Tuesday, January 11, 2011

26 Weeks of Basic Obedience Training and Counting

(Preface: I write this post, however begrudgingly, out of a need for accountability.)

We Train You to Train Your Dog!

The question is: How many weeks should it take a person of at least average intelligence to be trained?  Eight, Twelve, Sixteen, Twenty....Thirty-Two? Ugh.

Last night Dewi and I attended Week Two of an eight-week Basic Obedience course at a local dog training club.  It was my 26th hour of nearly consecutive training since bringing the Cardi Boys home last spring.  Both of the Boys finished AKC STAR Puppy certification with flying colors. Jon did well in CGC classes and will be tested next month. And now, what I so naively thought would be an easy refresher class with Dewi, has proven to be anything but.

Last week at our first class, Dewi, who is the most biddable, intelligent and food motivated dog I've ever personally known, was WILD!  Yes, I know he's still a puppy, and intact, and high energy, and has serious herding tendencies, and is a social butterfly, and already knows how to do everything that I was trying to show him, but to everyone else in the class - he was just some wild bucking (but beautiful) crazy corgi!  So, I admit it; I was embarrassed, then insecure, then frustrated, then defensive, then resentful of every other dog/handler pair in the class because they made Dewi and me look like the dreaded owner with the Juvenile Delinquent that everyone either pities or hates to see coming. What the heck?!

Obviously, Dewi needs time to get settled. I need to get settled, too. I also need to work on being more authoritative - which is hard for a soft-spoken person (yes - I really am).

Last night's class went a little better; okay a lot better. I even had a little fun. Next week we'll work on heeling - which Dewi would rather never do. Until then, I'll be working on finding some seriously delicious treats and a thick skin. 


  1. Ok, look on the bright side..
    1) He's not one of those scared-to-death, submissive-peeing dogs.
    2) He's not barking at other dogs because he's never seen anything but a Cardi.
    3) He's not aggressive toward other dogs.

    When Moira was a puppy I took her to puppy class. I should have known what I was in for because instead of gazing at me adoringly, like all the other puppies were doing with their owners, she turned her back to me, sat on my foot and made a point of watching everyone else. It's taken me years to get her to be comfortable in new situations and she still doesn't deal well with loud noises or flapping tents or, basically anything that she doesn't deem "normal."

  2. Ha! No he's definitely not the cowering nervous ninnie, but dang it, if he didn't lift his leg and pee/mark - TWICE! One instructor apparently has his number and yelled, "Hey, Dewi just PEED!" (We're all good now though; just staying in the corner near the clean up station from now on...)

  3. In obedience class, if you compared dogs to, say, a high school classroom, Rufus would've been the kid in the back of the room either sleeping or throwing spitballs. Sigh.


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