I’ve written before about our maniac bird-dog puppy Winston. He is a rapidly growing, hairy, wild, uncontrollably exuberant member of our family.
We got Winston last year, just a day before Thanksgiving. He was so cute then.
He slept calmly on Papa Bill’s (DH’s Grandfather) lap after Thanksgiving Dinner.
He’s gradually grown up to be a mud-loving, cat-chasing, kid-bowling-over teenager.
Winston is now eight months old, and the ideal age to enter some formal obedience training. Annabelle and I had taken him through six weeks of Puppy Kindergarten earlier this year, and he really thrived on all the attention. Our Puppy K class was taught by Andrea Williams of Diamonds in the Ruff Dog Training, and when I saw a notice that Andrea would be holding the next level of class starting this month I signed us up right away.
Winston had spent the few minutes prior to our departure for Puppy K in the irrigation ditch. I tried to clean him off, but it was to no avail. Since I didn’t have time to give him a bath, he shed dirt all over the white tiles in the training room.
It was embarrassing, but it did give Batman something to do when he got tired of watching the dogs. He drew circles on the tiles and played in the dirt.
Annabelle was plenty enthralled with the idea of just hanging out with Miss Andrea again. I think she thought she was helping teach the class.
We had two other dogs in class with us the first night. One was a beautiful blue heeler named Tucker.
The other dog in the class was a big black hound dog that bayed so loudly Batman clapped his hands over his ears and yelled “Be Quiet!”
Our first class was pretty much review for Winston, since he had covered all the basics in Puppy K. He remembered most of what he had learned, but he is a distractible puppy, and his focus was often on things other than me. In particular he spent a lot of time looking at a yellow tennis ball that was on the floor behind Miss Andrea.
Miss Andrea is a wonderful and experienced teacher, and she really understands the different types of dogs and how to best handle their personalities and training needs. We enjoyed our first session of class, and are endeavoring to perform all of our homework before our session next week.
We are working on our sit/stay exercise, and Winston is working up to a one minute stay. We are also practicing having the dogs sit quietly on leash beside our chair for twenty minutes at a time without bothering us. That is a tough one for Winston, since he thinks he should be sitting in my lap if he has to hold still in one place for that long.
We’ll keep working on it.