Monday, October 14, 2013

So Busy...and SO GREAT!

We are BUSY up in here with some mad obedience training routines!!  Check out how the pups are doing!

Results from Maggie's Board and Train
The results are actually ongoing because we're in the midst of learning how to work with Maggie and all her new obedience skills still.  She came back home knowing: sit, down, sit-stay, down-stay, leave it, drop it, heel, quiet, off, come...I feel like I'm missing some things but all the basics.  This had been tough for us to teach much past the sit, down, and stay commands before.  She is a ROCK STAR at all of them and we're still working on each every day to keep her up to snuff.  She learned SO much patience by being put around dogs and asked to do down-stays.  When she started barking her little head off on leash, they worked her (quick succession of "heel, down, stay, come" and repeat until she calmed down) and eventually with the trainers there, she made the right decisions 90% of the time (she's still a pup, nobody's perfect!).
The first time I could walk both of them together AND take a picture.  A momentous day!
The goofy thing?  She was never leash reactive with the trainers there.  For some reason, she must think that we need protecting or she has to have attitude when she's with us.

What now?
Now, we're working with Maggie to have her respond to us almost 100% of the time while on leash. We're doing about 2-3 minutes of an obedience run through right outside our house followed by a walk and then more obedience throughout the day.
My cuddle nugget...she's a burrower.
She's as cuddly as ever and seems to enjoy being back home with us and Nigel!

The bad?
So, do we recommend board and train programs?  It depends.  It ended up being 100% the right choice for us because we need ongoing help when issues crop up with Maggie as we learn to work wit her now (and we get follow ups for as long as we need them, 4 mandated ones).  I hated having to be away from her for a month and the money was ABSURD.  BUT, we have a game plan when she starts to react now and we haven't been able to get to calm down during a reaction until the last two weeks.  So, it totally depends on humans' situations and the dog's behavior.
I should have told her "off" but she just looked so cute and happy.
What about Nigel?!
Nigel, as it turns out, is incredibly obedient.  We knew this before but he did NOT like his first obedience class we took him to.  He seems to like this one much more but still kind of looks a little weepy during class sometimes.  Anyone else ever had this reaction from a dog?  He does everything perfectly but is kind of sad looking about it all.  Sometimes, I think he's bored because there's a lot of sitting around.  He's doing great though and continues to be a wonderful companion.
What's your vote?!  More like Yoda or ET?!
We'll keep you updated on our ongoing progress with Maggie's improvements and Nigel's obedience training awesomeness!

PS - Maggie now weighs 50 pounds.  That's a whopping 15 pound gain from a year ago when we got her.  Perhaps she's no longer so "pocket pittie" but we'll keep pretending for a while.  :-)