Monday, December 14, 2015

Advanced Obedience: Week 1 & 2

Ongoing post about what to expect from Advanced Obedience classes at Petsmart:
Week 3 & 4
Week 5 & 6

Buster missed the first week of Advanced Obedience at Petsmart due to me having a prior engagement. But we made it to week 2 and had a makeup for our missed class the next day as well.

For week 2 we worked on:
  • Stay with distance: Buster prefers a down-stay over a sit-stay, so I put him in a stay at the back of the store and walked around the aisles our of sight and came back. Buster remained in his stay the entire time.
  • Heeling side by side: Buster had to heel, pause, and continue heeling with another dog nearby.
  • Bow & Crawl: Buster already knows these, so I'm working on being able to give the hand signal from a standing position (me, not him) and not having to get so close to him and the floor for him to perform the trick.
For our week 1 makeup we worked on:
  • Impulse control games:
    • I offer a treat with an open palm and Buster has to leave it until I give him permission to eat with a "take it" command.
    • Buster has to leave food on the floor/tables/bowl/etc. unless given the "take it" command.
    • Buster has to heel/loose leash walk towards a line of food on the floor. If he lunges, we go back to the starting line. When we get to the food, he must wait for me to give the command "take it" to be able to eat the food.
Buster is extremely food driven (even more so since he's on prednisone), a fast learner, and eager to please me. All this makes him very easy to train. 

I had mentioned in a previous post that I was considering different therapy organizations to test with. Buster's trainer says she can not administer the test, but she teaches her class to the Therapy Dog International test because it's the most difficult. It also seems to be the most respected and requested. For example, if you want to volunteer at Baptist Hospital, they request dogs that are TDI or Delta (now known as Pet Partners) certified. I'd like for Buster to be accepted at any place he wants to volunteer and I'm not sure our previous choice of Love on  a Leash (LoaL) would allow that because it's the easiest test to pass.

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