Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday Mischief: Puppy Training

Monday already?  Boy do those weekends fly by.  It must be due to all of the fun we're having.

Penny sure is having a grand time in her Puppy class.  She works - and plays - hard, then sleeps all the way home! 


This is the first time we've done any formal training with our dogs, so needless to say, the humans are being trained as well. I suppose we're lucky that Penny is not only a smarty pants, but she's very food motivated as well. My star pupil has mastered learned the basics - Sit, Stay, Down, Leave It and Wait.  And, little miss wiggle butt decided to teach herself to crawl (seemed to come naturally to her when she learned "down"), and has done a few roll-overs. She's also picked up giving paw from the Lapdogs, and was all proud of herself... until she went to class and tried giving paw while being asked to sit. Penny could not understand why the trainer was not impressed with her fancy new move.

Penny practicing "Wait"

We are now working on loose leash walking - or what I like to call, "Slow down... Mommy does not run." Since my strong little girl wants to explore a little faster than her humans would like, our instructor encouraged us to try an Easy Walk Harness. I hope to only have to use it for a little while, as we train, and then be able to go back to her step-in harness. After all, Penny rocks her Bret Michaels Pets Rock skull harness (and Mama did go buy both the Medium and Large sizes after she quickly outgrew the small).


I guess most puppy parents are too busy for training in the summer, as we only have one other pup in our class.  Her name is Patches and she's a beautiful Brown Lab / Aussie mix.  The two girls play amazingly well together and take turns pouncing on one another... and neither seem to mind they don't have to share the trainer's attention with other pups.

Here are a couple of action shots of the girls playing three weeks ago...



And a couple from last week...

2015-07-14_05-42-05 2015-07-14_05-43-01

I really should get a photo of the two together while not in full-blown blurry play mode.

Since we're taking our class at Petco, it provides a great opportunity to do some completely unnecessary shopping as well.  It's like going to knit night at a yarn shop... of course you're going to need something while you're there, right?   I promise we don't shop every week, but I did reward Penny for doing well in class a couple weeks ago with this Mighty Ball.  It's durable, but has a soft fleece-like layer on the outside.  And, it squeaks. She absolutely loves it.  Doesn't she look so proud on the ride home?  Not only did she graduate to riding in the back seat of the car, but she's got a new toy to boot!


While we're on the road to a well-behaved lady, we seem to be helping the other Lapdogs spruce up on their not-so-formal skills.  Just as Penny has been learning "paw" from them, they have been catching on to a few commands as well.

This is what happens when you say "Penny. Come."


Penny almost always (it's a work in progress) comes running from wherever she is in the house, and right behind, or sometimes ahead of, her is Teutul who promptly sits and waits for his reward.  My old boy sure catches on quick when food is involved...

Sophie, on the other hand, could care less about wasting her time with these silly words.  Sure, she knows how to sit, but it doesn't mean she will when you ask her to.  And of course she knows her name and what "come" means, but that doesn't mean she "hears" you when you call.  It's all about the Princess' own terms.  Her favorite thing to do is give paw, but it usually comes as more of a whack with a side of "look at me!"  


"Hey wittle sista, dis is how ya doooz it!" - Princess Sophie


I am confident we will be continuing on to a basic obedience class once Puppy-K is over with, however I'm thinking about going to a different facility.  It's not that we don't love our trainer at Petco, but we only ended up there because the class fit our crazy busy summer schedule.  While researching training facilities, I found another that I liked and after talking to friends, found they come highly recommended.  Plus, their "basic obedience" class is longer than most because it's really a basic and advanced class all rolled into one, and the dogs complete their Canine Good Citizen test at the end.  Financially, this particular class makes much more sense than completing basic, advanced, and a Canine Good Citizen class elsewhere. 
Plus, if Penny turns out to have the same amazing personality that Lola did, I'm hoping to share that with others.  Perhaps in the form of visiting children and/or seniors in the hospital.  I think Lola would have loved to "work" in that manner, but we never pursued it.  Maybe Penny can do it in her honor.


Groovy Goldendoodles said...

Sounds like Penny is doing great. Isn't puppy class the greatest? Everyone meets new friends (canine and human) and then Penny sleeps for hours once it's over. Those were the best 6 weeks of my life LOL

Unknown said...

So glad puppy class is going well. I remember my instructor telling us that puppy class is more how to train the humans and to give them the confidence to train their dog. :)

Unknown said...

Penny sounds like she's doing great and picking up on the training so fast! I bet you're really proud of her! :)

Rascal and Rocco said...

So cute! She has class with her buddy. Best of luck with training. I like that title for the "slow down..." walk. lol! Happy Pet Parading

Portraits-by-NC said...

OMG your puppy is super cute! Training must be both a challenge and fun at the same time. I am visiting from the Blog Link Up and hope that you visit me too.

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