Obedience School: Calling It Quits

Fiona is an obedience school dropout.

There, I said it.

It took me by surprise, actually. Fiona was the star of her puppy class. Follow that up with stellar performance at her “Terrible Teens” obedience session.

So naturally I signed her up for the next round in the line-up: Finishing School. The eight-week course was preparation for the Canine Good Citizen exam.

Fiona rocked at puppy obedience – what changed?

Our run of success seemed to, well…run out. Fiona regressed in the class, becoming more interested in inspecting specks on the floor than sitting or heeling.

She “put her breaks on” when it was time to walk or flailed about at the other end of the leash.

She preferred giving kisses to coming when called.

Sigh. So after a long (very long!) five weeks, we decided to call it quits.

It’s my fault, really. I should have asked more questions. If I did, I would have found out that the class consisted of endless sits, downs and stays. And the instructor liked to talk…A LOT. Not a good scenario for an energetic one-year-old terrier.

There’s no way my girl would stay in a mind-numbing sit at my left for 20 minutes at a time. Maybe someday…but not now.

Heck, even I was bored at the class. Me and Fiona would exchange yawns of disinterest.

So, for now, Miss Fiona will be practicing at home. And that’s totally okay.

Any other dropouts out there?

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2 Responses to Obedience School: Calling It Quits

  1. Azumi says:

    I had a similar experience at Mother Knows Best..

    I was interested in training my 6 month old (at the time) dachshund at a new training school, which promises to train any dog obedience without treats.
    We were only allowed ONE trainer at a time, my husband had to sit down away from the training circle.
    I had no idea that when “Mother” said “training without treats” she meant, pulling on the collar, until the dog learned “Heel”.
    My puppy, being a lot shorter than all of the others, was obviously upset with me. He couldn’t understand why his mommy way pulling and dragging him around, barking commands.
    At the end of the first class, i left almost in tears. My puppy afraid of me, and being degraded in class because he didn’t want to sit still for 15 mins while “mother” lectured me on how a bad owner i was for not having a puppy that would sit right by my side during the training.
    It was the WORST experience.

    Happily, we went back to out local Petsmart Traning session, where our trainers greeted my puppy with open arms, positive reinforcements, and fun learning techniques.. They also never made us feel bad when our puppy didn’t do the exercise perfect. after all.. it’s a learning curve.

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