Saturday, June 7, 2008

School Daze

Today is Saturday. On Thursday evening we began obedience school. We took Fudge and Lola. Fudge has become a bully and I hate it. He loves to have the other dogs chase him. He'll nip at Samba or one of the pups and they, understanding what he wants, will give chase. If Samba is doing something more important or just doesn't feel like chasing, she'll growl at him and that's that.

If there isn't anyone else around to give chase he'll nip at Monty or Tsar. They don't seem to understand this invitation the way the Water Dogs do and they don't like being nipped. Instead of chasing, they'll growl or snap back. This really excites Fudge and he gets more aggressive with them. That's when I step in.

It's gotten to the point where Fudge will wait at the foot of the stairs or behind the door to the garage so he can snap at the other boys. Monty and Tsar now hang back until I get between them and Fudge. I want this stopped.

Fudge has also been known to urine mark in the house. I can never catch him at it and have to put him in a crate when I leave the house. When I'm home I keep him in the same room with me and have used scat mats and belly bands to impress on him that his behavior is unacceptable.

I decided to enroll him in class to teach him that I am the boss, not him. He already knows how to sit, down and stay on command, but he doesn't like to do it. I think this class is more for me than him. I know what I have to do, but now the pressure of the class is forcing me to do it.

Lola is another story. Lola knows her name and she comes when called, but that's about it. In class she was so excited at seeing the other dogs that she even forgot her name. Rob couldn't get her attention at all and she wasn't interested in treats. We could barely force her into a sit. Rob was very discouraged.

I gave all the dogs a good run when we got home, then crated them. At yogurt time, I took them into the garage two at a time and with a spoonful of yogurt as the reward I pushed each of the girls into a sit. By the end of the yogurt I just had to touch their backs with a finger and they would sit.

The next morning I started with their breakfast, one piece of kibble at a time. It was a long, slow meal. Last night I repeated with dinner and yogurt. Tonight at dinner, I took Lola by herself and with the very first piece of kibble she sat without me touching her. She is finally starting to get it.

Our class is called Canine College, but it's more like nursery school.

I made the boy elephant as a baby gift. I kept the girl.

One of the Organizations I knit for is called 'Caps For Kids'. I try to make every hat different and fun. It's pretty easy to make a hat in an evening while watching tv.

Baby blankets take longer, but they're also fun. Again, I try to make each a little different. The blankets go to hospitals.

Here are some more doggy blankets. The dogs don't care about color. It's a good chance to use up leftover yarn or colors that are too ugly for any other use.

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