Not so much puppy classes than ongoing doggy classes. Five Jays dog training classes are run in our local village (and other surrounding villages) each week and came recommended by our vet and our neighbours. They have around 6-8 dogs each week of various ages from pups upwards. Jax is now the youngest, and is their first ever SWD - now there's a surprise!
We went along to a 2-hr session last Friday. Jax entered his usual very nervous self around all other dogs. He had to run the gauntlet simply for us to get to the registration desk! He really didn't know what to do. But once the class got going, Marion, the main trainer and organiser took us to one side and ran through things for us. We observed for most of the evening but took part in one of the exercises walking around the other dogs in a circle and them in turn walking between us. Jax coped with this really well, mainly due to having treats rammed down his throat at the first sign of being distracted by any of the other dogs. The evening went really well. Jax settled down to the point of being bored, but he got lots of fuss and slowly started to lose his nerves around the other dogs. The great thing was that none of the dogs went berserk and flipped Jax out. They were all well behaved and any signs of difficulty was curbed by the owner.
I was worried Jax would find it stressful then pee all over the hall. But he had a pee and poo before he went in and then after an our I took him out for a pee, and despite having to go by a busy road junction which he found disconcerting at first, he went and we were able to return to the class with me knowing he was empty!
If I have time I'll get him to one of the classes this week, and then on Sunday we start a six-week puppy class in Peterborough.
Jax continues to come on with our own training. He's enjoying fetch games in and out the house, but he still needs to pay attention to commands when he's overexcited and starts to bite - our stop and down commands go out of the window then!
He started to bite Liz and myself again when he wants us to play with him. I've managed to suss that some of the biting is his new way of telling us he wants to go outside to pee - why he's stopped going to the french door I don't know! Coupled with the biting is increased jumping up and clawing. This culminated in him cutting my lip the other night. Not happy. Luckily t his abuse is reserved for just Liz and me - he's as calm as anything with everyone else.
On his lunchtime walk today Jax got covered in burrs. And I mean covered! By the time we got back home some were bedded deep in his coat. Some came out easy enough by finger, but I had to eventually take a wide toothed comb to help extract some. All the books say no combs or brushes for grooming, but I couldn't work out any other way of getting these out - especially when, as you'd expect, Jax is far from happy to stand still while I extract them! 45 mins later I got around 75% out when Jax had really had enough (so had I) and I also needed to get back to work. I'll have another go at the rest later.
He's ripping, quite literally, through some toys now. I was in the pets superstore the other day and two different couples mentioned getting baby toys from Mothercare - they are ultra safe and last much better than many of the pet toys. I might give it a try when I'm next in town.
Food, treats and chews
He continues to enjoy his Origen puppy food. I got a great deal from our local pet shop in Ramsey. I ordered one 13kg bag and when I went to collect he gave me a second at half price cos it was ripped - saved £25!
He absolutely loves his natures:menu treats and is at his best when they're on offer! At the class on Friday most people had cooked meats (sausage and chicken) but apart from not having the time to prepare stuff, we're purposely not letting him eat food we eat. This works really well up to now as he pays little attention to us when we're eating and doesn't fuss us while we are eating. So, the n:m treats it will be. I have found that splitting each treat in two works, so each bag now goes twice as far! Thansk to Gwen Bailey's book for the tip that pea-sized treats are all you need - and you do.
He's now turning his nose up at some of the cheap chew treats we got for him. I've bought some more expensive ones to see how he gets one. I'd like to get him on natural treats like pigs ears, etc, so need to know what age is OK to feed them these.