Last night was the first night of Skye’s Kennel Club Puppy Foundation Assessment class. I was slightly nervous, wondering how she would behave especially as 14 years ago when it was Nino’s turn for puppy class (not the same one as last night) we were told unceremoniously by the leader that he was “untrainable” when he refused to do as she said.
We went along to the class which is held at the doggie daycare centre where Skye enjoys playing while I work on Mondays. Skye assumed we were going to play and was very excited and barked a lot. I had to fill out a form and she helped by winding her lead around my legs, the table legs, anyone passing by etc. A nice man offered to hold her but as I didn’t know he was part of the training team and he didn’t mention it I said no…who hands over their dog to a total stranger?
Then we had to go and sit in a cirle, big dogs on one side, little one opposite. There were a lot of small dogs, yappy little dogs that froliced about and play fought with each other. On our side there were two beautiful chocolate labradors, a black labrador, a couple of big spaniels, a Hungarian Visla, a Rhodesian ridgeback and Skye. A little while later Skye’s brother Storm arrived with his family and they sat a couple of dogs apart from us. Skye and Storm are so alike, hardly surprising but having not seen Storm since April I didn’t know whether he would be much bigger than her. He is slightly more sable in colour and a little stockier but so beautiful, just like Skye and he has the same way of holding himself and moving. He even makes the same complaining sounds when he has to sit still!
Skye was very good at the class, there was a lot of sitting still and listening to the trainer for the humans to do (and the chairs are tortuously uncomfortable) and the dogs were expected to sit quietly on the floor beside us. Dogs who didn’t got sent out with the trainer helpers but amazingly Skye stayed quiet and stayed beside me other than her one brief attempt to steal the treats of the dog next to us. We were shown the right and wrong types of collars, leads and harnesses (inevitably I seemed to have chosen the wrong fastening on the collar and harness and the extending lead is VERY DANGEROUS) and toys and instructed in their use. Balls are apparently BAD for dogs, gets them over excited and sticks are even worse and CAN KILL! I am plainly a very bad dog owner and it is a miracle our previous dogs have survived! Questioned as to the wording and design of the dog tags and grilled about our use of dog bags to clean up after our dogs and how much exercise we give them (too much apparently) We had some exercises to do, asking the dog to WATCH and rewarding it with a treat if it looked at our faces, telling the dog to SIT and rewarding as soon as the tail hit the ground. We have to practice these over the week and will be asked to show them next time. Skye can do both of these commands and if there are rewards on hand will do them happily. The other thing we are to do is to check the dog’s health by looking at it’s ears, mouth, teeth and eyes and feeling it’s body for lumps, ticks, matted fur etc. and grooming.This Skye does not approve of and will only allow if she is licking peanut butter off the fridge door so I’m not sure how we will get on performing that next week. Maybe I should take the fridge with us!
What I did mean to do, but totally forgot, was to get a photo of Skye and Storm together. Must try harder next week.