#3-Dog Training Classes
Finnegan was fifteen weeks old when we got him, which is older than most puppies, but it also meant he was fairly well potty trained. After two or three days he knew where to go which avoided one of the biggest issues with training a pet, all the was left to do was to teach him how to behave. Of course doing that is a much more complicated process than it would seem. There are thousands of things that go into training a dog so we decided to get some help.
After taking a look at some ads, reading around online for some reviews and calling a few trainers we settled on one that held puppy obedience and manners classes. The classes were officially a gift to Finn’s Mom as part of her birthday present to help her bond with her new love. Each session was an hour long and build upon the last session, and there was even homework. For the first class we read all the pre class material, avoided a large breakfast for Finn (to help him respond to the treats) grabbed our towel and leash and set off. Finnegan was excited, it was still one of his first times out interacting with other dogs, but we were instructed to stay well away from the others and concentrate on handling our puppy. We learned the basics of how to make Finn sit, stay, behave on walks, wait at doors, go to his spot and more importantly we learned what we were doing that would cause Finn confusion.
One of the biggest revelations was that it didn’t matter what we said to the dog, it was much more important what we did. This meant understanind everything from how we said a command, what other movements we made, our facial expressions, and even our emotional state. Dog physchology is a massively complicated issue and the classes were only the tip of the iceberg to understanding Finn. That is not to say there were not quick results. As a golden retriever Finn has been breed to please his handler and he was quick to respond to anything that smelled and tasted great too. By the end of the sessions, including all the homework, Finn was sitting on command, was able to lie down, come when called, and his general demeanor around was that of a well trained gentleman. The excitement of seeing our little guy go to school was amazing and just another reminder that he relies on us to teach him the things he needs to know and the way he needs to act.