Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Class overkill

Star just graduated from her second obedience class. Not formal obedience, mind you--just the basics.

I made sure she started the second one immediately after finishing the first.

And now that this second one is over, I've already gotten her signed up for a new class starting in less than two weeks, which is a prep class for Pet Therapy (you know, dogs in nursing homes and schools and so forth).

She's also enrolled in an Agility Intro class that starts in June (exact starting date TBD).

There'll probably be some overlap of the Pet Therapy and Agility Intro classes. So I'm looking at two classes per week.

Is that excessive?

If she does well in either class, we'll pursue further education along those lines.

In all honesty, if someone in the area offered tracking classes at a reasonable rate, I would sign her up for those, too. Star loves to smell things. Everything. Constantly. Whether that's important for tracking or not, I don't know, but I'd be curious to find out. Unfortunately, the only tracking classes offered in the area are waaaay above what I'm willing to pay ($325 for 6 private lessons?!? I think not). So, that's off the table for now.


forsythia said...

I think sniffing things would be part of tracking. We have always thought our on-loan pitbull had a nose on him that was as good as or better than our (late) beagle's. Before we put the PB's dinner bowl out on the patio, we hide his dessert---a dog biscuit--somewhere in the backyard. He loves to find it and he does this by walking around and sniffing the air. Sometimes it takes him as much as 3-4 minutes to find his treat, but he obviously enjoys this challenge.

Luda's Mummy said...

Congrats to Star on her graduation, and kudos to you for continuing her doggy education.

From my perspective, my dogs are children who happen to have floppy ears, four paws and wear doggy suits. When you consider how intensive some human childrens' schedules are with extra curricular activities, how can overlapping enrollment in two doggy classes be considered excessive?

As an added benefit for Dozer, Star will likely be to tired to mess with his "preshuss kong ball" :).

Taylor Loves said...

I like Luda's comment and agree with her 100% - sweet pit bulls and all dogs are and should be treated like children and that means constant education. These dogs thrive when they're learning constantly - and it's great for keeping them tired and feeling loved. They like to work!

Happy pit bulls, make sweet pit bulls : )

Check out this little article I saw on regarding sweet pit bulls -

I think I'm going to start a Pit Bull group there, unless someone beat me too it already.

Great blog - keep up the posts.

Princess said...

I agree with everyone here. I think it'll just make her happier. And unless you are too busy to keep up I think Star will be more than willing to go to all the classes! They love to learn.

And Dozer will surely enjoy a tired Star!!

~P's Mom

Dennis the Vizsla said...

My wife takes Dennis for two classes a week (flyball and agility) so I wouldn't call your two excessive at all, especially if Star enjoys them. :-)

Anonymous said...

I have Daisy in a CGC class, which is the precourse here for the Pet Therapy programs. I am worried that she may not pass as she will growl at some of the dogs in the class when they bark excitedly. Thats an immediate fail :( . The trainer also offers "nose" classes whcih she suggested i do with Daisy, I probably will, she also loves to sniff! I am distraught about the growling thing because I really wanted to get her into a therapy program. Any suggestions would be great!

happypitbull said...

@Daisy's mom: :) Speaking as someone who has limited experience with dog-friendly dogs (Dozer hates dogs; Fel was disdainful toward them), I don't have a lot of suggestions myself.

However, the CGC is not as bad as I thought. As I understand it, the strange dog merely walks in one direction while you walk in the other, and the dogs are supposed to be on opposite sides so the handlers are between them as they pass.

Presumably, if you can keep Daisy's attention while walking past, she won't be focused enough on the other dog to growl. With enough practice and lots of mega-treats, you can probably work on this.

Star also has issues with vocalizing. Dogs aren't supposed to bark or growl during the CGC, but Star is easily distracted and she loves to bark at anything interesting! We are working very hard to deter her when she barks and praise her when she is calm and quiet.

I look forward to hearing how the training class goes for you. I think it will really help you prepare for the CGC.