Friday, April 20, 2007

Back To School

For a while I have been talking about getting back on the training bandwagon with Pappy. We did beginner's training at Petsmart about a year ago. It didn't leave us with the sense of total mind control over the pooch, but it gave us a little structure and did more good than harm. So, to overcome inertia, about a month ago we stopped by Petsmart with the expectation of starting the intermediate class. As it turned out, the start of class was postponed until this coming weekend. We signed up.

Since then I have been in touch with Ferndoggle, who is my model for a training-focused owner. Plus some of her dog tribe have had similar issues to Pappy concerning leash aggression on encountering strange dogs-- a situation where I feel pretty lost. She has graciously done a little networking on my behalf to find good trainers in the Maryland suburbs of DC. Her recommendations included FourPositivePaws in Greenbelt, and the Washington Animal Rescue League, which is one of the shelters we frequented while searching for Pappy.

At this point I suspect we'll proceed with the Petsmart course to stay on track. I hate to lose our momentum waiting for a different class to start up, and we had a pretty positive experience with the beginner's class. The intermediate class deals with training with distractions, where we need a lot of work. I see some individual and more specialized training available from these other sources, and I think we certainly need to look at these too for some targeted training.

Sorry-- I made you read that shaggy dog story, and don't even have a punch line.


"Sunshine" said...

Perhaps the punch line is that you are taking a huge step towards a better life with your adorable companion.

The freedom you'll both have once these issues are behind you, will be well worth it.

Good for you!!!

Maggie said...

More education is always a good thing!

Love ya lots,

Gus said...

Don't worry Pappy. Teka says even OUR muzzer may be trainable.

Pappy's Fella said...

Sunshine, Maggie, and Gus,
Thanks for the encouragement. Tomorrow's the big day. The irony is that our instructor's name is Kat... keep your fingers crossed that Pappy doesn't chase her.

Ferndoggle said...

Awesome! Let us know how the classes go. Sunshine is so is much more enjoyable with your dog once you get all the little "issues" out of the way!

Good luck Pappy! I'm sure you'll be a star pupil!