Today at Historic Onancock School, three classes of dogs and their people made dog training a worthwhile endeavor.
Basic Obedience dogs Juneau, Jenny, Hanah, Ringo, Lola and little Iggy Pop – they all learned “Leave It” and some dogs even went so far as leaving a treat in plain sight, not daring to touch the temptation. We started Loose Leash Walking with leash management – the handlers all hung in there as we juggled leash, dog, clicker, and treats. And then recall – everyone took the first steps toward building this life-saving behavior. Juneau the Princess posed, Hanah stood in front of her handler (a major event), Ringo circled his herd of one, Iggy grew legs this week. Jenny’s handler, new to the class, did a great job. Lola was the perfect demo dog. Everyone got what they needed and showed improvement. Dreamy.
Intermediate Obedience – we moved into the basement cafeteria at the School. Two dogs, Simba and Harley, typically on top of it all, weren’t crazy about the stairs. Then somehow, miraculously, they worked it out – probably because their handlers were patient, loving, calm and consistent – and never forced the dogs but instead allowed them to go at their own pace. Chumbley and Teagan rocked the house with their first steps in heel. Lily and Brewster performed the perfect “stand” at side. Corduroy and Wally gave up their barking as they got down to work. Henry, Hoppe and Rosebud demonstrated their “stays” – each watching their handlers carefully, showing just how important the relationship is in a successful working team. The dogs worked hard and were exhausted by class end. Dreamy.
Nose Work – the two little guys tore it up! Melvin (completely deaf and blind in one eye) can hardly contain himself when he realizes the search is on – he found primary rewards (stinky treats) at heights three times his height on a windowsill. His “cousin” Leo sniffed out challenge after challenge, solving scent problems that included primary rewards behind a pilon, above his head on a shelf, and even atop a pumpkin. Most amazing, the Historic Onancock School is still decked out for the Haunted School House – yet these two Sniffing Soldiers just kept working, undistracted by the spider webs, gravestones and paper bats and cats. Plus – both dogs are ridiculously intent on their work and we laugh the whole time watching them – they absolutely race to the scent. Laughing and watching dogs do what they do best….dreamy.
Thank you, thank you from the Dog Trainer to today’s stars at the Onancock School. You made my day.