Last week we skipped our training class because B had a class at the same time and we like to be at the training class together. So, today we resumed our training sessions and attended our 4th class (out of 6 total).
We were pretty excited about being back in class because we bumped into the intermediate/advanced class which meant that we got to be in a training class with other dogs. I feel like a parent whose kid got on the honor roll! Go Athena!
Even though we got the advancement...it doesn't mean that Athena was at the top of class! There were two other dogs in the class: a 6 month old Australian Shepherd and a 7 month old Boxer-- both are very high energy dogs, but both were pretty rockin' when it came to the day's lesson.
Since we are still wary of Athena's 'dog aggressive' label given by her previous owners (who only had her for 2 weeks), our trainer knew that we wanted to take the dog introductions slowly. Athena got to meet the two other dogs while on leash. The Australian Shepherd owner didn't seem very comfortable with Athena meeting her dog and even said, "we don't need any more vet bills!" I guess I would be cautious too if I heard that another dog is possibly dog aggressive.
But, after some quick introductions we got right to training. Here's what we worked on in class:
So apparently everything Athena knows goes out the door when two other dogs join her in class. At least the trainer told us that her behavior was normal for a dog's first time in class with other dogs. We totally looked like the owners who don't do their homework and don't practice any commands with their dog at home. Athena really didn't want to listen to anything we said (even with totally tasty treats dangling in front of her face) and she acted like she had never heard the word 'down' in her life. I will just say that the experience was challenging. And if I thought that it was challenging, I can't even imagine how Athena felt. Not to worry though, when we got home I gave Athena lots of loves to let her know that I love her even though she has doggy ADHD.
Anyways...the hour of class consisted of us practicing down/stays in the training room while the trainer distracted our dogs and got them to move around the room while other dogs stayed. Next, we moved out into the store and were presented with some major distractions while we practiced down/stay. Athena really refused to be in a down position...so we just practiced sit/stay most of the time.
Week 4 Homework:
- Practice 'leave it'-- this once mastered command doesn't work so well when distractions are present
- Practice 'down'-- diva dog doesn't like to down in the presence of other dogs
- Implement doggy boot camp-- ok, this is self-assigned homework, but Athena better be ready for some major practicing in highly distractible situations this week because her parents are teachers and therefore like to be at the top of the class!
Overall, week 4 class was bleh. Could have been better, could have been worse. But, I'm proud of my little girl for being so stealer in her first month of being with us!!