Thursday, August 16, 2012

Basic Obedience: Weeks 1-3

For the past three weeks, Athena has been enrolled in a basic obedience training class at our local Petco.   Prior to putting her in the class, we had planned on having her take a basic obedience class from the shelter that we adopted her from because they offer a discount for adopted dogs and we really liked their training facilities.  However, the class at the shelter wasn't starting until the end of August and we felt that we needed to get Athena into a training routine as soon as possible.

At first we were a bit hesitant to put her in a class at Petco or Petsmart because the group training sessions often happen in a small area located in the middle of the store.  Our local Petco is not the fanciest, but actually has a HUGE training room that is the largest in the Northwest unlike most of these big box stores.
I get to run all around this gigantic room!!

Aside from the perk of having such a large training space, we receive individual training for the cost of group sessions ($90 for six weeks-- we used a $20 off coupon to get this deal).  We didn't plan to be the only ones in the class, but nobody else signed up!  So, we get all of the attention and the class is geared towards Athena's specific needs.  The trainer is great and has worked as a dog trainer at many locations in the past.

Here is what we have been learning so far in our first three weeks of training:

Week 1:

  • Sit
  • Attention Game
  • Leave It
  • Come
Week 2:
Week 3:
  • Long distance down/stay
  • Heel with distractions
  • Stay with distractions
I do a pretty good sit/stay!  Just wait till' you see my down/stay!

B and I do multiple training sessions with Athena each day.  We also reinforce commands and desired behaviors throughout the day outside of these 15 minute sessions.  Athena has learned so much in the past three weeks.  When we first got her from the shelter the only command that she knew was a selective sit.  Now she knows so much more (sit, down, stay, come, wait, watch, leave it, off, heel, bring it) and we are working to build her confidence with these commands when distractions are present.

Because Athena has been progressing so quickly in her beginning class, we will be joining the intermediate/advanced class in two weeks.  This will give Athena the opportunity to experience training with a group of dogs and help her to be the best dog that she can be!!

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