The first class AKA the yellow bandanna of shame!
Chloe’s first obedience class started this past Sunday, I had been looking forward to this class for the past month and made sure we where as prepared as we could be.
I had a bunch of treats hand cut and sitting in my little treat bag all ready to go, I had her leash and harness sitting on the front table and we had practised sit and lay down a few times the week prior to hopefully show any of the new puppies we meant business.
8:35am Sunday morning rolled around and I decided it would a good idea to perhaps arrive early so, I carried her into the car (Great Dane’s shouldn’t jump its bad for their bones) as gracefully as I could and we set off to the local dog park for the first round of obedience classes.
On arrival, I learnt two new things rather quickly…
Chloe may look lean but she is all muscle and boy can that muscle pull you on the lead.
Bless her little heart all she wants to do is make friends and cuddle but a giant black dog happily bounding her way to “greet” children and their tiny groodle puppy can be extremely intimidating.
Thankfully I had a good handle on her lead and was able to keep our distance from any small children and puppies that might get scared. Unfortunately, this meant that poor Chloe had to be given a dun dun dunnnnn……………….
This simply means that she a large puppy and clearly over excited so may need to be approached by other dogs and children with caution. I am pretty sure Chloe had no real issue with the bandanna herself but I was a little shocked as she is such a gentle giant and there were plenty of other dogs acting out in the new environment that didn’t receive one.
Class started and we were put in a group of mainly small to medium sized dogs and puppies. To begin with, Chloe was very interested in all the smells and noises happening around her, all she wanted to do was investigate all these new experiences but after realising we were not here to play she soon sat up and paid attention.
Class went for 45 minutes and to begin with we practised focusing when called, which we weren’t the best at but thankfully I had a pocket full of treats. Sitting down which we totally nailed and laying down which Chloe was so good as I had to give her extra treats just to sit back up and try again.
Anytime the trainer was talking or watching the others practice Chloe calmly and quietly laid down and either watched what was happening or rolled onto her side and started closing her eyes for a nap. At one point when the trainer was doing a fair amount of talking about the different style of training, I am fairly certain she fell asleep and let out a few mini snores.
Finally, we went for a short walk just to show the trainer how each team copes on the lead. Walking is a big issue for us, as I am not even 5 foot and Chloe is already taller than my waist it is imperative that I can control her when we walk however whenever I have practised in the past Chloe will walk side to side, then in front of me, she might stop mid-walk or just get caught up in my legs and we don’t seem to get anywhere.
The walking started off in its usual messy way with neither of us knowing what we were doing but then the trainer gave me a few tricks to help her walk constantly at my side. I held a few treats in my hand next to her mouth and as she licked my hand I praised her and we kept walking, the minute she started drifting off or trying to pull out in another direction I stopped and she would return.
The lesson then wrapped up and it was time to walk back to the car, Chloe walked by my side the whole time. I honestly couldn’t wrap my head around how fantastic she was once she had been shown the correct way to do something. We have a 5-minute homework assignment to just continue the sit, drop and walking each day but I am hoping that Chloe won’t mind if we push this out to maybe 10 or 15 minutes each day. I am hoping to eventually work towards not needing the yellow bandanna so a few extra minutes of training each day should help her progress quicker.
Takeaway’s from this weeks lesson:
- Chloe is extremely smart and just needs to be shown a few times to really pick up what you are asking her to do.
- She may be easily excitable but settles down easily.
- If given the opportunity, she will try to nap.
- Chloe has a heart of gold (I knew this already).
- We may need to buy a special car ramp, loading her in and out of the car is pretty hard.
- Taking photos whilst at dog class is almost impossible.
Check back in later in the week to find out how Chloe’s weeknight homework training is going and don’t forget to pop past next week for The Chloe Chronicles #2.
Are you doing dog obedience or have you ever with your dogs? What is your one piece of advice on training dogs?