Friday, September 25, 2015

Delilah's First Training Class

On Wednesday evening Delilah, the bf, and I went to our first training class!  It's a positive reinforcement clicker training class that teaches basic manners and obedience.  I think this is the first step to agility. For the first class we just went over a lot of basic stuff- sit, down, responding to name, touch, and mat work.  I had already started teaching her the first four things so she was a pro at class.

When we got there we had to wait outside before the class but we aren't allowed to let dogs greet each other before/during/after class.  I saw a friend from work who's also taking this class with her lab and we talked a little but we couldn't get close enough for the dogs to greet.

Mat work during class.
Delilah yapped a little outside- there's a feed store right next door and they were unloading hay in the parking lot and the noise and movement scared her.  Once we got inside there was a circle of chairs spaced far apart with mats next to them for the dogs.  There were some young adult/adolescent dogs like Delilah and there were also a couple of puppies and a couple of adult dogs.  I was so worried Delilah was going to yap at the other dogs or people but she was fine!  Even when the trainer came over to meet her while I left to register and pay, she didn't yap, she was friendly!  I'm so proud!

Demonstrating the "name game" with the trainer.  Good girl!
Since a lot of the other dogs were young and hyper some of them would bark so the only time she yapped during the class was in response to another dog barking.  I had taught her a kissing noise as a positive interrupter and as a cue to focus on me (see video below by Kikopup/Emily Larlham for more information).  So whenever she started yapping or when I anticipated that she would start yapping I made the noise and she'd come over and look at me and be quiet.

The good news is my boyfriend's pretty enthusiastic about this class and has been doing the homework with Delilah!  Even though he says "it wasn't that fun" I think he secretly liked it.  I had a lot of fun, and I know Delilah did.  It was just a big cookie party for her- treats and dogs and games- so exciting!

Also, we bought her this cute jacket after class.  She'll come to appreciate it in another month or so.

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