The sixth and final session of the beginner obedience class; I feel we’ve come a long way actually.
Today we learnt walking to heel at a slow pace, essentially a funeral march. The trainer informed us this was meant to be for winter when you have to be more careful with where you’re placing your feet.
Artemis was an absolute treat and looking at me when walking to heel – it was adorable seeing her little face look up at me. I said “good girl” more often than “heel”, which was a nice change!
With me/ this way
Today I also learnt a couple of phrases to say when you want your dog to come to you, but not necessarily to heel on your left or to come in front of you. Instead, you can say “with me” or “this way”.
I tried “with me”, but it doesn’t really roll off the tongue naturally to me. So I’ve been trying “this way”, which I’ve noticed a lot of dog walkers who live around me actually say. It does work – Artemis does come closer to me when I say this.
We practised the stay command today, whereby the dog is in a down position on your left and you walk around in front of your dog a semi circle so the dog is on your right, and then walk back round again to the starting position.
When I did this, it turned out I was shuffling without even noticing! The trainer advised I just walk normally, which – in my mind – I thought I was!
A couple of the dogs today were a little too wired to listen to their owners, so these dogs were put in time out at different times in the class. The leads were tied to a fence and the owners ignored their dogs.
The trainer informed us that this was the dog acting up and the best approach is to not pay attention so the human doesn’t also get worked up – so it’s essentially time out for both human and dog.
Interestingly learning more about behaviours and cause and effect with time outs and saying certain command words. Definitely learning lots and trying commands out on walks and at home to ensure Artemis remembers and keeps on top of things.