Animals have a way of humbling me and Sammy is no exception. Last night was his first night at obedience class. Sam was the biggest, loudest, strongest, most distracted dog there. So much for my"I've trained an 1800 pound horse and Sammy will be a piece of cake," philosophy. HA!
My first thought was, "Geeze, I wish I hadn't told the instructor (Amy) that my goal is to show Sammy in obedience classes in the future!"
My second thought was lost in Sammy pulling me across the room like a kite on a breezy day. I'm not kidding. The only good thing was that Sammy made me feel weightless. It was a quick successful diet for me.
Amy saved my dignity when she brought over a gentle leader. The hour in class began to get easier. A gentle leader is soon to become my new best friend...in and out of class!
Before I get distracted with the gentle leader, let me go on and tell you about the rest of the class! We did the traditional sit fairly easily when Sammy and I were in sinc (about 2% of the time). The part that was really important evaded us for the entire night.
WATCH ME is the basis of me getting Sammy's attention. All the boy had to do was look at me. I could click my clicker and give him a treat while saying WATCH ME at the same time. Do you think the boy would look at me?
Of course not.
He looked at the dog beside him. He looked at Amy. He looked at Chuck when he walked in. Sammy smelled my pockets. He tripped on his water dish. Sammy's mind wandered more in one hour than mine does on a normal day! Sammy might have looked at me once, but I missed it and didn't click in time. In short, I was humbled.
I'm pretty good with animals of all sizes and usually feel confident and skillful. Sammy knocked me down a notch or two...or twenty! It didn't help any when he got in the jeep and drooled down my neck.
Actually, truth be told, I enjoy challenges. If Sammy was too easy, his training wouldn't be nearly so exciting. Today is a new day. I think I'm going to start out by clicking myself for tenacity, then treating myself to extra cream in my coffee. Look out Sammy...the day is early and I'm on a mission!!
Annabelle and Maddie, you're on my agenda too!