On Thursday we had our second session of rally 1 dog training class. Brad was able to go with me, so there are lots of pictures, yay!
This class is fast paced, which I like. We go through a lot of different things each session, and review concepts that are more important weekly.
As a result of going through so many things, I can’t quite remember the order of the things we did, and I probably won’t remember all of them, either.
I know we started off doing watches. We upped the difficulty by putting treats in our hands and holding them out to our sides, while waiting for our dogs to look at our faces. Felix had no problem with this, so I was able to up the difficulty by waving my arms around even! He did such a great job!
We also showed off our heeling skills to each other in class. Felix did a pretty good job, though he was distracted by the extra large dog in our class! He stopped to look at the dog and was lagging behind for a bit until he got back in the swing of things and heeled nicely.
I believe next we worked on sits in heel position. I’ve never had Felix sit in heel position before, only out in front of me, so this was a challenge. We were supposed to do this against a wall so the sits would be straight, but that was just too much pressure for Felix. So I angled out away from the wall and we worked on shaping it. At first he’d only sit behind my wheelchair or in front of my wheelchair, but we did get him to slowly inch up next to my wheelchair. This is something I’ll be working on a lot this week.
We also worked on come, and I’m pretty sure we did that after the sits because Felix was still a little stressed from the sits. He wasn’t great on the come. He knows it at home, but I honestly haven’t used it outside of the house. So he was confused as to why I was tossing treats and then calling him to come. He did it, but with zero enthusiasm. I think he was also bothered by the long leash I was keeping so he could get further away from me, as the leash kept hitting him as he was coming to me.
By this time, we only had about 10–15 minutes left in class. We were supposed to work on downs which Felix knows quite well. I asked him to down, and he gave me the most upset look and slowly lay down while locking eyes with me and looking just pitiful. I decided right then that class was over for Felix. So I encouraged him to chew on his Himalayan Chew while the rest of the class did downs. Heck, he was doing his lying down while chewing on his chew!
Last, we were supposed to work on the stay. Felix definitely needs work on his stay, but I knew that it wasn’t the right time to do anything with him. He is a 10.5-month-old teenager, and he was so not feeling it. So he chewed on his chew while I listened and learned from the instructor.
I am glad that with the experience I have training dogs nowadays, I am comfortable deciding that my dog has had enough and is done learning for the day. I’m also glad I was able to listen to him and reduce the pressure for the sits in heel position. Our training sessions are normally very short. We normally do 5 minutes at a time at home, and when we go out in public to train, we normally do about 15 minutes at a time working, then a break on my lap or a mat with a chew, etc.
Overall I think he did pretty well for a 10.5-month-old dog. He was able to participate for most of the class, and he did decently on most things. I will be working on the sit in heel position, come, and stay this week. I think those are the things he needs the most practice on.
Below are the pictures Brad took. He experimented with lots of prisms, crystals, and filters to create kaleidoscope effects, rainbows, and strategic flares or blurring. That’s the “psychedelic” part of this post! Felix is a sable and white Japanese Chin in a black rhinestone harness. I am wearing a pink and green plaid dress and am using my loaner wheelchair.