There are some that don’t follow commands and there are some that yip and bark the whole class.  There are others that are much better behaved then Abi, but we are not the worst behaved in the class any more.  We started the class with a little Q&A.  Abi’s biggest offenses are stealing food off the counter and jumping on company.  Sadly, our teacher told us that there is not much you can do about that.  If you leave fresh baked cookies out where your kids can reach them you can’t blame them if they eat them (if you haven’t told them not to that is).  It’s the same with dogs.  You can’t leave food out and expect them not to eat it.  It makes sense.  So it looks like I will just have to be better about that.  On a side note, our kitchen floors have been replaced with pergo and Abi can’t get any traction on them.  She rarely is even in the kitchen anymore.  The second problem we will have to work on.  The teacher told us that we have to train our guests to turn their backs to her and tell her off.  But it will be more about training our guests than training Abi.

Here’s were the entertaining portion of the class began.  We were all circled up to practice our walking on a lose leash.  There is a sweet 70 year old woman who has a small black dog named mischief.  Mischief was up to no good (no pun intended).  He kept jumping on his owner.  And she would tell him down.  The teacher stopped her and explained that we don’t tell them down.  We say off…off the couch, of the bed, or off me.  You don’t say down because we have taught them that down means lay down.  She was nice enough about that.  Maybe 30 seconds later I hear the women say “down” and the teacher said “off, we say off, remember?”  The lady didn’t acknowledge the teacher.  Sure enough only a few minutes later I heard the woman say “down” again.  The teacher said “off, we say off”.  The next time the woman said “down” and the teacher said “off, the word is off”.  And it continued like that back and forth a few more times.  Eventually the teacher got fed up and sent one of the assistance over to help the woman.   I had a hard time not laughing as we continued walking in circles.

We also worked on turning.  I’m not really sure why this is important for our home companion one class, but it was kind of fun.  Abi did well and I was a proud owner. The same woman couldn’t figure out the turns either.  The teacher kept telling her “mam, mam, your other left” and again I had a hard time controlling myself.  I think it was the deliriousness taking over from being home with sick kids for far too long. Eventually we moved on to our last exercise for the night.  We were learning how to stop to have our dog come sit in front of us.  Our teacher has a beautiful Rottweiler that she uses to show us what we should be doing.  Her dogs name is Sunny. Abi LOVES Sunny.  She wants to play wither her so badly.  She goes down on her front paws wither her rear in the air and tail going like crazy every time she is out. Our teacher has told us before that it doesn’t matter what you say to your dog, its all about the tone of voice.  She had Sunny sit in front of her and she proceeded to tell her in the sing song voice you use with children, “you are the ugliest dog I know.  I don’t love you one bit. Do I? Do I?”  Something about that almost undid me.  It was very funny. Maybe it was the sing song tone.  It’s almost always funny when grown adult talks to something or someone like that.

I hope this isn’t one of those you just had to be there kind of stories!  We have 5 more classes left and we have to work on our trick for graduation.  Sunny can shake with both hands, turn circle, and play dead.  Abi will probably just shake.  I will have to post a video of what we come up with.  I’m hoping I can teach her something better than just shacking. The teacher did give some great advice that I have been trying to keep in mind lately.  It’s so very easy to focus on the negatives.  But in training class, they want us to focus on the positive.  The more you reward good behavior the likelier you are to see the bad behaviors disappear.  Not a bad philosophy.  Try it next time you are having a bad day. See what positive you can focus on and the negatives may fade into the background.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Diane permalink
    February 4, 2012 9:20 am

    I thought your story was very cute, I laughed.

  2. crazycraftenmamma permalink
    February 5, 2012 1:28 am

    Thank you! It would be better if I could do the voices for you!

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