Sunday, January 20, 2013

Apple Graduates!

I am very pleased to announce that Apple finally graduated from his training class today! Today's class ended up being a lot harder than I expected. but he did amazingly and passed the test in order to get his certificate, and many more dog treats!

Actual graduation pictures with diploma in hand!
 During today's class, we did some things that Apple had never even done before. We started off by doing basic commands in the training space, and practiced heeling off-leash, and then we went out into the main part of the store. One thing that is kind of awesome about training in PETCO is that there are so many distractions in the store that it provides a very good indicator of your dogs behavior in a "real world" environment. We walked him around on the leash, and I must say, I'm going to upgrade his walking and on-leash behavior grades from B's to A's, because he was so well behaved!!!

One of the new things we did was that our trainer had us put him in a "stay" in the store and then one of us would go off and hide somewhere and then call him, and he had to not only remain in the "stay" while we were gone, but he also had to come find us. The final test was for the trainer to take him out alone in the store and leave him in a "stay," which he actually was able to do! People (and dogs) were walking around the store, and Apple was just chillin' on the ground, being a model citizen. Some of the people were (understandably) a little shocked to see a big black dog just lying on the floor unattended, but he did exactly what he was supposed to do and stayed in his spot.

Another amazing thing he did today was "stay" in a "down" position while the trainer laid food all around him in a circle. Apple is extremely food motivated, so it is really a feat for him to lie still when there is food all around him. Then, she would tell him which ones were okay to eat and when. Sometimes he ate the wrong ones, but by the last time, he did it perfectly!

We are going to be taking Apple to a restaurant that serves meals to both humans and dogs in honor of his graduation and his upcoming birthday. I will be sure to post about our experience!

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