Tonight was Ranger’s first obedience class at Fetch Inc. We’ve already completed a basic obedience course through Lietash (who I can’t say enough good things about) but with a long-term goal of competitive agility, a centre that focuses on agility was a priority. Shop around, read the web and speak with agility competitors first hand…Fetch Inc was the place to go.
Besides, working around distractions and ignoring other dogs are two of the main things Ranger needs help with.
First class involved the usual explanations, introductions and sorting things out. Ranger pulled into the training area a bit, but did not jump towards the other dogs or bark. I really want to do nosework with him at some point because every scent was a point of interest.
“Settle” was good considering the new surroundings (and the freakishly loud dog beside us). Worked on placing treats in front of him when in a “down settle” and rewarding as much calm behaviour as possible.
Exercises included luring the sit and down, working on touch (nose to palm) and the name game (call name, reward focus toward owner). Having Ranger focus when there is distractions is a top goal and I’ve made the mental note to reward more often in day to day activities. No one is surprised to find dog treats in all my pockets (and the bottom of the washer on occasion) so better put it to use.
The final exercise was doggy sit ups (stand to lay to stand). We worked by luring with no commands or clicks. Once Ranger figured out what was expected, he had a good down and stand with no additional movements. Downside to luring is that I’ve been working hard on not having a dog that mauls your hand for a treat and he got a little grabby in his excitement.
This week I’m hoping to transition him to voice commands to stop this behaviour before it becomes a habit. Nothing worse than a shoving, gnawing, drool covered mouth doing everything in its power to lick the last bit of hotdog off your hand.