This past week, I decided that it was time for our shy princess to go to obedience school. We have signed her up for a 6-week basic obedience course at Canine Campus, a local training facility.
I feel confident about the head trainer, who is certified with several training organizations and has trained with Pat Miller, who wrote one of my favorite step-by-step training books. I e-mailed with her about what she thought about Pyrrha’s suitability for the group class, since Pyrrha’s history with strange dogs is not a good one. She assured me that the dogs aren’t supposed to interact with one another, and a portion of the class is just teaching the dog to focus on you and not the rest of the room. Alternately, she said that if the group class turns out to be too overwhelming for her, we can funnel our payment for the class into either private lessons or another class. She said that shy dogs have often done well in her nose-work class.
I expected that I’d take more initiative training her at home, but I have been so busy lately in the evenings that I haven’t put in nearly as much time as I have wanted to. Pyrrha knows her name, “come,” “sit,” and “down,” but that’s it–and she really only responds to me; she won’t take any commands from Guion, unless it’s clear that he has something delicious in his hand.
That said, here are my basic goals for these next six weeks of training class:
- For Pyrrha and Guion to build a better relationship and for her fear of him to be mostly eliminated. (Guion will be coming to as many training classes as he can.)
- To jump-start my incentive to train with her on a more regular basis.
- For Pyrrha to be able to interact in a room with distractions, other dogs, new people and be able to focus on me.
- For Pyrrha to gain confidence.
Our first class starts next week, so you’ll be sure to hear lots from me on how that goes!
Has your dog gone to school? What was your experience like?