Tag Archives: obedience school

9/28/13 Blabbity Blabbity Blab…

Razzum snazzum…computer issues all day!  Finally get to post.

I did not go to Obedience School this morning.  Mom spent all morning in the bathroom.  I kept looking at her like, “We are supposed to be somewhere!!” but…there’s an Imodium joke here somewhere.  Seriously, there must be something “going around”, with Mom and Jamie taking turns getting sick.   I hope my humans are all better soon.  Next Saturday, Jamie and Mom are supposed to run a 5K.  So I have to make up my classes during the week.  Say, what’s a 5K anyway?  Five different kinds of Kibble?  I want to go and sample the Kibble!

Anyway, this morning was kind of blah with us not going anywhere.  I kind of felt like Ms. Play Hooky: 

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(blah)

Then the doorbell rang and joy oh joy oh joy, it was Max from the Aussie Pet Mobile come to give me an oatmeal bath!  Max is, paws-down, the nicest groomer around these parts.  And hoo-boy, did I need that bath!  I had been rolling around in the crop circle left behind by the swimming pool and I was ripe even by my standards!  Now I’m clean and fresh:

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Although I will admit that I look a bit like “Courage the Cowardly Dog” in the above picture.  What with it looking like my head is ten sizes too big and all.  But you can see how sparkly-clean I am!

The day had definitely taken an upward turn.  Then Mom baked the Peanut Butter Puppy Poppers.  And the day improved some more!  The only difference in the recipe was that Mom didn’t roll out the dough; she shaped them exactly like human peanut butter cookies.  I have to say, the house smelled fabulous and the treats are outstanding.  Mom says these are a great improvement on the liver biscuits she used to bake the Three Greyhounds.  She says they loved the treats, but it made them all gassy at the same time – someone open a window just at the memory!

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(The delicious treats)

Then I kind of had a letdown.  I saw Mom’s Halloween costume.  (I know, it’s early, but these people like to be prepared).  I was having a nice chew on my latest indestructible toy when she came downstairs dressed as a –

Black Cat!  Heaven forbid!  My canine reputation is at stake, here!  I avoided eye contact with her, but she noticed and reminded me that I have to wear the “Rufferee” costume.  Now I don’t know which one is worse!

Anyway, everyone is in a Fall mood.  Besides the Peanut Butter Puppy Poppers, the house smells like pumpkin candles.  Which, I have found, are quite tasty, once you get the cardboard box out of the way.  Mom says I am going to make myself sick and put the candles on a shelf. 

I wonder exactly how high I can jump…

Woof!  Love, Maggie

 

 

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9/21/13 Advanced Training

I got my first taste of Advanced Training.  Hoo-boy, I’m in for a rough ride and so is Mom.

I’ve mentioned before about the chain-popping.  The instructor explained this concept to Mom as not so much to choke the dogs, but because we don’t like the noise it makes.  However, I have quite the lively personality and I’m quite strong, so some of the chain-popping was getting a bit tight.  So they put me in a prong collar, which the instructors say is very common way of training larger, stronger dogs.

The prongs are not sharp, and the collar looks quite fearsome, but what it does is exert pressure on the neck so there is actually less chain-popping and yanking and more like giving little tugs.  Little tug + little bit of pressure = dog more likely to listen to command.  So overall, although the collar looks worse, it’s probably better for me than all the popping.

Not that I like it, though.  I had a hard time minding my own business and keeping my eyes on my own paper during school.  There were only three dogs in the class with me included, so we dogs got a lot of individual attention.

We practiced moves that we learned in Basic Obedience, and a few new things; like having our humans sit in a chair while we sat next to them, then our people moved to the back wall and we had to stay seated.  Let me tell you, it’s hard not to get up and follow!  Then we had a U-turn “finish” that is similar to the “finishing” we had in Basic.

We also had to do “figure 8s” around the other dogs.  I had my turn sitting on the big Box that is in the middle of the arena.

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Here is a picture of the prong collar.  I only have to wear it when I’m supervised and training:

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Yikes!  Just don’t call me “spike”!  It looks a lot worse than it is.  Next week we will do more of the same plus a few more new things.  Practice makes perfect!  I know I can do this.  After school next week, Max with the Aussie Pet Mobile is coming to give me another bath.  It’s a nice reward for studying hard!

Woof!  Love, Maggie

 

 

9/14/13 Graduation: I Did It!

After my tumultuous morning, I was ready to listen at Obedience School.  So we (Jamie, Mom, and I) piled into Zeus and off we went.  The instructors gave everybody a few minutes to practice, then we all had to sit by the wall until we were called, dogs and handlers, one at a time, into the arena.  We were put through our paces and judged.  We missed 1st Place Blue Ribbon by 3 points.  But I had an excellent score (Mom helped a little) and I got my Certificate and my gold Ribbon.  I worked hard!

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Sitting, and staying! 

I think I’ve come a long way.

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Stand, stay, and my Certificate & Ribbon!

