We went to his first class tonight. I feel like I’ve done virtually nothing with him as far as training is concerned, but apparently he and I are playing together quite well.
We missed the first week or two of the class. There were a lot of puppies in a not-overly-large space, along with a dozen stations, each with a different piece of equipment varying from rocking boards to simple stools, a ladder to walk through, boxes to sit in. Getting him into the room was a bit of a nightmare (we were a bit late). We basically dragged across the room on a VERY tight leash as he tried to see all the puppies and people and commotion, so instead of taking a station, we took a chair in a quieter corner.
I kept him on a snug leash but let him look around without interfering. He looked. He pulled. He looked some more. Then he suddenly turned to me and asked for a treat. OK! I gave him one, then another. He looked back at the room. And then he turned back, looked at me, and sat. Treat!
As the class progressed, he was willing to work for the treats, to turn his back to the other dogs and people. He was unfazed by the commotion. When another puppy came too close, he turned to it with a tight leash but after a bit of a sniff, he was willing to come back and work again. I did NOTHING to get his attention, he was occasionally overwhelmed by the situation but came back on his own every time.
When the pups had worked on the equipment, we practised sits, downs, and floor Zen. The last was a new concept for Spider, but he figured it out right away.
On the drive home, I thought about the blessing of a good breeder. His temperament is utterly solid. He had no moment of insecurity during the class. Precisely NONE of the equipment gave him pause. He walked onto it, over it, or under it as necessary without hesitation or concern. He had a little trouble with a rocking yoga mat, but not mentally. It bucked him off once. He didn’t care. He just climbed back on and was able to sit and lie down on it.
He was interested – very interested in the other puppies, and he loved up any human that looked at him. If I was test-driving him, I’d’ve had my money down before the end of the class.
So Marina Raukhverger of Firestone Giant Schnauzers, you done good. You made an absolutely happy, adventurous, solid, solid puppy. Thank you.