Monday, February 1, 2010

Puppy School Progress

Bella has just finished her third class in puppy school. We are glad we decided to skip the beginner class and go into the puppy class. Our trainer, Michelle, has started teaching us techniques that are from the intermediate class. She said Bella and Pivot are the first dogs in all her years of training that she has given advanced training to.

So far the class has reinforced many of the commands we taught the dogs; sit, lay, stay, and loose-leash walking. We are able to take the dogs to parks and playgrounds and know they will behave the way we expect them to.

Today in class, Bella learned the Leave-It command. This means that they have to leave whatever the item is, and they never get it. This is handy if you drop people food on the ground and don't want the dogs to have it, if you drop medicine, if the dogs like to eat socks or shoes or toothbrushes or any other thing that the dog may find tasty.

The first time we practiced Leave-It in class, Bella was all about the treat, trying to use her mouth to get it, and when that failed, using her paws to try to grab it. By the fifth time practicing, I could do this: