GDA holds a puppy obedience class on campus one Saturday each month. The classes are broken down into puppy age groups so that everyone will get the most out of the offered instruction. Not only is it a good opportunity for the puppy department and training staff to get an in-person look at how your dog is progressing, it’s a good time for the raisers as well. It’s also a good opportunity to take home a very tired puppy.
The instructors always come up with something fun; whether it’s an obedience relay race, a dog-swap exercise or a puppy raiser challenge (like trying to relieve your dog while you’re blindfolded — that’s a good one), something silly or creative is usually happening alongside the learning. Today, there was a whole sensory playground set up under the shade structure that covers our beautiful new graduation area (thanks, donors!). For as far as the puppy eye could see, new experiences awaited: noisy battery-operated toys, wobbly trash can lids to investigate, various surfaces to walk across and climb on.
Because our class was the youngest of the day, the emphasis was on investigating rather than conquering. Some of the objects made strange noises or moved unexpectedly, so this was a good way to see how the puppies would react. Jethro typically has no problem investigating; he’s a confident little guy who doesn’t flinch at much, so he was pretty happy to jump right up onto things and play. And I don’t think there was a single battery-operated noisemaker he didn’t want to carry off with him.
Of course, he was probably even more interested in whatever leaves and wind-blown tree parts were scattered on the ground between the intended distractions.