I think we're starting our adolescent phase. I'm not sure if this is the typical age for this stubbornness or not, he'll be two in October. Boy I'm getting a run for my money. Timmy has always been a very obedient fellow and quite a wallflower in the crowd, until recently. We walk with a group of dogs, retrievers, a greyhound, medium sized mixes and a dachshund every morning, the dogs get along great. Recently though Timmy seems to be coming out of his shell, he runs up to one of the retrievers who he's known since they were both puppies and wants to play. He jumps on her and runs around in circles barking. I was actually kind of happy to see Timmy being social. He has now taken a fondness to play with Bella the dachshund and she seems to like him too. We frequently end our walks for free play at the "small dog" yard. Fast forward to class today, ugh, quite embarrassing. He was a total nutcase. I'm glad the trainer has known Timmy for a while or she would have thought him to be lost cause. He was carrying on even before we got into the room, she said it sounded like he was having a tantrum. He was totally over stimulated anticipating "Cookie Land" and seeing his friends. It was SO HARD to re direct him in class today, it seemed the harder I tried the more he wanted to get away from me. Unfortunately most of today's class centered on loose leash walking, which was a futile battle. I spent most of class time trying to get Tim's attention. I am going to bring some different treats in with me next week, chicken hot dogs, and some Primal liver jerky I bought today. Sounds like adolescence to me, I hope it doesn't last long!
MAYBE, though at his age, most are heading bak OUT of the adolescent nuttiness. I think it's more likely him being cooped up all day because of the weather. Plus... all dogs just have their days. In the fall, I started taking lessons with the "big" obedience trainer at our center. She's the person who has put OTCH titles on dogs, and all her dogs are trained to their UD's, all using ONLY positive training methods. She holds her students to a very high standard, but is also extremely supportive of people who are trying hard. And it's NEVER the dog's fault.<g>
So, we go into our first class with her, and I'm somewhat intimidated... "new kid" in a class of people who all know each other, all have worked with Esther for a while, and many of whom work more than one dog in her classes. OTOH, Kodi already has a string of titles in both Rally and Obedience, so I'm feeling like we SHOULD be ready for this class. Each person individually takes their dog out to do a heeling pattern. Most do a lovely job - some look stellar.
But OK, Kodi can heel. His heeling isn't PERFECT, but it's pretty darned good. My turn. I take Kodi out of his crate, set him up and she says "Heel!". Kodi's nose goes to the ground, and he runs to the end of the leash in one direction. Then he runs to the end of the leash in the other direction. I reel him back in, set him up again for a re-start. Again, nose to the ground, running all over the place. If he were a Great Dane, he would have been dragging me around the room! All the while, I'm getting more embarrassed and more flustered. She asks me (not unkindly... remember, she really doesn't know us) "Does he KNOW how to heel?" I thought I was going to die.
In the end, she got ME to settle down and go back to one step, cookie, two steps, cookie... until I had his attention back on me and we were able to work again.
Looking back on it, I can laugh. But in the moment, I just wanted a hole to open in the floor and swallow me up!
Dogs live to embarrass us!