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Monday, August 12, 2013

Puppy Orientation Class

Olivia has gotten so big since I first got her. She seems like she may be ten times that size (maybe not, but she has grown). She three months old now, has the appropriate shots, and is signed up for Puppy Class at the local Petsmart (I'm really quite excited about it). This past saturday my fiancee and I took Olivia to the Puppy Orientation class that is held every saturday. One other puppy showed up for it and it was a really good socialization experience for Olivia. She tends to be shy around other dogs so letting her get used to the Petsmart obedience class area without the chaos of a lot of other dogs was really great. The other puppy was an 8 week old Golden Retriever and he was really cute. But as I expected, Olivia thought that hiding behind my or Brian's legs was a better alternative to having to be social.

The trainer went over all the usual puppy things, potty training, biting, crate training, handling puppies around small kids, etc. Then she started introducing the two puppies to clicker training.I'd already started a little bit at home with Olivia by clicking the clicker and giving her a treat without asking anything of her so she could learn what the clicker means: TREATS! After doing this same thing with Olivia and the Golden, the trainer moved on to actual obedience tricks. She did it with Olivia first and started with "watch me" to get Olivia to make eye contact with her, then moved on to "sit" and "release" (get up out of sit). Olivia, being the little treat monger that she is, was very enthusiastic to figure out what was needed in order to receive a reward. I was so proud of her (like any parent is when their child shows up all the other little kids). The Golden puppy being much younger than Olivia and only just introduced to the clicker was a little slower, but he did begin to catch on towards the end.

These three commands are what Olivia will learn on Wednesday at her first Puppy Class, and I've been working with her at home to continue learning them. Of course, she is more interested in biting my finger off trying to get the snack than she is in "watch[ing] me" so it's a little more challenging than it looked on saturday with the trainer, but we're getting there. I think it's kinda cool that she's old enough to do these sorts of activities now, makes her feel more like a grown up :)

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