Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Training Wonders

Freya has (relatively) successfully completed two dog training classes. We started Puppy training with PetSmart when she was 10 weeks old and she did great. I super recommend at least puppy classes for all puppies. It provides invaluable socializing and also helped train us on when to start training her skills and kept us on track. It really helps when you have to have certain skills down or you don’t get to graduate! Kind of like school, if you don’t have to do it, you probably won’t do it.
Then we moved on the Intermediate training. Since puppy class covered sit, down, loose leash walking, and beginnings of sit and come, Intermediate was the next step. We learned heel, long stay, come and sit from a distance and “Park it” or we call it “go lay down”. No playing, which Freya was definitely sad about, but definitely a lot of fun. We passed, but barely. I think we are planning on doing Intermediate again soon to reinforce skills and get us back focused on training. Plus I’d love to do Advanced.
Freya loves training. She loves our trainer Carolyn. She loves seeing other dogs. Usually she likes to pay attention to us and learn new things to make us happy (and get treats).
I do want to teach her some new tricks on our own. Great blog I found: http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/ . Has a lot of great ideas and helps me notice good and bad things I do with Freya’s behavior. Also gives great ideas of games and activities to do with your dog. One idea is to teach your dog how to be embarrassed by putting a paw over her nose. Still haven’t tried it yet, but sounds fun.
The next step is Agility training! We start Friday 2/28 at 7:30pm with Intro to Agility. Mostly it is just introducing the dog to the objects in agility. If we decide to continue, the beginner classes follow after the 3 week intro class. Once we start I will definitely share more about it. I got inspired to do agility from one of my former coworkers who did it with her dog and had a blast training and practicing and going to competitions. Sounds like so much fun for me and Freya!
In general, training is one of the best ways to bond with your dog. It helps keep us both active and helps develop her brain. I definitely plan to keep training her for most of her life with new skills and tricks and hopefully she loves agility so we can keep up with that too.

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