New class: Control Unleashed

Pictures below! On Thursday we started a new class called “Control Unleashed”. This class will help Alice learn to relax more and communicate better with me. Our friend Skyler with Korra is in the class with us!

For the first part of class, we left our dogs in our cars so that we could all focus on what the instructor was saying and see some demos. Luckily Brad was able to stay in the van with Alice and Korra (we drove separately from Skyler and Korra, but planned to do this).

We introduced ourselves and talked about what we wanted to get out of class, then saw some demos of how we can walk our dogs past distracting things and get their focus on us.

Next we brought all the dogs in. There are 7 or 8 dogs in class, but it’s a really big building so there was plenty of space.

The first thing we worked on is mat training. Korra was perfect with mat training—she’s done it before! Alice has never done mat training before, but she caught on really really quickly. She figured out super fast that she only got a treat for lying down on the mat and not for lying down elsewhere or for being off the mat. Pretty soon she was really intent on lying down on the mat. What a good and smart pup!

We also worked on our dogs’ breathing. We were trying to capture them taking a breath before getting a treat. We were supposed to watch our dogs’ noses, but can you imagine trying to see the nostrils of little 4.5 lb Alice?! I don’t think we’ll be able to do that one with her since there is no way I can tell when she’s breathing LOL!

We also took turns working on the whiplash game. This is a game designed to be the start of being able to quickly get your dog’s attention. So you start out by dropping a treat on the ground, then when they eat that one, step to the side and drop a treat behind them. Repeat several times until they get the idea, then start calling their name as you drop the treat behind them. Eventually when you say their name, they’ll be whipping their head around to look for the treat!

Alice did a good job with that, I was very proud!

At the end of class, we spent some time watching how you go about desensitizing a dog to a power wheelchair. One of the dogs in the class was afraid of Brad’s chair, so they worked at an oblique angle to the chair, walking and getting treats at regular intervals.

Brad got some wonderful pictures! In them, I have my hair in a ponytail and am wearing turquoise unicorn guinea pig leggings. Alice is wearing a neon green harness.

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