Heel.

Our first day with the dog trainer was last Saturday. This is the guy who runs the business as the original guy that did our assessment has moved on. He was nice, and knowledgeable enough, but I just didn’t quite like him as much as the other guy.

SO! Aside from that the lesson went well. We didn’t really learn much we didn’t know, but it was only the first day and he said we have to really master the small stuff before we can get to the big stuff. Both dogs were pretty good and it was easy to see what we needed to work on.

We’ve tried to spend 15-30 minutes a day per dog on “homework” to reinforce the commands. Gouda is awesome. He seriously blows me away with his goofy awesomeness. I did Petsmart training with him about 4 years ago and it’s like he remembers 99% of it even though we only practice about 30% of it on a regular basis. And the trainer loved him too. He’s so happy and smiley it’s impossible not to. He sits, he lays down, he sits from laying down, he stays (for short periods of time) he heels (with only minor issues when it comes to the automatic sit part). Awesome, adorable, and so happy.

Layne is another story. Layne is nervous, and sensitive and pretty much a furry little freak. You give her one correction and she pretty much flips out and submits. And then you have to scrape her off the floor back into a standing or sitting position. If you work on “heel” with her, she follows along at your left side where she’s supposed to, but she lags behind , head down, tail down, sort of slinking nervously along. I don’t even remember correcting her on Heel except the few times she tried to go walk on my right side (which is where Nate usually lets her walk but apparently heeling is done on the left). We’re only practicing inside so far and every time we walk past her bed she tries to get on it. I try to be happy and encouraging and tell her she’s a good dog but she’s SUCH a FREAK! Seriously, it’s about the saddest thing in the world because she’s being GOOD and we’re telling her she’s GOOD and she’s acting like we’re beating her as she’s walking with us. I’ll have to see if I can get a video to capture the freak-ness of it all. Obviously I’ll be mentioning this to her trainer this week when he comes back.

Also funny? At least funny to me and Nate… the trainer asked if Layne was the omega of the pack. Since he could tell she’s more nervous and sensitive. Umm, no. Gouda is the Omega. And has been pretty much since we brought Layne home from the SPCA and she let him know she was absolutely the boss of him and to quit whining already. Seriously. If he gets overly whiny she bites him on the neck. A correction, we’ve been told, that is similar to the effect we’re going for with the training collar.

Anyways. Not a dog blog. Right? Oh well!