Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sandy Goes to Class

All of this focus on healing and learning with Fozzie has made me newly committed to helping Sandy achieve her potential as well. So this past weekend we decided to bring Sandy to my buddy Francine's class right down the street. 

Francine is so welcoming and awesome; we always joke with each other about how we'll never be resource guarders with each other like some of the other dog trainers we know. 

When I first got Sandy, I used to bring her to adoption events and marvel at how great she was with other dogs, kids, and people. As she's gotten older and had a couple of little scrappies with Fozzie though, I've wondered if she was growing into a bit more testiness and if it was something I had to watch out for.

The good thing about a little puppy like her though is that that personality is still so malleable. 

In Francine's class, she was eager to greet the other dogs but the greetings were friendly. A little energetic, but she was easy to redirect with cheesy snacks. 

When I asked her for sits and downs, she was attentive and focused. 

She paid attention to me even with dogs all around her and kids romping madly behind her. 

You would think that a positive dog trainer like myself would remember the power of a little focused training to bring out the best in a dog and start to shift any tendencies in a positive direction. 

For some reason the things I tell my own students every week are things I so easily forget with my own dogs. That's why we trainers have to hang out together and help each other out. Thanks Francine!


  1. She looks like she did a great job! She's really focused on you considering what's going on behind her!

  2. What kind of leash is that? It looks nice and comfy!

    1. I do like that leash--it is a Timberwolf. I use the traffic handle a lot for keeping her by my side, since she can be a powerful little puller.

  3. That looks like a great class! Lots of exciting and tempting things going on, fantastic that Sandy can stay so focused! Kobi is still making progress with ignoring distractions.


  4. Sandy looks so happy working in class; and I love the frog position - it is how my adoptable Clementine "downs." HA.

  5. Sandy is beautiful! You really have some nice shots of her. You have done a great job with her - she looks so well behaved.

    Happy Valentines Day!

    Nina, Myshka, Sasha, Betsy, Lucy, Phoebe and Lily

  6. did you get a gold star at school?
    Happee Valentine's Day
    Benny & Lily

  7. Happy Valentines Day!
    Well done Sandy.. you clearly are a star!
    Big Nose Pokes
    The Thugletsx

  8. She is precious! I've been trying to train my dog, Teddy, myself. But other than "sit" and "no" he hasn't really been processing. Do you think that has to do with the fact that he is a smaller breed? The larger dogs I've had tend to be more responsive with cammands than my little guy. Could he just be stubborn??

    1. Well, some breeds are certainly more "biddable"--and pit bulls are supposed to be some of the most responsive to training. But there 's nothing to say a small breed can't go far with training! I would experiment with different motivations--if treats are not doing it, try a squeaky toy, a game of tug, a belly rub. Incorporate moments of training into your every day. See if that helps!

  9. Yay Sandy! Good job! I am happy to read that she did so well, and that you are working with her to help her maintain her positive, happy, joyful personality. The last picture of her is gorgeous! She is such a beauty! Keep up the great work!

    Suka and K

  10. Sandy looks like she enjoys class!


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