I don’t know how many obedience classes I have attended but between my own dogs and my sister's dogs, it has been quite a few. Bodie’s first puppy class was this past Thursday. I was looking forward to the play session but I thought that I would be rather bored with the class part. Was I wrong! I guess because Bodie is a bit more, hmm, how shall I say it? Bodie is more challenging than my previous dogs, there were some techniques discussed in class that I never had to use before. Bodie pays very little attention to “No” and a yank on the leash is an invitation to a play session, but a squirt of water definitely gets his attention! We have made more progress with the puppy nipping in the last two days than we have in the last two weeks with a squirt from a spray bottle. Yay!
This week we are supposed to use ten times more “Good’s” than “No’s”. Whenever Bodie does any behavior that we like, we are supposed to “Good” him. For example, he sits while we are watching : “Good sit!” He lies down while we are : “Good down!” So far it seems to be working well, especially for the “Give” command. Bodie really wants to chase his toy but he won’t drop it so we can throw it again. So lately when he shoves his giraffe in my lap, I ignore him. As soon as he drops it, I say “Good give!” and I can see a look in his eyes that tells me he is starting to get it.
It was so nice to see Bodie playing with other puppies his same age! There was another German Shepherd puppy, a Lab, an American Staffordshire Terrier, an Australian Kelpie and a Boston Terrier. He was so excited to play with something that plays back. (We dogsat my sisters two Shelties a few weeks back and they refused to play with him.) We are trying to make sure that Bodie is well-socialized. I did find it interesting that the trainer (she owns GSDs) was reassuring all the other puppy owners that the German Shepherd puppies were not being aggressive. I guess their barking and posturing was a bit intimidating.