Gracie and I went to our first obedience class last night.
Boy it was embarassing.
Imagine your taking your spoiled but beautiful child to a party where all the other children know their manners. The only reason your beloved doesn't spin out of control, spewing chaos, is that you are holding on so tightly. Yeah.
The others had attended class one (this was two). The others had already established alpha dominance and, I think, some were more submissive breeds. There was only one other puppy--a chihuahua. Gracie's barking scared him so bad he could perform as commanded, but couldn't eat his treats. Too nervous.
Gracie barks at home only to signify danger ("there's a strange flower arrangement in the living room! Beware! Beware!") or to play. Boy, did she want to play.
Bless her heart. She WAS intimidated. Most of the other dogs could step over her without stirring a hair. Off lead, she might, after all, have scurried behind my legs. But she barked. And barked. THEY, however, were smiling silently, tongues lolling, heeling fairly well, doing sit and stay nicely, and really focusing on their owners and the forthcoming treets.
"Yes," the trainer said mildly. "This one needs a LOT of training."
I knew that. (sigh)
Time to get to work, Gracie, before we get thrown out of class.
She's a really good dog. Stellar. The behavior is my fault.
Four exercises. No more than 5 minutes at a time. Three times a day. At least three days a week.
Gotta get a really big box of some really small, yummy treats.