Feeling pretty confident, Dannyboy and I entered our second Level Three class. I’m not sure if we’re going to graduate from the levels program or simply pass far enough to be able to pass the pet therapy test. Either way, we attended class on 10/15.
Once again we did the sit stay with me going to the end of the leash. But when I tried to clap at the end of the leash as a test for him, he stood up. Danny and I have more practicing to do before his sit stay and down stay are perfect!
We also worked on the “now,” or “come” command. Like I said before, I like to use the word “now” for when he’s far away and “come” for when he’s on the other side of the house. Anyway, ready with our long leashes and lined up with about four other large dogs, Danny and I took a few steps backwards. Immediately he began to follow me, expecting me to turn around and practice having him walk on my left side, which is why he was surprised when I took a large treat out and threw it in the opposite direction that I was walking. He started heading toward it and I turned and jogged in the other direction (the one I was walking backwards to) and yelled “Danny now! Now Danny!” and he turned around and came bounding toward me, ears flopping in the wind and tail swishing behind him and all. I was told to reward him with lots of treats and praising and petting for about 20 seconds, which I did.
I’m pretty proud of our progress with this command. The other day I was on the deck and he was in the yard and I was trying to get him to come to me on the deck and I shouted “DANNY NOW!” and he sprinted across the patio, up the deck stairs, and into my arms like a good doggie. 😀
Lastly, at class we practiced “Leave it” for when there’s an object, food, or person which we don’t want our dogs near. Robin the trainer was impressed when I had Dannyboy lay down while I placed a treat a foot from him, told him to leave it, and he stared at me, leaving it alone! (Jokes on her, I taught Danny to “leave it” 1.5 years ago) Even strolling passed the food item on the floor, Danny still left it alone when I asked him to “leave it.”
Robin ended class with a reminder to practice touching our dogs’ paws, ears, muzzles, and anywhere else a vet may touch so as to properly condition them for awkward petting. She also said that Danny especially should practice sitting for attention from strangers AND family members and wait to be petted. Being in the class because I’m interested in pet therapy, I found these reminders very helpful! That’s all for now, no class on Saturday because it’s Sunday instead, at a public dog-and-people festival for Morris K9 Campus (which I cannot attend because I have to work :/) I’ll be at class on Tuesday night though! Until then, Danny and I will be doing a few practice sessions at home (hopefully)!
Thanks for reading!