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Sun May 19, 2013 8:43 amForum Host
So Jar started his new "life skills" class yesterday afternoon - this is the place where he took the Feisty class, and where he went to Doggy Daycare (which was mostly Doggy Solitary, unfortunately) while we had the contractors here last fall.
Anyway, this place offers a TON of classes - I did not realize they had a Feisty Agility class. Guess what he's going to sign up for in the fall, if I have my way. . .
Anyway, it's kind of a fluid sort of class - all the other dogs had been there longer, so they'd already started working on stuff, and it was a matter of "start where you left off" - though to be honest, I think Jar's had more actual classes, so he pretty much understands the concept of "free treat hour."
You mean all I have to do is sit on that mat right there, and I'll get a treat? Count me in!
So, we worked on:
The Name Game - practice saying his name, in a variety of ways and voices, and as soon as he looks, click & treat.
Go to Mat - we started with whenever he looks at or touches or any any way acknowledges the existence of a particular little rug, click& treat. Then, we associate the word "mat" with the rug, then he has to actually be ON the MAT. We do already have a "go to bed" that only uses (wait for it) his bed, but it'll be good to expand the idea to a mat, the "mat" being whatever the heck I say it is.
Touch training - touch my hand, get a treat. Repeat. That'll be expanded in future classes, I suspect.
Doorbell training - Ring the doorbell (or knock on the door) (or whatever) and we all RUN to the MAT and get EIGHT MILLION treats! YAY!
Sit to Greet - the dogs were hitched up to the wall, and people started randomly wandering around the room, approaching the dog, and the dog was to SIT (or, I guess, lie down) when a person approaches. And since all or most of the people were randomly walking around, they had to figure that out for themselves. CLEARLY there were dogs who had figured that out - they're sitting there, with their little tails wagging, waiting for the treats to rain from the sky. . .
And the really cool thing is that, after class, for about 15 minutes, they do supervised playtime (though they skip that on the first week, the assumption being that the dog may be a little wound up his first time, and likely to get over-stimulated if he's just cut loose to frolic with the other dogs). Next week, though, we'll definitely consider trying that!
So all in all, I think it's going to be a good class. I hope so - I signed him up for 3 months of it. . .
Sun May 19, 2013 9:41 amForum Host
It sounds like a great class and I do like the 15 minutes 'fun' time. That will just keep those positive impressions coming for him.
The 'on your mat' was a drill we had when we first got Dawson and I hauled Maddie along to spy on Don. We just used a folded towel so wherever that folded towel is IS his mat. No we just say 'on your bed' because his bed is in the living room pretty much where I'd want him to go. He is pretty good at it. Madison however treated the mat like a toxic waste dump and wasn't wanting anything to do with it. They are both good with greeting guests except.... Maddie has three favorite humans that no amount of 'on your mat' (or anything else for that matter) works for. My nephew, my brother and one gf get Maddie so darned happy to see them that the reward is too great. Of course none of these three would cooperate with training 'on your mat' because they love her and like the show.
I'm glad you are back in class and I can get my Sunday morning refreshers again
Sun May 19, 2013 1:06 pmForum Host
Sounds great and I agree with K9..... looking forward to your updates.... you write SO well, I feel as though I am with you!
anne in apex
Sun May 19, 2013 8:24 pmFood.com Groupie
Jar is going to have a full resume when he gets all of these classes under his belt. And it sounds like they need 30 minutes of play time, to wear off all of those treats!!
Mon May 20, 2013 2:35 pmForum Host
Thanks, Sara. All the fun without all the dog hair, huh?
My goal here it to ultimately be able to take the beast out in public without my needing to be so hyper-vigilant. . . he's such a good dog, and he works so hard - for me. But as soon as we see another dog, or a cat, or whatever is on his "kill it" list this week everything gets so iffy. But he is getting better, so there's that. And I know that MY tension doesn't help. I think this class will be good for him, and really, the supervised contact with other dogs IS the reason I'm still doing this.
And don't forget, we're weaning him off the Prozac, so there's that, too. I'm EXTRA pleased about how it went Saturday when I remember that!
Heck, by the time I can take him out, he'll be better educated than I am!
Oh, and I think I lucked out on the time for this class - it's at 3:30, which is just a couple of hours before his dinner time, so he's hungry enough to be interested in treats, AND if he makes a pig out of himself (which he does) I cut his dinner back by about 1/2 cup.
Mon May 20, 2013 3:11 pmForum Host
Nah..... I just pretend the cat fur is dog hair and I get a much more realistic experience....
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