Thursday, May 19, 2005

"We Survived Dog Obedience Class!"

Well, we are $75 poorer, but maybe all the more wise as to what it is Rowena needs to know and what style works for her best. Perhaps the trainers don't always know best and perhaps a classroom bustling with unruly canines of all breeds and personalities is not the best atmosphere for her to learn these things. On the other hand, we did finish the class, though never really finishing the "whole" class. I mean, after 4 classes with the female instructor, we were switched to the male instructor's class as it first began. He let us come back for a 3rd week with him, but this basically means we left at the same spot we left off in the other class. I like this last instructor. He is good, pays attention to all his students and allows time for people/parents to ask questions. He knows what he is doing, and I can see how he could do well training dogs for different police work. (He teaches tracking). I do not believe Rowena learns best with the use of treats. She gets too demanding for them and other times, she doesn't care. The latter is probably caused by the surrounding chaos that distracts her during class. Her attention is not where it should be, but everywhere else... though this class was a lot less chaotic and this really helped Rowena focus. Next week, we will return to Gail at Cotton Hill. She has a no nonsense approach to dog training and does not encourage the use of treats. (She does not discourage it either.) She has agreed to help me deal with Rowena's various and numerous phobias. I feel that Rowena learned a lot in Gail's class the first time around and the majority of the dogs were pretty mellow. I also feel comfortable with Gail because she is the person I purchased Rowena from and I guess I feel she knows Rowena better than some generic dog trainer. Her daughter has Ro's parents and knows Border Collies well also, so I feel comfortable that both Gail and Denny can accurately answer any questions I have about Rowena. Is she normal or should I be concerned? In the meantime, I need to work with Rowena's adolescent stage more rigorously. Can't let her beat me on this one!

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