Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Malcolm Rocks!

A new session of classes has started at the Dog Club.   I have been working with Malcolm and McKenzie in the 'off time' on Sit/Stay, Come (I use the word Here -- and I'm still using the parachute chord; when will they ever 'get it' ?), automatic Sits when I stop, and moving Sits and Downs.  You would think, that as much as I work with them, they would start to really get a clue.  Still, they are pretty consistent with the automatic sits when I stop moving.  McKenzie thinks it's great fun to run to the end of the parachute chord and then wait for me to call 'Here'.  She can't wait for the command sometimes.  She bounds over, gazelle like, and sits in front of me.  Her sit is usually crooked, but I'm glad she comes.  The other day, I laughed my tookus off because she came bounding over and then did a fast spin.  I laughed so she did 3 more fast spins and then sat crooked in front of me.  She is a crazy dog.
Malcolm running through a field with his daddy

So, when the sessions started this week, you would think that the dogs would take it in stride.  Oh, Come on!  It could never be that easy.  Not in my lifetime.  I always have to remember that I picked out very beautiful but very crazy dogs.  Malcolm acts like he's never seen another dog before so he's back to the old habit of lunging and pulling.  I guess it's because there are different dogs that he doesn't know in his class.  At least now, I know how to 'nip it in the bud'.  But I had to correct that behavior about 4 times tonight.  I think he was just testing to see if I would still mind.  Well.  Yes, Malcolm.  I DO mind.  And so does everyone else.

I have McKenzie the Frenzie (her new name, lol)  enrolled in 2 classes, Rally and Agility 3.  I've got her in Rally because the discipline will help to quell her wild side, I hope.  I'm counting on the obedience to help in Agility.  She did very well in her first 2 sessions.  We had no 'bolting' around the agility ring although she wasn't at her best.  She wasn't paying too much attention to me perhaps because of the new dogs in the class.  I hope that by next week, they will remember what we're there for.
McKenzie waiting for action

Malcolm had his Agility class tonight.  I messed up on the first couple of runs but he stayed with me.  When I finally got it right, DANG!  Malcolm rocked!  And I will say, that he doesn't seem as generally enthusiastic about Agility as McKenzie.  He's a bit slower and more interested in sniffing the floor for dead bugs and lost treats (remember, this is the dog that will eat anything and everything) than really running fast.  But tonight.  Wow.  He really went for it!  And he followed me!  That was really exciting.  Plus, (and this is the big one) he was the only dog in the class that did the weave poles perfectly every time he was asked.  He loves the weaves!  (McKenzie is just learning them.  Remember, she was held back in the beginning agility because of teeter totter issues).  

Sometimes, when things go so wrong as they often do, I wonder why I even bother trying to train these animals.  It can really seem hopeless.  Then, on that day when they really do well...... Wow.  I can really see tons of improvement since I started training them.  Yes.  It's a slow process.  No.  They won't come when called if they are not attached to something.   But I continue to work every day and I know that some day, they will be perfect at it.  I might be dead.  But they will be perfect.  Can someone tell me how long it will take?  I all ready know that answer.  As long as it  takes.
Tired puppies are still the best puppies.  That's Nessie in the middle.

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