Last week Porter had his first obedience class. Porter is enrolled in an “adolescent manners” class at Wiggles and Wags located in Lombard.
We choose Wiggles and Wags because we have similar styles of training with positive reinforcement and they are all about helping your dog succeed.
Here is my take on dog obedience training…it’s pretty much the prelude for when we have kids in preschool. Will my dog behave with other dogs, will he listen to me, will he try to nibble on someone or will he destroy my backpack while trying to find his treats. (Yes I can pretty much envision my future children doing all of the above.)
Luckily at our first class he didn’t do any of those. However he barked and barked and barked. To keep him semi-occupied, the instructor recommended giving him lots of treats and working on “sit” during the instructions so I and everyone else could hear. With that trick set we moved forward relatively smoothly throughout the rest of class.
Matt and I have done a lot of basic training with Porter immediately after we got him from PAWS. He knows wait, sit, down and paw so far. In class though we hit a few hiccups when I introduced a variations of known commands but after a while Porter caught on.
The worst was near the end of the class. With fifteen minutes to go, Porter was clearly letting everyone know he was done, especially me. He was a little antsy and wanted to play with all the dogs and meet the other owners. But I was glad he made it through even if it was hard. What boosted our confidence, or at least mine was the instructor sent a lovely encouraging email the next day. The instructor gave us our homework and helpful video links to reinforce what we reviewed in class.
Ensuring that Porter knows commands and listens to me or Matt in a variety of situations is a our goal. We’ve got six more to go so there is lots of learning left for both Porter as well as Matt and I.