Y'all, I've had a couple of dogs before, but never thought it was necessary to go through training. I blame that on a just being young and thinking every stupid thing my dog did was cute AND on not knowing the benefits that dog training brings to my world. We have friends who took their labs to school to learn basic obedience and after a little bit of talk, J & I decided it was necessary for our little guy to get his puppy education.
Frank isn't a bad dog, but he is stubborn. And we've learned that a lack of structure in Frank's life means all hell breaks loose in our household. Seriously. He peed on the bed when we moved into our new home, y'all. Not good.
So, we signed our house up for puppy school. I say puppy, but I don't really mean "puppy". The dogs in the class range from about 5 months old to 3 1/2 and it's considered "entry level obedience". Frank can sit and shake, but that's sorta it. This class teaches all of us how to be better behaved. I say, "all of us" because the training really is for us to learn how to handle our dog. I'm just as exhausted as he is at the end of our weekly sessions!
|On our way to class #1...|
Our first week was rather interesting. It's sort of a big cluster (you know the rest) the first 45 minutes or so. Picture this: a bunch of young, untrained and INCREDIBLY excited puppies in a room where, by teacher rules, they aren't allowed to interact with each other. I still have a bruise on my foot from the physical struggle of trying to hold my excited puppy back. I digress... My favorite part of Frank's first day of class was within the first 5 minutes or so. We sat by the door which, in hindsight, was a bad idea. That means that every new puppy that entered got Frank really, REALLY excited. Then enter our friend, Parker. Parker has a bit of an issue with barking at, well, everything which is why he was in the class. That made his entry into puppy school day #1 no different. Parker starts barking, Frank starts parking, they start jumping at each other and over comes teacher to spray them both in the face with "bitter apple". **this stuff is magic, non-toxic and DOES NOT harm our sweet pups** It does, however, shut them up and quickly. I just looked over at J and said, "Our baby just got made an example of within the first few minutes of class. This should be interesting..." And we both laughed.
By the way, that "thing" around Frank's snoot is NOT a muzzle. It's a Gentle Leader and is freaking magic, y'all! It helps us control and lead him where we want him to go without that horrible pulling that happens on a regular neck collar. He can use his mouth and all that comes with that with no problem....he wasn't a fan at first, but is getting used to it. We also don't leave it on him while he's unsupervised or for longer than a few hours at a time.
Things have gotten WAY better since that first night when I got home and passed out from exhaustion! We learn something new and valuable every week while continuing our training from previous lessons. Frank seems to be a bit more attache to me since I've become "head honcho" which has been kinda fun!
We're on class 6 of 7 at this point and have learned a LOT! It's actually been fun for our little family to travel (an hour away in traffic) to our puppy school where we get to see all of our furry friends: Romeo, Sparky, Luke, Parker, Nala, Boots & Biscuit, Snickers, Sadie and Brady. It's been so fun to see their progression and to get to see their sweet faces at class!
Enjoy the pictures from last week's class where we learned "downstays". I have to say, it was my most favorite class to date. We all have gotten to know each other (& our pups) pretty well and we've really gotten to know their little personalities!
|Downstay practice, night #1|