Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Basic Obedience Begins!

I have been in Puppy Kindergarten since I was 7 weeks old. Now that I am 5 months old, I can join the big group at Basic Obedience. We meet for one hour each week with Ramona. She keeps us on our paws, and our Raisers on their toes. I acted up a bit and before my mom knew it, Ramona was in my face. I was talking back, and Ramona was not having any of that. I listened to Ramona, for sure. My mom just let her get in my face. She almost looked happy. I guess I have been giving my Raisers a hard time by barking back when I don't like something. My little eyes were like saucers. I guess I better listen really well because if I don't behave next time I see Ramona, she's gonna get me!

After that little episode, I decided I better follow along. That means no barking. The first thing I learned in class is that I am a big boy now and I should sit like a big boy, no lazy sits. If I sit lazy, then my mom takes a step forward, and makes me sit all over again. We practiced downs and sits, and downs and sits, and then stay! Stay, while they walk away. This was hard. Since I am little still, Ramona told my Raiser to move up a little with me. That way I would not have a tendency so much to break my "stay".

Our next task was something that all of the other dogs had done before, but I had not. There was a 50 foot lead that replaced our leash. Our job was to "stay" in a sit, while our Raiser walked away 50 feet (without looking back at us), turned around, called us, and we were supposed to run back, with vigor! Yes, it's a lot to ask, I think. But I paid attention and watched all of the others do it first. Garth, Palmer, Kip, Sidney, all did really well, except that Sidney was not quite vigorous enough, so he had to do it twice. Now it was my turn. I was put in a sit, and Tina walked away, never looking back, but Ramona was right beside me keeping me company. Tina got to the end, turned around, said "Winter come!", and I bolted. I bolted so fast, right to Tina's arms. She was so excited, and so was Ramona. Everyone was cheering for me. They made me do it again. Woohoo. This time I didn't stay, so Ramona had to correct me. But, believe me I listen to her! The command was given, I bolted, and everyone cheered. I can't wait to try this game at home. It was fun.

We all lined up and it was question and answer time. My dad decided to chime in, while my mom gave a slight grimace, and said that he was ratting me out. He asked, "What do you do when your dog is running around crazy and you can't catch him?" (hahaha) Ramona gave a big smile, and said "You mean the Labrador Shuffle?" That's when we tuck our behinds under and run run run. Laughter filled the lesson, because everyone knew what she was talking about. Ramona says that we have a bunch of energy, and we can't be exercised enough, so it's our way of letting loose all of that energy we have. It's amazing the precision turning ability that we have during the Labrador Shuffle.

I really enjoyed the Obedience class, and can't wait until next week. The park is really nice and had so many distractions, like birds, geese, skateboarders, bicycles, balls, walkers, runners, dogs, whew!

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