Friday, March 20, 2009

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Adventure in Obedience

We have a bit of a problem with the pups. Actually, a few. One is the sheer power and energy they pack in their 65 pound bodies. A walk with the pups is an aerobic and strength training exercise. Our core muscles get a serious workout as well. Resistance, oh yeah...deep abdominal muscles twisted and stretched while verbally correcting with serious commands, and the attempt to remain on our feet while wrestling said canine energy.

Another problem is the fact that when they are distracted, they do not find it "compelling" to listen to those verbal corrections. Not an attractive feature when the poor UPS man delivers one of the many books I receive per week and the dogs happen to be near the front door. The poor man now has a white zig-zag where his brown hair used to be solidly one color.

Almost two years to their birth month, we've decided that the dogs need a little help from some professionals. So, we packed them up with their harnesses, collars, leashes and fashionable neck kerchiefs, and two young helpful friends and headed out to Petco. We'd seen the announcements, on our many trips for dog food, that they offer basic training. One night we even met the trainer and she seemed like a dog lover and like she could teach us to not put up with much dog guff.

Last week, sans pups, we went to her free seminar on "Doggie Manners." This lady is tough but nice and seemed to know her stuff. Tonight the free seminar was potty training and we took the girls so the trainer could see our beasts in action.

One of the first things that happened, upon the bouncing, jouncing and enthusiastic whimpering arrival of our entourage, was that the gates were set up and pulled in around us and we were all put in a "safe" environment in which to "settle down." Oy. Fortunately, we did settle down.

Next month we begin weekly obedience training. Tonight we came home with a special harness that will help keep the enthusiasm contained. We will see about that.