Saturday, January 12, 2013

Zenzi's 11th Puppy Class & 4th Obedience 1 Class

Puppy Class #11
The most exciting thing about this was not the class itself.  Rick got to go with us, and for that I am so grateful.  It was Zenzi's entrance into the facility and her greeting of the trainers.

Generally, Zenzi is very cautious entering the training room.  I'm not sure why, but it is what it is... or was.  Today, however, Zenzi pulled me into the facility.  I kid you not.  When we got into the room, she ran up to Amanda and Kenlan, and even introduced me to Kristina.  When she saw all three of these ladies, she immediately jumped up on them for pets.  They had her sit, and she happily did so to commence fawning all over her.  I about cried with joy.  We had 10 previous puppy classes and in none of them did she demonstrate such friendly, happy-go-lucky enthusiasm to greet others at any time throughout the class, let alone right from the start.  Even Amanda was surprised and pleased.  We all agreed, Daycare did her a world of good, and we will continue going every Tuesday.

In class, we reviewed Touch, Sit to Greet (owner), On/Off, Sit-Stay, and did some Nosework out of postal flat-rate boxes (Duh!  What a great idea!!) before puppy play time.  Zenzi still didn't really want to play with any of the other puppies, and this was the biggest class ever, but she definitely seemed much more relaxed and confident while we played fetch.  She would go through all the chaos of the other puppies playing to retrieve a toy.  If another puppy showed interest in her, she would just ignore them.  Such a working girl. ;)

Obedience Class #4
This is the final week before graduation next week.  Gosh, it's gone by so fast!  We missed the 3rd class because we were on vacation, but she already knows it all anyway.  No worries.

We honestly could have made a better demo team than the instructor and her dog, Maggie.  We worked on Attention, Leave It, Go to Your Mat, Loose-Leash Walking, and reviewed Sit to Greet.  Zenzi is a Watch Me-a-holic, so no worries there.  Go to Your Mat has been in the bag since our first session weeks ago at home, and she will walk on a loose-leash in working mode no problem.  Still working on making that automatic when she's not in working mode, but we're getting there.  Zenzi generally fails Sit to Greet a Stranger, but today was awesome.  Usually, she will run and hide.  Today, she actually tried to jump up on Kristina!  When she sat, she let Kristina give her chin scritches.  I fed her treats throughout, and it was glorious.  I am so pleased she's growing up to be more happy-go-lucky friendly with people.  She was also much improved at Champagne Bakery where we went for a late breakfast.  She accepted pats from strangers with very little coaxing and actually smiled a happy and relaxed smile.

Next week is graduation.  Here are our tasks:

  • Heel/Side (finish)
  • Watch Me while trainer approaches
  • Sit to Greet while trainer approaches to shake my hand
  • Go to Mat:  send dog away to their mat a few feet away and have them stay.
  • Come When Called:  dog comes to you and touches your hand having been released from their mat.
  • Leave It:  trainer is seated and the dog has to leave the food in her hand on cue.
Wish us luck!  We're going to practice, but I'm pretty confident we'll pass with flying colors. :)

*There is one thing that is a bit concerning about Zenzi's socialization, and it is that she appears to be reacting pretty fearfully to tall, large men. =/ We'll try to set up situations where such people are the predictors of good things, but I don't have any at my disposal.  We'll see if it's something she can grow out of with continued counter-conditioning in day-to-day life.

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