Champ and Trip
They listed this obedience class as "Wild and Crazy." So, I thought this would be a GREAT class for my wild and crazy boy. He is ALL about FUN behaviors.
Way wrong there Corrigan! It is just a regular obedience class...heel a few steps, sit; heel a few steps, sit. BORING.
I'm not sure what I was thinking. As soon as we arrived, there is little to no parking. I had to get Champ out of the truck on the sidewalk side on a busy main road. He ducked under the truck. I was thinking what the???? Five guys on bicycles almost took me out. I didn't even see them on the sidewalk. Okay, good dog, Champ. You didn't get run over.
Happily, Champ is walking across the park wagging his tail to beat the band. There are guys playing basketball. We stop to watch them. Champ loves to watch the big ball. Then we head past the playground. The little kids are really interesting to him and the toddlers a bit scary to him. They move quickly and scream at a drop of a hat.
We pass the swimming pool which is filled to the limit. It has a shade cloth around the chain link. So, you can't actually see in, but you can hear splashing and screaming from the zillion kids.
We finally arrive at the small grassy area where class is going to be held. I get there 15 min. early so Champ can take in the sights and sounds. The first dog coming close to us is a pug cross and he shows a FULL set of teeth at Champ from about 50 feet away. Champ said, "I'll KILL him for that. Huge growl and lunge towards the pipsqueak offender. Champ got clobbered by me. Are we having fun yet?
Thankfully the bad pug was NOT in our class. There appeared to be about 12 or so dogs in the class and they ranged from small to tall and all seemed fairly happy. Champ recognized his brother getting out of the car clear across the park and was dancing with glee. "Hey, look! My brother is going to come play with me. How cool is that!"
Sorry, Champ...the rules are ALL dogs must stay 3 feet apart from each other. (I did move away and at least let him say hi to his brother for a minute) Come on. So, Champ wants to meet and greet everyone and every dog. I think I said that'll do 500 hundred times with doing about faces as he was pulling me to visit the other dogs and people in the class. My back was starting to hurt and I'm sure I was hurting his neck since all I had on him was his flat collar and long leash.
Mel tried putting a gentle leader on him. That distracted him for awhile. But, I felt horrible for his as he was clawing his nose to get if off. Not that he was clawing his nose, but that this very morning I was teaching him to "Hide his eyes." Poor baby. I took it off for awhile. The instructor came by and Champ wanted to leap up to say hello! He had been restrained for at least 10 min. now. As soon as he went to say hi, she turned her back on him. I wish you could have seen his little sad face. "Sorry, little exuberant Border Collie. No one is going to pet you unless you sit." :0(
Next, they tried to teach him to focus with taking food at his eye level and bringing it to my eye level for a nano second. Food doesn't mean a whole lot to Champ and when I say Pay Attention he will give me a nano look into my eyes and get praised. I think the instructor didn't like my method. She came by and took out food, put it in his face and brought it up to her nose. He BARKED! She said, "Ah Ah." I said "Ah Ah" to her. I let her know a one finger point up by my face is a cue to BARK.
So, don't "ah ah" him for a correct behavior.
The last behavior was "leave it." Champ isn't that big on food treats (neither was Jet), but since everyone had dropped a myriad of different treats all over the lawn, he spent most of his heeling looking for what they dropped!!!! Come on...he is 6 mos. old today. This was a BONANZA of hotdogs, cheese, chicken and he didn't get his DINNER before class! He was being a smart pup figuring he would eat here and have himself a fine picnic!
Poor Champie......it was a disaster class for him. I know he would have rather of had an agility class. I will go back with him next week an hour early. We will play and run. I will feed him dinner before I go. I will let him play before class. If you could have seen his SAD face as we walked back to the truck after class. It was pathetic. I felt like I had failed him. I know he has to be obedient, but he is at home and at the trials. He comes when called, he kennels, he loads, he fetches, etc. This was so very, very boring for him. I may have to do the class from a distance with all of the fun things he knows. I just can't seem to subject him to this at such an early age. I must be getting soft or something. ;0)