I started Skippy in the 8 week "basic obedience" class at the club again last night. If you recall, I tried last summer to take him with Emilu and all he did was cry, whine and howl loudly while waiting for us to get done and I couldn't get him to settle down enough, so I pulled him from class. This time, I am just taking him for now, and maybe add Emilu in a week or two because I can leave him in the car this time and I think he will do better in the car. So last night he did "marginally well" He already knows most of the stuff that the class teaches, but once again, it's getting them used to working around other dogs. He is very different than Emilu in his reaction to other dogs, but he is distracted by them all the same. I had to actually tap him on the head and practically shout in his ear to get his attention most of the time. And I took some "icky" treats because sometimes Skippy gets too excited by the treats and it makes him worse. But he didn't like them enough to over-ride the other interesting things that night. We worked on attention, walking at your side, sit, a sphinx drop and beginning stay. Skippy can't really sit straight because of the surgery he's had on both back legs, and I've have a terrible time getting him to lay staight enough so that he can even lay by my side withough draping over my feet , let alone a sphinx drop. So I am working him by a short wall, because that at least straightens him out some, and the instructor says "that's not a sphinx drop Pat, and while I am "explaining" why he can't do a sphinx drop and I'm just trying to get him to lay straight, blah,blah,blah, she takes him from me and gets him to do a sphinx drop - I coulnd't believe my eyes! I really didn't think he could physically do it! So now I have to work on getting him physically comfortable with it - I know it stretches his legs in ways they are not used to going. It's going to be hard really working with 2 dogs, I can't imagine doing 3!
I've had to do the head tap thing too, on occasion.
Sounds like you'll be pretty busy for the next little while!! ;D
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
I think training multiple dogs is a challenge. They are all individuals, just like people. They have different personalities, training styles, motivational factors, etc. It's tough not to compare them. Keep up the good work. The results will come.
Since Emilu and I were really learning together, things progressed on a natural course. I know that I am expecting Skippy to learn things faster because I already know them! I have to remember how much time it took for Emilu to learn stuff, and how much I worked with her. Skippy isn't as smart as Emilu, but he has already learned more than I thought he could, and he is so happy to work with me. I just have to be fair to him and give him what he needs to learn at his own pace.
I know my students just "love it" when I get their dogs to do something they thought could not. Anyway, I know it's always interesting working with another dog. They're all so different. I keep putting of getting a puppy cause I don't want to try training two at one time. It's a challenge!
UCDX GRCH Dunn's Marsh Caleb of Waltona UDX3, OM3, RAE Canadian UD, RE
FallRiver's Micah of Waltona GN RAE, Canadian CD, RN