Friday, August 10, 2012

Desmond Graduates from Obedience School

Part of my work as a student at Animal Behavior College is an externship with a mentor trainer. That externship has three parts: observation, participation, assistance/teaching. For each part, you attend a full 7-week group class.

We just finished our participation section of the externship, and I'm very proud.

I wound up doing all the actual obedience work with Desmond at home, because we used our class time to work on his reactivity. Things were not going well when we started, but by the last day of class, Desmond was able to join the group.

That's not to say he is "cured"--I believe this will be a lifelong challenge--but it does mean there is much hope for him out in the real world (on walks, in cars, at the door, on a tie-out, at the vet's office, at an outdoor cafe). Now I feel confident to start working hard with him on his reactivity on my own. I was doing some things here and there, but this experience has greatly helped me understand what to do and how to do it. Oh happy day!

My fabulous mentor trainer, Helen of SmartyPawsNY, even sent everyone pictures from graduation day.

There are also two great group shots of everyone in the class and their dogs, but I didn't want to plaster the faces of others all over the blog without permission. These photos do, however, live on Facebook. Click here if you'd like to see them. The comments left on one of the shots made me very happy.

My assisting/teaching class starts in September, so hopefully by year's end, I will be the one who's graduating.


Have you voted for Desmond today? Help us win a GUND® plush toy made in Desmond's likeness by voting for his official photo entry HERE. You can vote once a day. Vote & share, folks. Vote & share!
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