Saturday, July 07, 2007

Aftermath for a star

Today was Marvin's second-to-the-last manners class. He's still doing very well, although he's brought his interest in heights to class. Last week he realized he could jump up on the chairs behind us lining the wall. Today he did more of the same, this time jumping up, then walking along the row of chairs, back and forth. "Marvin, off"-click-treat time and time again. Despite this diversion, he still walks nicely on a loose leash, even practicing a figure-8 around other dogs while remaining focused on me. While the other dogs circled us, we practiced "watch me" and his attention didn't falter. A beagle knows salmon treats are of a much higher value than any distraction another dog can offer.

There was also playtime today where the dogs could go through tunnels, climb stairs and a ramp, and hop in and out of an empty plastic pool. Marvin handled all of this with gusto. I remember when Diesel was introduced to these things in manners class he was much more apprehensive. What makes Marvin brave and bold also makes him a bit more of a challenge around the house. What makes Diesel more cautious also makes him more calm. We relish their differences.

One thing that must be mentioned is that Marvin has impressed our instructor, Linda, so much that she's not convinced he's a beagle. This is a compliment of rather large proportions. From her past beagle experience, she hasn't seen many retain their focus in class. Marvin, and Diesel both for that matter, make excellent eye contact and tend to remain focused. It must be my choice of tasty treats. :)

With so much going on in class we're both rather exhausted by the time we get home. He earned his blue star by walking nicely on a loose leash and for going in his crate
on his own at bedtime the last two nights without us having to ask.

Good boy.


Blogger Heather said...

I did not know you got another dog! I am so happy for you. I check in on your blog every so often. I love the stars that Linda places on their head...
Heather Mohan

September 23, 2007 at 7:32 PM  

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