My new doggy primary school class started last night. It’s a beginners class for dogs and owners who are new to training: an intro to come when called, loose leash walking, hand touch, sit, down and stay are on the syllabus.
The skills we teach are basic, and the class size is small – so I decided to give you a chance to be my demo dog for the first time. You’ve assisted me in private classes before, but never in a group setting. Usually, Fanta is my go-to assistant. He’s more mature and doesn’t need quite as much attention as you do! Well, at almost 3 years, you have earned the right to start working as my group assistant, too! And yesterday was your first day. I don’t know if I was more excited about a new group of students, or about your first day of work! I knew the hard part for you, my little workoholic, wouldn’t be the demo-ing as such, but the down-time when I’d expect you to just hang out in your crate in the corner or hold a down-stay in the middle of the room while I’d work with my students.
I can’t begin to describe how happy and proud I am! Phoebe, you did so well. You got a big bone to chew in your crate, and while there were times when you just stood there and longingly observed the others work, and a few instances when you responded to the excitement barking of the young Pomeranian with one isolated bark, for the most part, you kept incredibly quiet. You worked on your bone, and when I took you out to demonstrate an exercise, you were happy to show off your skills. You’ve come such a long way! You’re so full of energy and bouncy happiness and desire to work. I’m very proud that you’ve been able to be patient when I wasn’t paying attention to you during yesterday’s class, and keep all your bubbling energy inside until it was time to show it off. I know what a hard job that must have been for you.
Thank you for sharing your life with me, my curly white girl, for always making me laugh, for being forgiving with my training mistakes, for making me a better trainer, and for working by my side to show my clients that motivational, R+ focused methods make for well-mannered and happy dogs!