One of my favorite commands is “Back.” Until we started raising CCI puppies, I’d never seen any dog comply with that order. The idea is simple. When you tell your dog “Back!” he or she is supposed to walk backwards, which turns out to be something dogs can do about was easily as humans. This is often useful in tight quarters. Besides, I think it looks cool.
To train it, we’ve learned that the trick is to use the proper accessories, namely anything that can create a narrow channel into which the puppy can be guided. Steve and Kyndall were in a parking lot the other day that was excellent for Back instruction. I’ve worked on the command a few times in the entryway of our house, where I can pull an old wooden chest away from the wall, as we did here:
Kyndall is clearly beginning to catch on, though she’s not exactly rock-solid yet. Still, I’m confident she’ll master it. (All of our CCI pups eventually have.)
With Kyndall, Steve also has been continuing the almost daily habit he began with Dionne — taking a break around 4:30 in the afternoon to go for a little Poop and Training Walk. (She does the pooping — more often than not — and he does the training.) Thanks to his diligence, she’s become quite polished at many commands, including Roll,
Side (going into position on the handler’s right-hand side), Jump, and Heel (going into position on the left side).
We’ll continue to polish these — and to work the few required commands she hasn’t yet learned in our Advanced puppy classes. We should have taken Kyndall to the first of these on August 31, but we missed that because of a social commitment. We went last night, however, and were pleasantly surprised to find just two other Advanced pups there, as well as a substitute teacher, Rick, who seemed patient and kind.
I find puppy classes to be much more relaxing when there are only a few dogs. For this session, we all worked on Visits and Unders and Ups, and we chatted about the challenges of keeping puppies from eating things off the ground. Steve and I left feeling almost sorry that we’ll miss the next two classes, as we’re taking off on another travel adventure. Kyndall will be traveling too — to two local puppy-sitters, so don’t look for many posts from me in the next few weeks.