The second set of CCI’s puppy-training classes is known as Basic. For us, the session began when Steve and I were traveling, and Kyndall was staying at Cabernet’s home. The second class of the session was last night, however, and we attended — along with every other puppy-raiser in the Western Hemisphere. Or so it felt. I counted a total of 16 dogs, more than I’ve ever seen in any class in San Diego. It was pretty overwhelming.
The bad thing about being in that large a group is that it takes so long to cover any given command. But Bob, our instructor, compensated in a couple of ways. He began by having us all go out and line up in the parking lot. Then he instructed us to walk the dogs, one by one, in a “serpentine” pattern, with each dog threading its way among all the others in the line.
Considering that all the “Basic” dogs are in the 5 to 12-month-old range, I though they were remarkably well-controlled as their classmates paraded by them, close enough to tackle (were they not all in their dressed and working mode).
It was chilly outside, so we soon went back in, with the puppies practicing “Wait” at the doorway. Then Bob had two dogs at a time work on a series of Basic commands like “Roll” and “Under.” Kyndall seemed a bit sleepy to Steve and me, but she did well. Everyone did. Again I was impressed.
By far the most entertaining part of the evening came at the end, when Bob had everyone put their dog in a Down Stay. Then he broke out a little quad copter and directed it to hover near one area after another. This woke everyone up. Ears lifted. Noses pointed. It was enough to send a roomful of normal puppies into a barking, jumping frenzy. But even though Bob had the device zoom up and jump about, Kyndall’s classmates stayed in position, beautifully obedient.
As for Kyndall, she did well at first when Bob zoomed the copter over and taunted her with it.
But then it came a bit too close, and she jumped to her feet. Happily, it was time to adjourn for the evening. There’ll be plenty of other opportunities to practice being good in at the Basics.