An Introduction to Training

Sunday 10th April 2022

Today was Maya’s introduction to professional training.
We had first come to know of Graham having met his wife and her sister outside the Co-op with two beautiful GSDs last year. I asked if they were breeders and when they said yes, asked if I could give them our details for them to consider us for one of the next litter of puppies.
Sadly, that never happened through them, but when I let him know we were suited with Maya, he said he did obedience training and socialising so he was the first person I thought of to help us.

Finding the property was straightforward following his directions and we arrived about half an hour early, so I was able to observe the previous class in action. It was interesting to watch the mix of GSDs, collies, labradors and a pug going through the paces.
Hubby got Maya out of the car when the class finished and we stood to one side by the gate as the dogs came out. Maya was curious, but not bouncy.
I introduced us and liked Graham on sight, just as I thought I would. After chatting with the two ladies and dogs we’d met before, he asked us what we were hoping to achieve. He made a fuss of Maya and we handed him her lead. He got down on the ground with her and they had a ‘moment’.
He fussed, she licked, then she lay down and snuggled in. It was a good start.

Shortly afterwards, he put her on a choker and set off across the field. She pulled and he ‘checked’ her, then after three of those, she walked as sweet as you like. Then it was my turn.
Using one of his leads on the choker, he showed me how to hold it in both hands. I’d used this method with Maggie all those years ago, but my grip was better then and as it turned out, his way of putting my hand over the lead was better and more comfortable for me now than under it as I’d done before. After Maya realised I was on the other end of the lead but not taking any nonsense, she was brilliant for me.
There were nine of us in the class, the two GSDs, a chocolate labrador, two collies, a ‘doodle dog’ (not sure if it was a golden or labradoodle), a shih tsu, a shaggy dachshund x westie I’d guess and us. Today we were walking the dogs in a line, then socialising them by weaving between the others one at a time followed by an owners meet and greet to fuss the other dog then introducing our own. Maya was wonderful. She may have got a little bored towards the end as the ‘Wait’ and recall test was a no-go, but that’s something we can practice here at home. She took it all in, behaved herself by not lunging at the other dogs, and generally got the idea quickly so it was a positive first encounter and the next one will be in a fortnight as Graham has to go into hospital.

We are going to invest in a choker, purely for training, though Graham has lent us one for the time being. What was interesting today was that we have been doing a fair bit right already, so are well pleased with that. Repetition and reward is the order of the day, and I am confident we have done the right thing.

As an aside, the two bitches we’d met before have got totally different temperaments to Maya, so maybe we were destined to have her and not one of theirs.

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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12 Responses to An Introduction to Training

  1. SO happy it went well and you’ve already been doing so much right. And wow, Maya has grown again!

  2. quiall says:

    I have always maintained obedience training isn’t just for the dogs. I always benefitted too.

    • I took Barney to classes but it was too big and he got bored, then disruptive so it was a waste of money. Hubby was home when we got Maggie so did all the training one on one and it paid off big time. Maya is a different kettle of fish, and we knew we needed professional help to bring out the best in her and ourselves after almost 20 years since having a puppy. It was a good decision and I’m looking forward to our next class.

  3. murisopsis says:

    There are so many who are vehemently opposed to a choker collar but when used properly are a wonderful training tool! So glad Maya was good on her first class…

    • I’ve never liked them to be honest, but they can work when used as a ‘check’ not a yank which is what we’re trying to do. We keep coming unstuck though but I think it’s user error, not the choker.

  4. Carol anne says:

    so glad the first day was a success! Always a positive when things work out how they are supposed to!

  5. willowdot21 says:

    All good news 💜💜💜

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