Instead of doing a group class where all dogs and handlers are in a room practicing their skills with other dogs around, I take my students who choose the Grand Dog Program training package for training their dog, out in the real world for practice. After all, that is where they will need the dog to behave. We meet at a local park or in town and walk together as a group. We often start out with the dogs just sitting or lying down as we wait for everyone to arrive at the appointed meeting place. Today, we met in Troy, Ohio in the Hobart Arena parking lot. We then walked over to the Troy City Park. We found a picnic shelter that no one was using. ( Not likely anyway, it was about 35 degrees.) We had the dogs place on the benches.
I almost had a better shot than that one but I needed to focus my attention elsewhere for a moment. As this is a learning experience for the dog and handler, I sometimes have to remind handlers of things they should do with their dog. It’s always important to be proactive and tell your dog what you want him to do instead of waiting for something to happen and then trying to get things back under control. We always need to think ahead.
We walked to another spot in the park where several old trees had been cut down. We had the dogs jump up on them and sit. Boomer is a little min pin who can leap like a deer. He doesn’t tolerate the cold like a deer so he wears a coat. Here he is up on a log.
We were lucky today as the squirrels must have been napping. Normally they come down the trees and chatter at the dogs. Some of the dogs can’t stand that and get excited. We walked around the park a bit and stopped a few times and had the dogs hold a down. Some of the dogs did so with their handlers out of sight. Just before we went back across the road to the parking area, we had the dogs do a place command on the parking blocks. Cap and Micah, a german shepherd, shared parking block and Micah sat kind of funny. I took a picture of it because they look like Micah was pretending she was on a motorcycle and Cap was her passenger. Doesn’t she look like she could be saying, “Hop on Cap. Vroom, Vroom.” Well, it does if you use your imagination!
Getting out with our dogs to practice the skills they have learned is an ongoing thing at here at Aunt Faye’s Dog Training. I plan to update our adventures here now and then so check back often.