Training Classes… Revisited

Things have been busy. I have some time off work and I’m trying to catch up on all those things that seem to pop up with alarming regularity.

We’ve also signed up for a repeater set of dog training classes, which may seem odd given I’m a trainer and a behaviour student, but I thoroughly recommend. The classes are targeted at adolescents, which Zeke clearly is. Adolescence brings a boost of hormones that support independence, and also lack of hearing (it seems).

I’ve been working hard with Zeke and he does remember all the work we’ve been doing, but sniffing dog wee is far more interesting than a pocket of blah treats. So, I’ve had to up my treat game. Cue the chopped up novel buffalo😉which I started feeding him very small pieces to avoid an upset tummy. It’s the same brand as the cold pressed food he has (with his complete raw).

Distance, Duration and Distraction are the ‘three Ds’ of training. We are attending classes for the third, Distraction. The class has six dogs, their humans, and two instructors. It’s busy, lots of smells, and there are a couple of barky dogs. Dogs Trust run the classes, and as I said previously when I took Zeke to puppy classes, they are really well run. I feel confident that the other dogs are under control, and we’re learning to cope in all the distractions, which is why we’re there.

I start COAPE module 5 on Monday, and I’ve been reading our mandatory book list. It’s such a great course, as all the things you ‘knew’ you find out the reasons why. For example, testosterone gives a dog confidence to tackle new situations, meet other dogs etc. I won’t be breeding from Zeke, but I’m not in a rush to neuter him either. Once upon a time Vets would happily neuter a puppy, now there’s less of a rush. It hasn’t been raised as an option in our Vet check-ups.

The longer-term beneficial impact of hormones is better understood, and neutering isn’t the first step to solve behaviour problems either. Note: you can ask your Vet for an implant to test the impact of neutering before you go ahead, chat with your Vet if this is relevant to you.

Interestingly, in our puppy contract with Zeke’s behaviourist breeder, we’re required to keep Zeke intact until he’s 2 years old. Not a problem, I have no plans to modify Zeke at this time.

Until next time




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