Sunday, February 1, 2009

My my, how she's grown.

She may have been forty pounds the entire time I had her. She may not have required certain types of diligence associated with having a months-old puppy. But she's blossomed nonetheless.. and grown from a dog who shut down and ran away at the sight of danger, to one who could successfully complete an Obedience class filled with sights, sounds and smells she's never seen before.

Marge did well tonight. She had temporary lapses in memory regarding sitting (!?!?!) and stand-stays, but at the end of the night all was well. In the little contest we had she was intially tied for first place with another dog (one who I truly DID see grow from a tiny puppy into a beautiful young adult, since I knew him at the shelter before his owners even did), but was beaten when given the command to back-up. She did it, but he did it better.. and that's okay. Just something else I need to work on.

For her prize, she won a large Milkbone coated in that candy-like stuff that freaks me out since it looks like toxic human food. But I guess I'll have to suck it up and give her her reward for a class well performed.

I am so happy I made the decision to enroll her in these classes. We have learned so much and built upon the things we already knew..

  • sitting, downing, standing, and their respective stays
  • recalls with mild/moderate distractions
  • loose leash walking and the beginnings of heeling
  • becoming more comfortable with people moving around/targeting strangers in exchange for a reward
  • increased attention
  • an assortment of parlor tricks -- paw, other paw, BANG!, roll over, take a bow, spin, among others that I'm probably forgetting at this time

It gave Marge something to look forward to every week. For the last few weeks she'd get excited when we'd pull up to the building. I NEED to continue this with her.. it has done her wonders.

Next class focuses on CGC-related topics. Some of it kind of scares me.. I mean, we have the majority of the CGC requirements down pat, but I don't know how far we'll get in 8 weeks in terms of accepting petting and standing for an exam. But I guess all we can do is try.


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