Fenway went to puppy class in the spring. But then he got a cold that lasted for 6 weeks, broke his leg and wore a splint for 4 weeks, and then had his manhood and a toenail removed - all that, this summer! It was a pretty traumatic summer for him, to say the least. But he persevered and now we're ready to take his behavior training to the next level. (And we're praying for no more trips to the vet!)
We worked on some of his bad behaviors a bit, and then we worked on positive behaviors to put in place of those bad ones that we're going to take away.
She taught him how to shake!! It was so cute! We're still working on it, but you could see his little mental wheels turnin'. We'd hold the treat in our hand and he'd sniff all over it and eventually he'd lift his little paw to our hand to try to get the treat and then we'd give it to him. And then repeat. You could see him thinking: "OK, what did I do to get it last time? Was it moving my nose around? No. Was it wagging my tail? No. How 'bout lifting my paw? Yes!! Yes!! That was it!! Yippee!!" Y'all, it was too cute. He'd just randomly lift his paw trying to get another treat throughout the evening.
She taught him "down" - where he lays down on his belly. He'd never learned this in puppy class even though we worked on it a lot. I guess he's old enough now to figure it out. It'll really help us keep him calm and give us a bit more control, so we'll be working on that one quite a bit. We also learned that if he jumps up on the sofa that we can't touch him! If we do he's rewarded for bad behavior. The best way to avoid this is to keep a leash on him so that we can pull him off with the leash and not push him off with our hands. It sounds mean, but she assured us it's the best thing to do, and she seems to be quite the expert.
At the end of the session she said that even if we didn't do any more training with Fenway he'd be a better dog in another year or so when he's totally out of his puppy stage. But that's not what I want! He's such a lovable, adorable dog that I want him to be part of our family and not just the dog who hangs out in the corner. Obviously Fenway's never going to just hang out in a corner even if we wanted him to. So we have to work on making him a great dog and this was a good next step. Brian loved it! He hadn't gone to puppy class with us because he's allergic to the other dogs so this was his first training session and I think he learned a lot.
So we'll practice what we learned last night and then we'll get back together with her in a few weeks to learn some new stuff. Hopefully the next time y'all see Fenway he'll be shaking your hand and not jumping on your legs!