Mom is starting me on Advanced Training (10 weeks) next Saturday.  By the time we complete this course, I will be able to be a hospital or therapy dog, and retrieve things and people (Search and Rescue).  Mom sometimes leaves me out of the crate when she has to go out now, and her only major issue with me now is that I still jump, but not as much.  I know training and a couple more birthdays on my part will correct this.  I feel more trusting and confident!  And this is good for my kind, for people to see me, and know that Pitbulls are not a bad breed.  Mom wants me to get all the training I can so I can go out with people A LOT.

I had a surprise when I got home:  I crashed on the couch and in seemingly no time, the doorbell was ringing!  I met my new friend Max from Aussie Pet Mobile Grooming, and got a bath and nails clipped right there in my own driveway!  No sitting around with other dogs, no scary kennels.  And I was done in under half a human hour!  Max was so nice, I even let him dry around my ears.  I usually don’t like the dryer, but he had me calm and relaxed!

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Overall, it’s been a great day.  I feel wonderful and my family is proud of my accomplishment.  Plus, my fur is absolutely glowing and I smell fantastic!

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I’m just going to relax and chill on the couch now!  Here’s looking at ya!  And thanks for reading!  Hope you enjoyed the pix!

Woof!  Love, Maggie

 

 

9/14/13 A Dog’s Furry Tail (Fairy Tale)

And so it came to pass that the dawn of the day of my Graduation from Obedience School found me bright-eyed, and well-rested, and bushy-tailed, all from sleeping soundly on the Human Bed, which is exceeding in comfort.  Furthermore, on this shining morning, I could tell Something Was Up, which got me hyper, and thusly my rocket-powered, Hairy Bullet behavior was indeed something to behold!

Finding that I could leap over the back of the couch and clear it quite nicely, I continued forth, wrecking the house, tearing the area rugs up from their sticky backsides, and smiting over books and a lamp with mighty wags of my tail.  Much jumping and snarling ensued during this short period of mayhem.

Mistress and Young Master were taken back at the ferocity with which I shredded some papers that the devil Printer spat out, and I bolted up the staircase with the confetti of such papers dribbling from my jaws.

I did hear, dimly in the back of my mind, the words, “NO!” and, “STOP!” and, “MAGGIE, EASY!” being shouted forthwith.  However, these cries only made me pump my furry legs harder to the chase.

I crashed down the stairs and leaped at Mistress with all my might and strength, trying to include her in the game.  All in the name of Play, just Play!  But Mistress looked at the wanton destruction and did not want to Play in this manner.  Indeed, she spake harshly and called me a miserable and wretched creature amongst all the beasts who go upon four paws.  Thus, I found myself prisoner in the Crate once again, and this time, with no blanket.  Mistress and Young Master were most disappointed in my reckless behavior.

After a time, my Mistress opened up the Crate and Gave Me A Look.  I knowest that look, truly I do!  Slowly I climbed back up the stairs, to where Young Master had ensconced himself in his chambers.  I lay down at the door and whined for his company.  “Perhaps if you did not always steal his Legos and socks, he wouldn’t shut his door!” Mistress said tartly.  Shamed, I buried my nose deep in the stale carpet Mistress wishes to replace and heaved a great sigh of sadness.

At great length, Young Master opened the door and emerged, and I was overjoyed by his presence.  Thereupon, we journeyed hence to yonder Obedience School for the Final Class and Graduation, with me feeling much chastised, and verily, a lot calmer.

– The End (??)

Love, Maggie

8/31/13 Sit, Heel, Wait, Stay!

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(Me, pooped in the back of Zeus!)

You’ve got to give me credit for sticking with this Obedience School.  Today, when we were “finishing”, I got so confused, I started crying.

First, I had to “sit”.  Then I had to “wait” while Mom stepped in front of me, getting a distance between us to the end of the leash (5 feet).  From “sit”, I then had to walk up to Mom and “sit” in front of her.  This is where “finishing” comes in:  After I am told to “stay”, Mom wraps the leash around her body from right to left, steps back with her right foot while telling me to “heel” (my command to move), Mom then walks forward, makes me walk around behind her from right to left, and makes me “sit” on her left side.  Then we “heel out” and the exercise is over.

If all those directions have your eyes rolling, imagine how I felt!  The second time through the exercise, I just sat in front of Mom and cried.  Mom felt awful, but the instructors came around and – you guessed it – yanked my chain until I cooperated.

It was so hot in there and it was storming outside, too!  All I wanted to do was lie down and pant.  As a matter of fact, my tongue was lolling out most of the time we were there, but I didn’t take a drink out of the communal water bowls.

Back in Zeus and on the way home, Mom said we have a lot of practicing to do, because it is only two weeks until graduation and she wants to make sure I pass.  When I do, I will get a certificate and a ribbon.  The certificate is important, because breeds like mine have a lot of prejudice and preconceived notions about them, and it is good to be able to prove that your dog is trained.  I will welcome the day when my kind is not looked down on just for being. 

Then Mom said we will probably move on to Advanced Training…oh no!!!

Woof!  Love, Maggie