Despite my chronic tardiness and occasional laziness, Molly has graduated from Puppy Education at PetSmart. Woof! They grow up so fast.
She’s really learned a lot! I never knew what a smart dog I had until I started training her. Among her classmates, I believe that she may very well have the best “sit” and “leave it,” although she lags behind a few other dogs when it comes to focus. It’s OK pup, we’ll work on it!
Next, Molly will be going to Click-A-Trick classes before tackling intermediate and advanced classes each in turn. Molly is a people-pleaser and loves positive attention. She also loves using her brain and trying to figure out what I’m asking of her – it’s a game! And now that she understands the clicker, training her is much easier. Not only that, but Molly loves getting out of the house to go on a special trip, going for car rides, meeting different people and dogs, sniffing around the pet store, and class itself and all the games and treats that come with it. Training makes for a happy pup!
So far, she knows:
- Sit (she actually already knew this before we got her.)
- Come (she knows come, but the reliability varies depending on distractions.)
- Lay Down
- Target (touching an object, in this case a plastic Frizbee used only for this purpose, with her nose.)
- Stay (She’s not rock solid on it yet, but we’re getting there.)
- Leave it (not touching a treat or object even if I set in on the ground in front of her or hold it in front of her nose until I tell her “free” or “take it.”)
We’ve also been able to use what we’ve learned about clicker training to make bath time a bit better for her. She still doesn’t like baths,
but I can now wash her without having to tie her leash to the shower bar. Everything’s better with treats, it seems.
She also knows “button,” which was not exactly taught in the class, but the class definitely helped. Since Molly already knew “target,” learning to push a Staples “Easy Button” on command with her paw was a snap (or a “click,” really,) for my clever puppy and only took about five minutes. Like the button says, “that was easy.”
The “button” trick is simple, but I actually got the idea to teach that from a therapy dog who I saw when I was in physical therapy back when I was in the Army. This big Malamute mix named Kodiak pushed his easy button, along with doing other neat tricks. Since Molly learned target from the class, we built upon it with “button.”
Maybe she’d like to be a therapy dog some day.
ETA: I love the trainer’s penmanship. She wrote the certificates for us while we were there, rather than having them prepared beforehand, because she wanted to be ensured that she wrote each name correctly. She told us that she once came across a dog whose name was pronounced “Fido,” but turned out to be spelled “Phidoux.”
I told her Molly was spelled “M-O-L-L-Y… X.”