Sunday, May 18, 2008

Puppy School Graduation Day

Today Jackson graduated from Puppy School! He was very good today during the review. We went over all the things we had worked on throughout the course and he aced them all (except the friendly stranger part, but even that was way better). Our trainer is Jim Leske from Good Dogs are Trained. His methods are all about patience and rewarding good behaviour. This method worked really well for Jack.

Things we learned and improved on in this course:

  • Walking on a loose leash - Walking is now a pleasure. It used to be SO STRESSFUL. Jack didn't like it, I didn't like and I'm sure the people around us didn't like it either. Now we walk easily and happily - Jack with his ears pricked and his tail up, me with a smile on my face.

  • Maintaining focus during distractions and how to deal with distractions. All our sessions were conducted out of the home. We started at the dog park and when he became comfortable with that we moved to a local pet store on a busy corner. Jack is able to do all his obedience despite the noise, traffic and people.

  • Strategies for dealing with his shyness. This hasn't been fixed 100% yet (Maybe it never will) but he has made great strides. Jim gave us some tools and techniques to use in order to get him used to strangers. He now warms to visitors in our house and doesn't freak out at people in social settings. We sat at Starbucks enjoying a cold beverage and he just politely chilled under the table not making a peep when people came and talked to us! He also took a treat from a stranger!

I'm still not completely sure what our next step will be, but I'm very pleased with all his progress. I think we might work towards the Canine Good Citizen Program. That will be a lot of work though, as it focuses on the dealing with strangers. The video is Jack doing some of his tricks at home. Mind the mess on the floor, they had just gutted one of their stuffies, leaving the proof all over the carpet. The pictures are with Jack and his diploma. I wanted him to sit, and he wanted to lay down... so we compromised with a lean.

1 comment:

Gus said...

good boy Jackson!! You did such a good job showing us your tricks.