We had our third doggy class today, though it was confusing to start as to whether we’d got the day, venue and time wrong as when we arrived, the gates were locked and the builders were in so I checked my text messages.
We turned round and passed a car coming in the opposite direction, recognising the guy behind the wheel as our instructor, so we turned round again and went back.
Seems there was a little communication problem with the field owner, but all was sorted and class began more or less on time.
Maya impressed our instructor by staying in the car when we lifted the boot door and not jumping out to rush around all over the place as many dogs do. We have always told her to ‘wait’ until we are ready, but the truth of the matter is we still have to lift her in and out of our car as it’s too high for her. Saying that though, this afternoon she jumped in from the driver’s side and was confused how to get out.
Class consisted of four labradors, one shih tsu and us, so not too big which is how we like it because then everyone gets some one on one, and the results are very positive.
Today we concentrated on leadwork, socialising, getting our dogs to sit when we stopped without verbal command, and walking in pairs with our dogs.
Maya did very well, although she didn’t sit exactly where I wanted her to or face the right direction, but sit she did and that was the object of the exercise.
Walking in pairs was OK to begin with with the dogs on the outside or with an owner in between, but when the two dogs were side by side, it was a different kettle of fish, and Maya lost it, so I stopped and made her sit until we were ready to continue. She eventually got the idea and it was OK.
Socialising is definitely improving and I was able to walk her round everyone without incident. We have been encouraged to walk on past other dogs we meet on our walks rather than make her sit and wait until they’ve gone past. That’s something we can work on at home.
We’d been working for over an hour, and were told to let our dogs off the lead and let them play. This was a first for us and Maya as well, so we wondered what was going to happen. Maya stayed by my side, not really knowing what to do, despite our encouragement to go and play. The black labradors came over to ‘get her’ and invite her to play, and soon she was running with the rest and having fun.
This is so what I wanted for her, and has really made my day because she was loving it and it was allowed for over ten minutes. We were then told to call our dogs, make a fuss, but not clip them, and when they were all under control of their owners, we were told to let them play again, so that they don’t associate that first return to being clipped. Maya kept running between the two of us as she romped and chased the others and they her, and I could have cried as it was so wonderful to see.
She came to me straight away afterwards, I clipped her and the class was over on a very positive note indeed. She has slept most of the afternoon.
Photo : 2 weeks ago (at 20 weeks)
No class next week, and it will be Saturday the week after, then reverting to Sunday the week after that.
She’s had a lovely day, two walks so far, and a final one pending before we go to bed.
Tomorrow we are trying an experiment with her meals as suggested by Cagedunn on yesterday’s post and giving her the largest one for breakfast instead of the early evening, then two smaller ones during the day. We are hoping to get her to two meals in the next couple of weeks as she’ll be six months old then.
Photo: Maya last week at 21 weeks.