Kyndall, Steve, and I went to puppy class last night. It felt like we hadn’t been there in ages. This is the Advanced group, and the first meeting of the 8-week-long session was August 31. But we missed that one because it conflicted with a friend’s Big Birthday celebration. We made it to the next session September 21 but then were traveling in Asia on the succeeding one (October 5). Then CCI cancelled the October 19 session for reasons that weren’t clear.
We felt no sense of panic over any of these absences, because we’ll continue attending the Advanced classes until Kyndall departs for Advanced Training in mid-May. The two classes we’ve participated in so far have only included four puppy teams. That makes for a mellow experience; if you don’t have to watch 15 dogs practicing Unders, for example, one after another, you can cover a lot of ground.
Last night our regular teacher, Bob Smith, was still out on medical leave, so Rick Williams, a longtime puppy-raiser and dog trainer, once again was serving as a substitute. Rick is patient, enthusiastic, and thoughtful, so we were happy to again be working with him. He had us work on commands including Out, Wait, Visit, Back, and Jump.
Rick also asked about current challenges we were facing, so I mentioned Kyndall’s penchant for playing Keep Away or Tug of War with various objects that I order her to Drop. Rick suggested we roll out a two-pronged response to this, squirting her when she keeps objects out of our grasp but also offering her treat after (extra-delicious) treat in response to a series of Drop commands.
I tried the latter this morning. Clearly it’s something she and I need to work on a lot. But the results held some promise, so I plan to keep at it and see what happens.