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!