When we got the girls, we said we were going to make sure they went to puppy classes. We have had dogs before, and although we do know what we need to do, we did feel rather rusty and our last dog was a terrier with a mind of her own so our confidence was knocked a bit. We wanted dogs who walked nicely on a lead and who came when called (among other things that we are still working on).
So both puppies went initially to puppy classes, Nigel handling Tinca and me Lucky. What with one thing and another Tinca didn’t get to as many classes as Lucky, although she is a quick learner and will do anything for her dried food.
Lucky on the other hand is a bit of a diva. She will learn, she is a clever little dog, but she will only do things for nice rewards – ham, chicken, garlic sausage, proper sausages, and cheese, and if she has had enough she stops. Refuses to do anything.
By keeping her treats and training varied we have managed to get a good solid recall – well, at the moment, anyway. Lucky still goes to training classes and I use what I learn to teach Tinca. Now I have written this, it will all go to pot! and we have been working on Loose Lead Walking, not pulling and walking nicely alongside whoever has the lead. Lucky is doing quite well with this, and Tinca has been a bit slower to pick it up (knowing that we have treats, her mind is focussed on this and not what she is supposed to be doing!) and if we go out together, then it goes wrong. Both dogs want to be together and if that means they have to pull to do it, then that is what happens. Normally. Except today was a lightbulb day.
We took them out together, I handled Lucky and Nigel had Tinca. We went in the car to a local river and walked along the bank, and around a field. There was a fishing match being held so we had the dogs on leads by the river and did some Loose Lead Walking with them. THEY DID IT!! not all the way, not all the time, but enough for it to be a very pleasant walk. We let them off as we walked round the field, they didn’t hare off, they came back when called and it was fabulous.
Training pays off. We had a lovely afternoon.