From: daPuffin (CANEGURU)

Date: 7/30/06

I started taking the pups to obedience classes at Puppy Perfectors in Seattle. Mani cruised
through Novice Level 1 and Novice Level 2 by attending one class of each. Next time he will start in Level 3.   He's such a bright boy! It's good for him because we're getting a controlled environment to work on his heavy dog distraction issues. He historically has been very intensely dog distracted on walks. It's getting better, though. One day at a time.... =)

I love getting eye (or headfall, as it were) contact from him more and more! You should see the instructors' dogs! They're amazing with the eye contact. And were taught with positive methods, so there's hope! <grin>

The one thing Mani does in an hour-long class though, is lay down to show me he's bored.   Fast, short lessons work better for him, and he, like Cassie, is VERY treat motivated!

Cassie has so far attended one Level 1 class and needs more work at that level. That's ok.   She is very confident at home but she pretty much knows the commands already for Level 1, but we want to build her confidence up before she goes to Level 2.   

Oh, the dogs and I travel to and from class by Metro Bus (one dog at a time). They are both wonderful on the bus. Except for having to pull their feet back from the aisle, they pretty much flop down and rest for the 40 minute ride. Mani gave one soft woof yesterday, (I don't know why), but then settled down. The bus drivers smile at them a lot. =)

I have experimented some with getting them used to the Gentle Leader headcollar with my guys, and Mani seems to not like it very much. I think a great deal of his dislike is that I fiddle with the snap behind the head too much, due to not wanting to snare his hair in it. Cassie seems ok with it, but I'm training her on her regular collar, so don't know if I'll move to the GL if it's not needed.

And Cassie chose last week to begin her puppy-blow. Her mat-spots so far have been behind the ears, armpits and behind the elbows and knees. Wasn't that considerate of her?

Mani is over the worst of it, thank goodness. His mat-spots are behind the ears, belly (which I think I'll have a strip shaved from again!), armpits and the inside of his front legs. He also is a twig magnet, which, unchecked, causes tangles. That said, I can go days without attending his coat and then have a 45 minute session and have him more or less good as new.

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