June 16 — I found a great obedience class near my apartment, that’s held in a private park. The park is gated, so after class we let the dogs who have been properly socialized run and play off-leash.
Truman is not the only “Truman” in class. Oddly enough, though, he IS the only Lab. The rest of the class is a picture of diversity (like commercials and TV shows where the directors are compelled to cast a child from every ethnic background). Wiemeraner, Corgi, Terrier, Poodle…I found the pairing of the Irish Wolfhound and the argyle sweater-clad Dachsund particularly amusing.
He did very well considering there were almost 20 dogs in class. Fairly distracted, which was to be expected, but his obedience was better than that of many of the older dogs. He would sit and lie down like a champ. His attention span was about done by the end of the hour, but I was impressed he’d held on that long. He only lunged a few times — playfully — which was typically brought on by close proximity of another dog who looked him in the eye.
Jacqueline, our instructor, is great. She understands that pups in training have different rules and doesn’t want to get in the way of that. She’s committed to getting the dogs properly socialized and the people properly trained. She gets to know the personalities of the dogs and keeps an eye on anyone with aggressive tendencies. Also, she charges a flat fee good for the life of the dog, so we can go however long we’d like to go; she even said if he’s career changed and adopted by someone else, the deal still stands. And the bonus for me is, since Truman is a sponsored dog, I even get reimbursed for it!
And now, this is what he’s doing. I already like this class.
Wow, I wish we had a class like that around here. It sounds perfect. The AKC classes here were supposedly free for service dogs or pups in training, but then I was told if I intended to keep coming, I needed to pay to join the club. Yeah, right. So much for free. We stopped going. Hope Truman is that worn out after every class. 🙂
Hi Jenny and Truman,I have several questions, if that’s ok? Does DGA have classes for you to attend? How many pups are there currently in their puppy raiser program? Does GDA cover costs of food and medical? Do you like knowing who “your” pup has been placed with? And how much to you enjoy raising these precious pups!!As a TSE puppy raiser we have local bimonthly classes which we must attend. There are approximately 750 pups being raised. TSE covers all medical costs and we are reimbursed for food. We do not meet the graduate who our puppy is placed with. When our pup has completed formal harness training we are invited to see them work in harness at what is called their “town walk”. We are not allowed near the pup and this is the last day we see him/her. When the pup has been placed with a partner, we receive a letter and graduation photo (of the pup only). The letter states facts such as, man or women, first dog or not, and the area of the country. And I really enjoy raising the pups!! Brian’s blog is now up and running. It is being sponsored by is place of business. Brian is an on “air personality” at the local radio station. (Please note Willow is referred to as “LW”.) Feel free to check it out; brianseeingeyepuppyblog.blogspot.com. Wags and licks, Willow (Trish & Brian)
Kimberly, that’s ridiculous! They should give you the classes…ridiculous. :(Willow (and Trish and Brian) — thanks for your blog URL, I’ll definitely come visit! As to your questions, let’s see….GDA does indeed have a monthly puppy class for us to attend up at the school (three classes, actually, broken down by age group). In addition to that, we have puppy raiser “area groups” because SoCal is so spread out, and those groups meet monthly as well for obedience, Q&A’s with guest speakers, and other news & important business. We are required to take our dogs through at least one obedience class outside of that, which is why Truman’s pay-once-and-go-forever class is such a deal for me.I *think* we typically have about 300 pups in the program at any given time, but don’t quote me on that.Vet costs are free if visits & procedures are done up at the school, and at least partially reimbursed otherwise. Food is typically not covered, but Truman is a sponsored dog (Thanks again, Mr. R! We love ya!)…which means we get several 40-pound bags for free in exchange for our diligence in sending quarterly reports & all that to our benefactor. :)And I do like knowing who my former dog’s new partner is, actually. If you go back in the archives to this past February, you can read about my experiences meeting her, seeing Lomax, and going through graduation. It sounds like it’s very different from what you experience!