Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Spur: Training the Beast, Part 28

Group Class 2 – July 1

When we arrived at the facility, I put Spur’s muzzle on. Again, as much as we hate to see him in it, and as pitiful as he looks, it’s still just to make the other participants more relaxed with him, knowing they cannot get bitten if he acts up.

Sam ran the group lesson, but Courtney was also there working a private lesson with another client. When we got there it was similar to a dog park, or doggie social. A few dogs were off leash and one approached Spur. I didn’t know who the owner was so I called out, “Please get your dog! Please get your dog!” The dog was removed before any issues could pop up. But then, another dog came to greet Spur and the greeting wasn’t as nice. It didn’t last long and didn’t mar the beginning of the class. Although for a while there, Spur was sitting all by himself since everyone moved with their dogs to another area of the driveway. “Spur, you’re the one who gets to sit in the corner all by himself.”

As the class started, Spur did great with weaves, stays, comes, running comes. When they started an exercise where they rounded a circle, Spur got distracted by another dog and Doug had to pull him out of the line. The exercise then turned into “Spur-in-the-middle” and he did fine. Doug said Spur was so focused on him that he probably didn’t realize what was going on around him. I said, “That’s the entire point!” Doug was surprised; almost as if it finally dawned on him, that if there was going to be the chance of an incident, Doug needed to grab Spur’s attention and keep it. How many weeks have I been telling him this???

The class ended with a game of Place Board Tic-Tac-Toe and a group picture. Spur did not have any loud outbursts the entire class. And afterward, he got to visit with his favorite trainer, Courtney and even give kisses without his muzzle.

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