Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Obedience Class

We had our first obedience class this past Monday, and overall, I think Cooper enjoyed it. He got to sniff a bunch of new butts and got a number of treats. He was one of the better behaved dogs in class, not the best, but not the worst either.
Unfortunately he did the shortest attention span.
Treats are definitely his motivation. If Coop knows that you've got a treat in your hand, he will track you. Even if he is sitting still, his head follows you wherever you go -- thats what he did to the trainer. He knew that she had a treat in her hand, I wouldn't let him go and jump on her, I kept making him sit, so he tracked her with his eyes willing her to give him a piece of that puperoni.
Shes telling us to not tell the dogs "no" when they do some undesired behavior, because then if they hear us say "no" in normal conversation it can be confusing to them. So, shes telling us to try to come up with some other sound, like how Cesar Millan says "Tsshh!" or something similar. She goes on to say that if we're already in the habit of saying "no" and can't break that habit, to always pair "no" with the action so that we're saying "no jump" or "no bite" or "no bark"
This whole time, Cooper has been staring her down for that puperoni in her hand. Right as she says "no bark" he lets out with a not too quiet "ARARRWARORWERAROW!"
Of course, she starts laughing and walks over and gives him a treat. She said "no bark" so he barks, and she gives him a treat. I'm thinking she's a worse pushover for his cuteness than even I may be.
About half way through class he started pawing at the door and standing up, trying to paw at the door knob, to let me know that he needed to go potty. So, I take him outside and he goes potty, but once we got back into class his attention was no longer the same. He was fixated with searching the floor for remnants of puperoni that may have been dropped by the trainer.
We do have 2 items for homework this week
1 - "Watch me" for Coop to look me in the eye when I say "watch me"
2 - and this is the one he hates - "Massage and cradle". Yes, I have to massage and cradle him as part of this weeks homework exercise. I'm not exactly certain why, when she was going over that I was also trying to convince him that there were no bits of puperoni that he hadn't already found.

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