Friday, September 14, 2012

Basic Obedience: Week 6

Last week Athena had a rockin' time in her week 5 basic obedience class.  Yesterday we headed to our final class of our 6 week session only to find out that we get to attend a bonus class next week!  So, Athena's basic obedience training has turned into a 7 week class-- how exciting!
Pleeeeeeeaaaase let me play with my doggy friends today!
Athena hasn't been feeling 100% the past couple of days and we suspect that she had an allergic reaction to some new treats that she had.  We have an appointment at the vet today, so we will update you next week on her recovery.

We told our trainer that Athena was having some tummy trouble and that we would like to have a low-key session without any dog-dog play interaction.  So, even though Athena whined and whined that she couldn't play with her doggy friends, the training session was overall successful.  Athena seems to be getting better at responding to basic commands when faced with the distraction of other dogs around her.

Week 6:

Yesterday's class was pretty much the same as last week because we worked on the same commands in a similar setting.  However, we love getting to practice all of Athena's commands in the presence of other dogs because dogs=Athena's major weakness.  She just wants to play with everyone so badly that  her dog ADHD comes out in full force and we have a hard time getting her to focus on us.  Since joining the group training class though we have seen an improvement in her ability to stay focused with other dogs around.

When class was over, the other dogs got to play with each other, but we kept Athena out of the mix because of her tummy issues.  She was a bit sad about this in the beginning, but totally got over it when the trainer offered her a noise making toy.  However, another dog came over to Athena and snatched her toy away from her and Athena really didn't like that.  She's usually a pretty quite dog, but this situation plus her already irritable attitude turned her into Little Miss Barky (she pretty much only does her "yelp bark" when she is REALLY frustrated that she can't play with another dog).  She was pretty upset that this dog had taken her beloved toy!  Athena continued her sad yelp bark for a few seconds until we decided that all of the dog fun was just too frustrating for Athena, so we left class and let the other dogs play.  Hopefully next week Athena will be back to her normal self and can join in on all of the fun for her last class!

Week 6 Homework:
  • Practice down/sit/down/sit
  • Practice sequences of commands (example: heel, down, stay, sit and then treat)
  • Self-Assigned Homework: Teach Athena a new trick!  Maybe twirl??
Any thoughts on a new cool trick to teach Athena at this stage in her training?  As much as we enjoy building her confidence with the commands that she already knows, we hope to continue adding new commands regularly to the list of ones that she already knows.

Check out Athena's progress in basic obedience herehere, and here.


  1. Sorry she had an upset tummy, no fun! I don't know what tricks she already knows, so I'm not sure. Twirl is always a crowd pleaser though: )

    1. I think we are leaning towards teaching her twirl =) She pretty much just knows basic commands (sit, down, stay, come, wait, heel, leave it, watch me, lay down, crate, bring it, off, back...etc.) We want to teach her a fun performing trick =)

  2. Kaya does turn & spin & stretch which is her favorite. She'll also place on different objects & then spin on them. She looks like a circus dog when she does, it's hilarious. Both of my dogs are huge fans of shake or "hi five" and so I'm working on teaching them to wave when I say "hi" since they just start doing it when I get the treats out anyways! I started to teach Kaya to shut the door, but didn't follow through. I tried kiss the cat, but it usually ends up just being shove the cat with your nose, haha.

    1. Wow, those are impressive tricks! Someday maybe Athena will learn to shake and wave...we've tried shake but she really doesn't get it! I think I need to find a video or something that shows how to teach it...

    2. Norman didn't get shake for months and then one day he just nailed it and never looked back. Now he offers his paw even if I say a different command, haha. I started just by lifting his paw myself while saying the command and then give a treat and lots of praise. Eventually they start to do it on their own and in the beginning you can even reward them for just shifting their weight or slightly bending their knee.

      Ironically, I taught my cat sit and shake in one sitting.

  3. I think teaching "wait for it" is an easy follow-up to a down-stay. Bonus: my friends and family are super impressed when we place treats on Turk's paws and make him "wait" for 15-30 seconds until we release him to eat it. Also, it works for keep your dog from going crazy if someone comes over. We make Turk "wait for it" on his bed and then release him to say hello after everyone has calmed down. :)

    Twirl would be awesome too though! ;)

    1. Good idea =) I've always hoped that Athena would be able to wait for treats sitting on her paws! We will give it a try!