Second obedience class, Backbends & Bath time

Wednesday evening was our second obedience class. “Sit” and “come” commands. Tyler was thrilled to see his dog friends reconvened. And totally absorbed in hunting down pinecones. Seeing as class takes place in a park under cover of some very old sprawling pines, the hunting is good.

He’s good with the sit command, but a little hardheaded about coming when called. Especially when he’s in the back yard and wants to carry on eating dirt.

Dog Teacher (and Tyler) demonstrated a maneuver whereby the handler has the dog on leash, catches the dog’s attention, says “Come,” and starts cheerfully running backwards. Cheery energetic dogs will generally want to run to catch the backwards running human. Tyler was all over this game.

Then we tried it with treats. This is the only command I am practicing with food treats. Ty is amenable to learning without food, but the “Come” command is really important — it can be a life-or-death command, say, if the dog is eager to go check out a rattlesnake on a hiking trail. So we’re using food. Once Ty realized I had a treat when I called him in class, he was especially compliant.

But that isn’t REALLY why he came bounding toward me every chance he got. No, it was my jacket, which must be retired from dog training class. My winter jacket (yes, I’m already wearing a winter jacket in Scottsdale!) is an oatmeal wide-wale corduroy jacket with fake fur trim on folded-back sleeves. And oh, how Tyler LOVED that fake fur trim! It was like I had a dog toy attached to my arm. My own fashionable bite sleeve.

I’ll hand it to him, though. When I pulled him back and told him “Leave it!” he transferred his attention from the jacket to the food treat. Still, the jacket’s got to go.

***

How have backbends been? In a word: great. All of ’em feel like magic these days, from salabhasana to ustrasana to kapotasana to urdhva dhanurasana to hang backs. Something about the hip flexors, for sure. I’ve been including hanumanasana at every practice, and it is just stretchy good.

***

I leave you with a picture of Ty’s bath this afternoon. He loves the bath and particularly the plastic cup I use to rinse him off.

bath-time

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6 Responses

  1. nice clean doggie!

  2. Karen, I don’t know how you ever get any work or practice done (or anything else that doesn’t revolve around Ty) with that cute dog around. He is just too adorable.

  3. I am carrying on with “real life,” but he really is like having a baby around — needs lots of attention and care, and then you fall in love with them.

  4. I love the jacket story! Your adventures in Ty training are very entertaining- glad you’re posting them. And that picture. Come on! ADORABLE! I love the his dark-rimmed eyes.

  5. Oh, he is SO sweet. Glad the backbends are going well… I answered your bed-hang question but it hasn’t made it through comment moderation yet!

  6. Oh he is so terribly gorgeous and cute all at the same time! I remember ‘leave it’, ‘drop it’ and ‘come’ being the toughest ones to teach. Sit, stay, wait, down…..those were all comparatively easy. Of course, it’s the really important ones that seem to be the hardest to teach! He sounds awfully smart though, I’m sure he’ll get the hang of it in no time. Glad your backbends are good lately!

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