Monday, May 3, 2010

Journey to Obedience

Tonight was Kaia's first obedience class. We signed her up about a month ago. She really isn't a horrible dog, but we are still dealing with some puppy issues. The main problem we are having is the dreaded jumping habit. Kaia jumps on anyone that walks through our door and at 80 lbs, this is not the welcome we want our guests to receive. So, we decided it was time to do something about fixing these habits. I'm a teacher by nature, so I believe that we can truly "teach" Kaia anything. She is a smart dog, although she hides it quite well.

We enrolled in Indy K9 Kollege in Beech Grove. It is actually steps away from my Aunt and Uncle's house, and I never noticed it. Kaia's vet recommended this facility because they specialize in large breed dogs. Can you imagine Kaia in the same obedience class as a Chihuahua?? I mean come on, little annoying dogs are what we encourage Kaia to eat for breakfast! :) Going into the first class, Duane and I both had our reservations. If you know Kaia at all you know that she loves two things, people and dogs. Both of which we knew would be in her class. I have a very vivid imagination and had literally pictured all sorts of awful scenarios that would take place tonight. I pictured Marley going to obedience school and being the only dog in the class to ignore any sort of command. I pictured 20 dogs and Kaia dragging us all over as she jumped all over the other dogs. I pictured everyone being annoyed by Kaia's constant high-pitched bark. I thought of it all. All very negative thoughts might I add. Much to our surprise none of those scenarios were even CLOSE to what took place tonight. It was a very pleasant experience!

There are four other dog's in Kaia's class. All of them are under one year (although Kaia is by far the largest). There are two labs and two golden retrievers. Kaia was SO well behaved! She laid right next to us as the instructor gave us our "homework". This was a major accomplishment considering there were LOTS of distractions. Kaia obeyed us when we practiced different techniques to correct behavior. It was a great start! We both walked out smiling and thinking to ourselves..."We CAN do this!" She did bark a couple of times, but that was the worst of her behavior so we'll take it! I'm sure that all of our friends won't believe us when we tell them how well she did!

This week our homework (yes, we have two pages of homework) is to work on less jumping, pulling on the leash, and common commands such as sit, lay, and stand. Along with that we are supposed to work on the "wait" command. When we walk from room to room, out the door, or step out of the car we are supposed to go before Kaia. The leader of the pack is always supposed to lead. This might be difficult since I'm almost positive Kaia thinks she rules this roost. She doesn't know what she's got coming to her!

Well that's all for now. I'll be sure to keep you updated on our cute puppy's progress. Have a great night!

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