A couple of months ago, I posted an article about Bentley who was going through an adolescent phase of not listening, and generally being a little bugger. He's been going to Puppy Kindergarten, or doggie Finishing School as we call it, every Saturday morning for the past 5 weeks with my SO, John. You may remember was he unable to be firm with Bentley, and both of them were causing me endless days of frustration as I saw all my carefully laid out ground work undone.
Bentley is doing so well, he's getting extra lessons for free so he can move up into Intermediate. My SO is doing an incredible job, and the two have bonded very deeply. John is a welder, and has even made Bent a couple of flat link choke chains to protect his fur. He takes it all quite seriously, and looks forward to his Saturday mornings. Pretty soon we will be able to walk with him anywhere...the difference is amazing. Everybody is so much happier, and it's great to see John and Bentley so happy together. Bentley worships him now instead of "Na-na, na-na-na, you can't make me!" (B. celebrated his first Birthday on Saturday, March 7th..)
B. aka The Big Black Fuzzy Thing is still very wary of strangers, or people who look "different", like a kid with a baseball cap pulled down over his eyes the other day. He sits by John's side though, and just growls. He stops as soon as we tell him it's okay, where as before he used to keep it up. And of course, he's much less dog aggressive.
It's hard to find a good obedience class here, and this was the first and possibly the only one this spring, and I cannot tell you the world of difference it's made for us all. If you speak to Bentley, he stops whatever he's dong immediately and listens to hear what you have to say.
So if there is anybody out there who thinks it won't really make much difference, I'm here to tell you that it's quite miraculous. They don't just learn to sit, stay, down, etc., they learn to UNDERSTAND and LISTEN which carries over into every aspect of the relationship.
Kasandra, and the Fur People...Ginger and Bentley Dogs, and Topaz, and Columbine, (the cats)... We're all happier now...
Check out Bear, Ginger, & Bentley at http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Pointe/7035/
The above story is hosted by Dog-Play and reprinted with permission of the author from a post in rec.pets.dogs.behavior. We hope to encourage people to learn how to teach their dog good manners. I thought it was an excellent reminder of how training can improve a relationship.
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