On Tuesday night, Boca graduated from her six-week adult obedience class at our local Kriser's. I loved our trainer and am so proud of Boca for her cheerful focus during each session. She now has a fabulous foundation and I think she could easily be a candidate for Canine Good Citizen certification.
There was only one other dog in our class, but being held in a retail store during business hours resulted in some unpredictable distractions and Boca handled each one calmly. She generally would lay down at my feet while the trainer was talking, and allowed strangers to pet her and step closely around her.
Boca's greatest strength turned out to be her recall, which is a relief since that is one of my biggest struggles with Ruby. During one practice, Boca ran away from the trainer's treats and past a store employee squeaking a toy in order to barrel toward me with such enthusiasm that she nearly knocked me down.
'Leave it' continues to be a challenge for Boca - the street dog doesn't understand why you would possibly want to ignore a piece of food! She exercises restraint about toys/moving objects, but those smelly treats are hard to resist.
Her sit-stays and down-stays are improving, I am starting to be able to turn and walk away and walk partway around her. These exercises remind me of the Relaxation Protocol, something I need to return to as it benefits both dogs.
It was wonderful to see the change in Boca - from shy and worried in our first class to wagging her tail when we turned into the parking lot. We practiced polite greetings with the other dog and store employees, and I think Boca is ready for her first trip to the farmer's market, just in time for the fall season. I'm absolutely delighted with this awesome potcake.
|Boca's "white belt" hand-stitched by our trainer|