Monte performed well at the last OccuPaws class surrounded by other well behaved dogs that he was acquainted with. This evening he was back at The Dog Den. for the beginner's class. It starts out with a refresher of the teenager class that we completed in September: SIT, DOWN, WATCH, WAIT, and LEAVE IT.
At this point in Monte's training it's less about teaching him different commands and more about "proofing" our pooch to handle and perform in difficult situations. His real challenge tonight was to perform along side seven new dogs with varied temperaments and energy.
Initially things did not look good. Our student exited the car in an excited state and it ramped up quickly as we entered the building and walked past the other canines - more whining and crying. Accustomed to having the star of the class, we were in foreign territory having the noisemaker that disrupts the class for the entire forty-five minutes. While verifying medical records, we practiced our SETTLE technique and he quickly calmed down, but needed reminders throughout the class.
The opportunity these classes provides is priceless. Many thanks to The Dog Den, our unofficial sponsor.