Thursday, August 25, 2011

Training classes and puppies as cats

Today I taught some more classes- again, covering for another trainer. I taught a week 2 Puppy class and a week 4 Beginner class and then had a personal training camp in the hotel. First, I'm not going to bash the other trainer, but I'm just confused as to what the pet parents have been taught so far. There are certain behaviors that they should've known by now and they told me that they hadn't learned some of them or had no idea what I was talking about. So, for example, in my second class of the night, they were already supposed to have been taught drop it, leave it, and down. And one pet parent said that they did not do drop it and only briefly covered down which means that the only thing left that they were supposed to learn that week was leave it. And that does not take an hour to teach. So what the heck else were they taught that day?

Anyways... So I kind of had to squeeze a lot into an hour for that class covering things they should've already known so that we could get on to the next things. And one of the pet parents that had missed the previous week specifically asked if they could schedule a makeup session with me. So I scheduled to meet with them on Saturday first thing when I come into work. I'm not sure if that's really right but I don't know when the other trainer will be back and they wanted to get the makeup in before next week's class, and I felt bad that the trainer had not scheduled the makeup with them before she left for this week.

Another whoops for the night- after my first class ended, one of the hotel managers told me that there was a personal training camp that did not get done and the dog had already checked out. And that was the third personal training camp for that pet parent that a trainer did not do. Now, no one had ever told me how to tell if I had training camps scheduled, no one told me when I came in to work that day, and I kind of figured I wouldn't be doing training camps for a while since I just started training. So it's partly my fault- since you know what happens when you assume. (You make an ass out of u and me). I felt so bad and I really hope that the pet parent schedules another training camp that someone will actually do. 

There was a second training camp scheduled- and I did do that one. It was a cute little Boston Terrier mix- brindle with floppy ears and a bit bigger than a standard Boston. He had the sweetest, goofiest personality. He was also one of the most toy motivated dogs I've seen. He actually preferred a toy to treats sometimes and would work to play with the toy. Apparently he's had issues in the past with automatically rolling over when someone asks him to lie down. This is a problem I had with Harley too.  This happens when you create a pattern- if every time you ask your dog to lie down you then ask him to roll over, eventually they're just going to roll over when you ask him to lie down because they're anticipating that that's what you will ask for next. Not once today when I asked him to lie down did he roll over! He did roll over at other times, but never immediately following the cue "down."

Something I want to mention that I find incredibly odd is a behavior that Ace does. I've noticed that (usually at night) he will go to a specific toy, put his mouth around it and then just sit there like that for a while. I'm not sure if he's sucking on it or very subtly licking it or nibbling on it, but sometimes he also wiggles his toes and curls his paw up kind of like cats do when they knead. So I googled this behavior and apparently dogs do knead like cats in rare occasions. I read conflicting descriptions however- one resource said that puppies will grow out of it and the other said that they never grow out of it. I have yet to see any harm in Ace doing this so I see no reason to stop him because it calms him down and he does not do it obsessively. 

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Off work tomorrow- so hopefully I can get a lot of reading in! Another of the books came in- High Energy Dogs. I'm really looking forward to reading this one since I have a Lab and an Aussie- two very high energy breeds! haha.

Well, night y'all. :)

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