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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Puppy Class and the Date is Set

Puppy class was really, really fun today. I got to work with Vale again. Last time I was at a puppy class he was fresh off...well, I'm going to call it the puppy truck even though that's not really what it is. He's older now and was very good for me when we started out on obedience. Because I had Vale for the first few minutes I had a relaxing time. Then we were told to switch dogs and when I was handed the leash of a small, black lab female I didn't complain.

The puppy in question is Quiz. At first I was reminded a lot of Freya. She didn't walk; she ran. They do things a lot differently here I've realised and while I was doing everything I was taught to control a puppy who wouldn't walk your pace (i.e. stopping and pulling the puppy back and waiting until (s)he is under control so the puppy wouldn't think that all they had to do was pull to get their way), I'm thinking that it made me look inexperienced and clumsy. It seems to me that their approach to a rowdy puppy is to just let it happen and hopefully the puppy will grow out of it. I'm not sure of course as I haven't been briefed on commands and what not. Hopefully, that'll happen soon. I guess I've just been taught to tolerate no nonsense when they're little and then when they're older they won't be able to pull your arm out of your socket. Anyway, besides pulling and walking everywhere (including ramming herself into my leg) Quiz was also not the kind of girl who let her feelings go unknown. She barked almost the entire time I had her. I think the "leader" (I really don't know what to call him so from now on he's just Graham) felt a little sorry for me because I was doing everything possible to keep her quite. I gave her verbal corrections, then collar corrections, and on the rare occasion that she was quiet I gushed praise in her direction. I also did puppy handling when she wasn't barking to calm her down and to teach her that when she barks she gets corrections and when she's quiet she gets pets. Nothing worked. At least she continued to bark and whine when her raiser took her back (I was so afraid it was me). She was definitely a spitfire. Needless to say, I fell in love with her. Haha!

Really though, I really enjoyed myself. I do think that it will take a lot of time for me to get use to using the commands they use here and our differences in training techniques. I guess it's a good thing that I'm puppy sitting first.

Soon I will be an official puppy sitter here and can start sitting. In one week (that's November 2nd) I have my home interview. Graham is such a nice guy that I'm not terribly worried (plus, I'm told I'll get a manual which means I can start learning up on how to raiser puppy UK style). I am going to start puppy proofing the house a little. I'll be the first to admit that it's not the most puppy proof place in the world, but to be fair to Lisa and myself, we don't have a puppy. I know he'll probably catch a few things that I need to change, but I don't need anyone to tell me that a puppy couldn't easily mistake an empty soda bottle for a chew toy. We really need to get a recycling bin for the kitchen.

Gosh! It's been over three years since I had my last home interview! Alright, now I'm nervous.


  1. I love reading these posts :) When I was in college and I started going to Guiding Eyes puppy meetings, I had a similar experience - felt completely clumsy, like I didn't know what I was doing. Learning new commands and techniques will make you an all around better handler - I still use a lot of what I learned ta GEB. How cute is the name Quiz?

  2. I thought it was the cutest name! And she was a pretty adorable puppy as well! Haha! I tried to get a good picture of her, but all I had was my iPhone and the lighting wasn't right to take pictures with a phone camera.

    I'm glad someone else had the same experience I am having. I just felt so lost in simple things like recall. You're allowed to say "come" as many times as the puppy needs to pay attention to you. It was odd for me, but Vale came to me all the same.

  3. It is interesting reading about the differences from how we raise our pups here to how they raise them there.

    I would tell you not to be nervous about your house interview, but I know I would be too. It will go smooth. Good Luck and I'm glad everything is in motion.


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