Friday, December 11, 2009

Training Day 10 & Graduation

I am exausted in every conceivable way.

On Day 10, we decided to opt out of tracking. With wind chills in the single digits, we rationalized that Amelia wouldn't take a single step outside on a day that cold, much less wander off. But really we were just wiped. Battling illness, fatigue, sleep depravation, and an awful diet for 10 straight days was really taking its toll. And Bobo was 12 for 12 in tracking, both indoors and out. (In fact, to my knowledge, every single tracking exercise for every single dog was successful.)

We worked on some more advanced techniques, like heeling without any leash, or getting the dog to sit or go down from a heel while you continue walking. In the afternoon we covered topics like traveling with your dog (airport security, bulkhead seating, doggy seat belts, etc.), introducing your dog to your home and other pets, bringing your dog to school, and other topics, along with a general Q&A.

Today was Test Day, which we did at the mall. In addition to observing general obedience tasks, they watched him deal with a variety of circumstances: having the dog sit while a shopping cart was pushed past. They dropped a metal bowl 10 feet behind him to see how he'd react. They had him go under the table and dropped a hot dog on the floor in front of him, they watched him interact with kids, they had someone step over him, they had someone hold the leash while I stepped out of view, they had me drop the leash on the floor, and they watched him load into the car safely (and probably several more that I'm not remembering). Bobo did great. He wasn't perfect, but perfection was not required.

From there it was back to 4 Paws to wait our turn to fill out paperwork, eat cake, take pictures, graduate, and go home.

I'll get one last batch of pictures up tomorrow. We're happily home and ready for some well earned rest. Tonight I need to sleep...

Well done, Bobo. And everyone at 4 Paws for Ability too!