Friday, April 29, 2011

Week Two: A Good Night?

I fully expected to go into class last night with a wound up, crazy, a tad bit psychotic Nubs since we've had 4 days of constant rain and I was right. Walking into the Training hall Nubs was crazy. He was all over the place, jumping, acting a fool, jumping at people. He was acting like an out of control dog that had no manners and was never taught a bit of training in all his life. How bad was he?
-He knocked me into a mirror by jumping up on me
-He tried to be hover dog, and hover over to the dog walking next to use while in a heel
-He attacked and killed a hamburger.... A stuffed hamburger...

This was in the first 15mins of a 50 min class. I was about to leave, no use to having a distracting dog for everyone else when out of no where, it's like I had a new dog. I mean it was like a switch turned on and Nubs started acting like a trained dog. Stays were working as were recalls (we moved any extra humans away from the recall area since Nubs likes to visit a tad bit to much) and even heels (besides that annoying Hamburger that Nubs took a liking to). After class ended I had Nubs in a heel as everyone stood around and talked, and we weaved in and out of people and other dogs like it was nothing. It was amazing honestly. It was like the good old days where Nubs had great eye contact, watched my every move, and tried not to play with every dog possible. Amazing.

One thing I've found funny is the fact that Nubs can pick out other Pit Bulls a mile away. He'll zoom in on these dogs and try to get them to play. After class I stopped and spoke to this other Pit Bull owner (10month old black and white Pit Bull mix) and it was funny as heck as Nubs tried to get the puppy to play with him. Lots of Nubs play bows (which isn't what a normal dog would consider a play bow but a challenge instead. It resembles a dog's "LETS PLAY CHASE!" body language. It's a quick half bow, with a bounce and a forward run. I always look for that when I'm introducing him to other dogs because I know when he does that it's safe to let him go. They didn't get to play today, might have his friend Stacker over at some point, but it was nice to see he wanted to play. Even at 4 years of age, he's still a puppy at heart.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Back to the Basics!

Tonight started out first night of training since early last year. I went back to the basics, not quite beginners since Nubs doesn't NEED to relearn how to sit, we went with the next step up for a refresher class, and man has Nubs forgotten a lot.

Today we started by rushing around the house since I got off of work at 5:45pm and class is at 6:15pm. Nubs is a shadow so every time I turned around, there he was. At some point I took a step back and ended up tripping over him and landing on the couch. At that point he was banished to his crate until I was done getting ready and ready to head out.

We get to the training place, and Nubs is excited as heck to be there. He remembers the place and wanted nothing more to jump right out of the car and head in the door. Thankfully, I've NEVER allowed him to get out of the car without a command so he sits in my seat, whining, moaning and complaining about having to wait for me to get my stuff around. Finally he gets his release and SHOOTS out of the car like it's on fire. I being caught off guard for this lose my balance and land on my behind for the second time in 20mins. A lady with her Australian Shepherd was standing near by and was nice enough to say that we was really impressed with how Nubs listened to me so easily when I snapped my fingers and pointed to the back seat of the car. I'm guessing she missed the whole "fall on butt" thing because she though Nubs was the greatest.

Class was pretty uneventful... ok, well uneventful in the fact that Nubs didn't do anything that stupid. We had the normal "Nubs swallowed a Jumping Bean again" fun where Nubs will just jump around me or jump up on me until I lay him out on the floor for being so naughty.. ok would you believe I just grab his collar and tell him enough then? It's days like this I wonder if his registered UKC name should have been "DM's Dyson's Jumping Bean" call name Tigger, Dyson for the vacuum like effect he has in new environment and then the Jumping bean for the constant jumping.

I wish I could say Nubs being a Jumping Bean was the most excitement of the night, but it wasn't. Near the end of class we started doing recall which is something I FIRMLY believe that should be the one thing you work on constantly. Nubs recall resembles that of a race horse on the track. He'll sit and wait for you, and then come out of the chute at 100MPH and then skid to a stop at your feet, if your lucky enough. Sometimes he mis judges the lack of friction on the ground and overshoots his landing.

So anyways, the training is holding on to him and I call him, and he comes SPEEDING across the 20ft between us and skids to a sit perfectly. I go to pick up his leash but Nubs has other ideas. I should have known from that look in his eyes, something was up, but you know humans, were always a step behind. Nubs decides at that very moment, that the guy that is sitting off to the side of the training area needed to be included in the training and takes off running toward him. Before I get a word out, Nubs jumps up and lands in this guys lap, and starts slathering him is kisses. Finally I get my voice and a quick call send Nubs flying back toward me and Nubs lands in a PERFECT front. -slaps forehead-

That was the highlight for the night. We've got some MAJOR work a head of us IF we want to earn that CGC at the end of the class. It's possible, but it's going to take a LOT of work on my part and a lot of work before class of tiring Nubs out. All I can say is if this is how week one of class went, I'm scared to see the next 4 weeks....