29 July 2014

Stuff you don't want to hear while you're in puppy class.

Banksy has a stay. Somewhat of a stay. A work in progress stay.

I am trying to take some puppy classes with a couple new instructors. I want to learn! I may be unteachable but I'm trying hard here. Banksy is VERY teachable so I am sure there's hope for us! So I'm trying out different things, to see what's the right fit for us, since my regular, super best teacher has been traveling around for important agility business.

I don't think I'm a terrible trainer. Maybe I used to be. And there is a lot of room for improvement. Big huge pants room. As much room as a Costco. Or as much as a giant Ikea shipping warehouse with 100 loading docks. As much as Slovenia. As much as Russia! Somebody teach Russia. I am way more teachable than Russia. So a lot of room. I'm trying to learn stuff here. Not hear cattiness.

Here's some things you probably don't want your instructor to say to you, or to the class, or to someone else when you are RIGHT THERE and can hear them.

Announcing to the class that your puppy is the OCD puppy. My puppy stares at shit. We are working like crazy on this. And she stares at it less. A little bit labely for puppy class, righty-o?

After you have successfully rebooted your puppy, after a puppy meltdown when the other puppies are doing tunnels, and there are big dogs doing agility just across the field, and yep, you had to drag your puppy outside class for a few minutes to get her brain back, which is the whole reason you are IN PUPPY CLASS, you probably don't want to hear how you thought it would be so easy to train a border collie so that's why you got one. That they're hard to train. Um, yeah. If I was looking for easy to train, probably border collie would have been way at the bottom of my list. You know what would be good to hear? More about the questions I am asking, how to keep her under threshold so there's less brain melting down when all the other dogs are RUNNING! With TOYS!

Hear that you're the lady who has a gentle, quiet, low energy dog, and then got a border collie, and have that be the punchline of funny joke about how the whole class had to go work on boring, stupid restrained recalls. Hear it in whispery, judgey tones. OK. So maybe it is a funny joke! But MY funny joke. Not yours, she who is the teacher of the class.

I've had a lot of training challenges with all my dogs. Different kinds of challenging, different kinds of challenges. How about training a dog with ammonia in their brain who doesn't understand most of what you're trying to say? How about training a dog who hates all other dogs? And most other people. How about training a dog who is feral and so over the top of out of control she is foraging for food from on top of the refrigerator and chases down anything moving, and so you became a super beginner in a wild and fast sport like her called, agility?

All 3 of those dogs were my dogs. And they were little and way easier to capture in times of training woe. Now I have a wild ass border collie puppy who isn't so tiny! And we're having a blast! Most of the time. I happily have made it through 2 more puppy classes with no dragging outside and relaxing in the crate, with happily taking treats and tugging and doing everything right! Sure. I make mistakes. Probably as many as a giant Ikea shipping warehouse with 100 loading docks. Millions and trillions of them! So I 'm trying to get better. I've trained enough dogs, and taught enough foundation classes myself to know how to trust my dog, and I might make choices to do stuff, say, not put my over the top puppy through a bunch of tunnels, til she's more ready.

Cuz I thinka, tunnels, not going to be a big training issue. Not as much as brain focus on all the little tasks at hand. So this is what we're working on, now, today, and in class. Just making brain focus the fun project. I didn't think I was being difficult, I just thought I had a wild puppy and was someone trying to do a good job. So off we go, time to go train my puppy.


Anonymous said...

Did you pay in advance for this class? I think I'd stay away, even without a refund. You and Banksy don't need the tear apart the handler school of puppy training... unless you have super-thick skin (which I don't have.)

CJ in Canada said...

I used to teach puppy classes & I would've been thrilled to have a puppy who's person had already done tons of awesome training beforehand! I'm jealous of the foundation stuff you've done with Banksy, wish I'd done that level of work with mine way back in the day before I learned to do the stuff you already know.

OBay Shelties said...

I think you know what you are doing! Ignore the mean people! :-)

Unknown said...

Ugh. Don't you hate it when you don't have a clue by four handy.

That person is not qualified to teach. Full. Stop.

Unknown said...

Brave said I made mistakes in our training session this morning, too, but he's okay with it. More cookies, please? Tug? Ball? Play now?

Banksy is the neatest with the neatest pack of dogs and people.

Tracy said...

This makes me grumpy. :( Puppy class should be fun and helpful!

Gnome barks loudly about this: WOO WOO WOO.

Anonymous said...

some people set themselves up as 'teachers' thinking they will be seen as authority figures. but in actuality are insecure, and the only way they can maintain their self illusion of superiority and authority is to put down the people around them. it's usually pretty obvious. since you're already signed up, you might as well make the most of the situation, and just go ahead and be your ernest self with your very enthusiastic puppy. if you can keep your cool, it will be good practice for those those future big time agility trials.
and while i'm posting… border collies do stare. don't get too stressed by it. as long as she's happy to let the staring go when you offer something else that's more fun, i don't think it's crisis material.

Anonymous said...

A big agility name California lady came up to Oregon and gave a foundation seminar. She told me I could not use my Halti on my very starey, over the top BC mix Beep and then made fun of the way I had taught my dog to line up. All right off the bat in the morning. I was sad, but put on my big girl panties and stuck with it for the rest of the day. My big dork was the only one who knew how to release without a body cue and almost laid her out flat when she took his collar for a restrained recall. I also did learn some stuff. Even if people are butt heads there are things to be learned, but if it's to much, then bag it. You are doing a great job!

Terry A said...

good role modeling for those not as wise as you. trust your dog. recognize nastiness and don't let it get to you. train and trust the dog you have w/out judging her against anyone else's performance. wise woman!!! love that you can write about this.