Last night, I went to Morris K9 Campus to attend the Levels Program Orientation. It was just me, Danny wasn’t allowed to come to this.
The Levels Program is basically a set of flexible training classes. There are six levels, and you can pass through each level at your own pace (with the advisement of a trainer) because you pay by-month package, not per-class. Each level usually is offered three times a week, on different days at a variety of times, and you can attend however many of them as you’d like. Different lessons are taught and skills built in each level, and Dannyboy and I are psyched because we know that at the end of Level 6, he will be even better behaved, pass the AKC Good Citizen Test, and be much more prepared for the Creature Comfort Pet Therapy Test. But before we can begin attending classes, I must attend an Orientation.
What happened was I drove to the dog school, sat in a folding chair (like eight other people), and listened to Robin, the head dog trainer for the Levels Program. Watching the powerpoint, I learned a lot about how body language is important to both dogs and owners. I learned what to expect in this training program, and how to always watch my dog for signs of distress. It’s important to know that my dog is safe and comfortable.
I also learned that there are many kinds of collars and harnesses to aid in training. For now, Danny and I will use his six-foot red leash and regular buckle collar from the Salty Dog Cafe; however, when I bring him to our first class we’re allowed to try different harnesses for better control and comfort.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend this morning’s class, can’t attend tomorrow night’s class, and won’t be able to be at Saturday morning’s class. But I’m banking on attending our first Level One class next Tuesday. Although Danny knows his name, knows how to sit and stay, he does not know how to behave in an obedience class, which is the real point of us going through levels. He knows the skills, just needs to be more reliable in every situation so that he is best prepared for the Creature Comfort Test as well as actual Pet Therapy visits.
Super psyched to start this journey!