Since Orso & I loved working with Dee from Applause Your Paws so much, we signed up for her “Intermediate Obedience: Rally” class. It runs for 5 weeks and is held at the University of Miami campus. This evening was our first class and we were happy to see a familiar face – Brinkley from our puppy class was also taking this class with us. Orso was very excited to see his pal! We showed up to class early, as usual, and took advantage to show Dee some “issues” we have been experiencing with Orso. Orso has an incredible prey drive – and I would not change this for the world – HOWEVER, his desire to chase leaves and anything that blows in the wind on a whim can be pretty obnoxious sometimes. We have him already on a training choke collar but don’t want to be constantly correcting him with it, or worse, choking him out, so we asked Dee to spend a few minutes with him before class. He did everything with her that we have been dealing with, so she got to experience it firsthand.
After observing Orso’s behavior and realizing that traditional corrections will not necessarily work on him, Dee whipped out a gentle leader from her truck and put it on him. Wow, Orso was not happy with this head contraption, but it was working! We spent most of class with it on him and we noticed a substantial change in the intensity of correction we needed to give when Orso would try to run off after a leaf. I will definitely be purchasing one of these for Orso…
As for what we did in class, it was pretty cool. Below is Dee’s description of the class from her website: “For dogs with a solid obedience foundation. Dogs must have completed beginner’s obedience to be enrolled in this class. With an emphasis on heel work and off leash reliability, this course continues to strengthen the foundations of obedience through APDT Rally, an increasingly popular dog sport where dog and handler teams navigate a course with numbered signs indicating different exercises to perform such as Sit-‐Down-‐Sit, Straight Figure 8, Send Over Jump, Recall Over Jump. Teams navigate the course at a brisk, continuous performance Handlers are encouraged to talk to their dogs during performance.”
Today we worked on heel, turns & stay. We switched off toward the end of the class so I could work with him too and I chose to remove the gentle leader and work with him off-leash. Orso did pretty well throughout the whole class, but his stay needs work and he loves to swing his butt out when we stop at heel. Lots of homework for us! Below are some cute photos from the night.
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