When we started classes both Josh and I would switch on and off working with Mara. We realized that wasn’t the best idea so I let Josh work with her during class and I would just hang out and take in the training tips. Since discovering Mara’s doggie ADD we give her the frequent breaks she needs to relax and refocus. We started out with the usual routine and she really just wasn’t having any part of Josh this time. She did not want to listen worth of anything and he was just getting really frustrated. The last straw was when Mara jumped on the kid who kept running to the bathroom past her. Just before Josh hit his breaking point I took over and tried working with her. Clearly she was all about working with mommy today, because she was doing well with me.Fortunately Cain and Able weren’t both there this week, but even having one of them was still annoying. Dad came and picked up the other little brat, who of course didn’t go without a big temper tantrum. After some kid drama dad left with him to get burritos so we only had to deal with one. During the class he was rolling around on the floor laughing and reading a book, talking over the trainer at the beginning of the class and running past the dogs trying to work. After class I told the trainer that the kids needed to go, but since we only have one week left he said he’s going to let it go. I considered taking the next set of classes at the doggie academy, but I found out that they will be taking them too so I made an about-face on that decision really quick. I’m not going to pay $200 to be annoyed by those damn kids again. The mother is very nice and the dog is great but I’m not taking the chance of having to deal with dad and the kids again. One of the dogs was sick this time so it was only down to three pups. We moved around the room a lot more this time, training the dogs on some loose leash walking. Mara was having a really tough time with this today so that ended pretty quickly for us. The trainer strongly suggested doing more focus training with her to teach her to focus on us instead of everything else. Hand targets, name games, and find it games he said will be the best way for her to learn. I wish someone gave me treats every time they called my name and I looked at them.
The big one we need to work on is Mara’s stay with Josh specifically. I am able to take a step or two back before she follows, but Josh can’t even move and she’s up. Apparently he is fostering a needy dog. I blame the fact that he is never home so when he tries to leave she gets clingy. I get it, I’m the same way.
The big kicker in all of this is she is a totally different dog at home. She listens so much better and is an angel (most days). Last night Josh and I were putting clean sheets on the bed so we sent her to the crate and didn’t even have to close the door. She sat in there, waited until we were done, got into bed and then she came up when she was invited. I really wish she would act like this during classes. