We’ve started training classes with Poppy. It’s a six week course, starting with the basics and hopefully ending with Poppy being able to do exactly as she’s told & performing a few tricks! So off Poppy & I went, with, what I thought was, plenty of treats and high hopes. It was exhausting!
There were quite a few big, boisterous dogs there, which set Poppy off barking almost immediately. When she’s like that it’s really hard to calm her down. I hadn’t taken anything for her to chew on, but fortunately Sheila, the teacher, had some cow hooves, which Poppy loves! That kept her quiet for a little bit but she really just wanted to go around & say hello to all the other dogs!
We started with the ‘watch’ command, where you waft the treat in front of your dogs nose & then hold it up by your eyes. The idea is that it trains your dog to make eye contact with you, which is really useful for getting their attention on walks etc. By this point, Poppy was barking a lot so Sheila brought out the clicker. Every time Poppy does something right in training, I click the clicker & give her a treat. That way, she knows she’s getting the treat because she’s done something right, rather than for barking.
Then we moved on to sit (which Poppy can already do at the drop of a hat), down (argh!) and stand (done!). So I got Poppy to sit, then to get her to lie down, I had to hold the treat in front of her nose, move it down to the ground slowly, then pull it out along the floor. Well. Poppy doesn’t like doing this. She only goes about halfway before giving up and licking the treat so much it turns to mush! It’s really difficult for her, not quite sure why, but we’re working on it.
Before long, everyone was using their clickers & calling their dogs. Poppy was really hyped up so wouldn’t pay attention to anyone! And I ran out of treats as I’d been using them to try and calm her down when she ignored the hoof. We might have to train her to bark on command so that we can train her to be quiet. Simple eh?!
By the end of the class, Poppy & I were exhausted! We’re going to try & wear her out a bit more before next weeks class, as well as taking twice as many treats. And cheese. Poppy will do almost anything for treats, except lie down!