Thursday, October 8, 2015

Last Night's Class

The trainer was back for our class last night!  We got to move on to new stuff, yay!

During class Delilah was very yappy.  Especially in the beginning.  It was kind of distracting for me because I was trying to keep her quiet when I should have been listening to the trainer or watching the demo.  Delilah REALLY loves this trainer though.  She usually hates people but last night when she saw the trainer (who she had only met once previously) she started yapping and lunging at her.  But not in an aggressive or fearful way like she does with most people that give her attention.  Her entire little body was wiggling!  It's very interesting to me.

She did well with mat work and with down.  She lay on her mat for most of class.  When she got up to yap I'd remind her "place" or "down" and she'd lie right back down!  So while her behavior was worse, she listened better, if that makes any sense.  Now down is her go to behavior whenever I have a toy or treat she wants.  It used to be sit but now she lies down!  All of that work last week has paid off so far.

The new exercises we did were "It's Your Choice" to work on impulse control, the collar game, and restrained recall.  "It's Your Choice" is a game where you hold or place the treat in front of the dog and if she tries to take it before you hand it to her, you cover the treat.  Once she leaves your hand alone you open it.  When she leaves the exposed treat alone you can hand it to her.  The collar game is to get her used to her collar/harness being grabbed.  You grab the collar or harness, give her a treat, and let go.  The last one is restrained recall where one person holds the dog, the other person shows her a treat or toy and runs away calling "come" so the dog chases them when she's released.  Delilah already has a decent recall but she LOVES this "game."

I like taking a class and learning new exercises and games to play with my dog.  I like having a trainer to guide us and I like the class structure.  I could train Delilah to do most of this myself like I've done with Mia, but taking a class is really nice for both of us.

I'm starting to think that maybe I should just accept that Delilah is a vocal dog and expresses her emotions with sound.  I thought she'd only yap if she was scared of someone, but last night she yapped because she was happy to see someone.  She cries when she's upset, screams when she's excited, and once made a strange yodeling sound when I gave her a new bone while pushing it with her nose.  She's so tiny and experiences emotion so strongly I don't think her little body can physically contain it, so she has to express herself with energy and noise.  She physically starts shaking when she's excited.  When she's happy she flings her body around, flailing her limbs and crashing into furniture.  She's just my crazy little dog.

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