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Friday, October 28, 2011

Puppy School? More like Puppy Boot Camp...

We're in puppy school.
And it's brutal.

I'm not kidding.

You know how people say that when someone joins the military, and they go to basic training, the role of the drill Sergeant is to break down the recruits to them build them back up again?

Apparently we signed up for puppy boot camp rather than puppy school.  
And the "break them down and build them up" part?  That's not for the dogs.  It's for the owners.  This week I was on the floor with the dog (only one person is allowed to work with the dog at a time) and was told the following:

"Stop petting your dog!" (she told us last week to praise with a pat to the head.  Now, we aren't allowed?)
"You're holding your leash too tight!" (guilty...stupid choke chain)
"Stop walking with your dog!" (she was laying down and we're told not to "pull them up" so I walked a few steps)
And when I had a question about holding our leash, she mocked me without hearing my question.

The funny thing is...she's REALLY GOOD at getting dogs to do what they are supposed to do.  We've seen her correct dogs pulling on the leash in less than 90 seconds.  Dogs listen to her, which we need to learn from.  We knew going into this that she was an old bird (she's almost 70) and didn't mess around.   


I can't help but wonder if this is the best way for ME to learn.  In this situation, I'm visual--see, practice, repeat.  I want her to tell me when I'm not doing something right so I don't lead Maggie with bad habits.  But scolding me and mocking me makes me shut down.   

The next few weeks the Big Guy will be the primary handler due to my work schedule...which is good because I'm this close to telling the old bird where she can stick her choke chain and 6 foot leash.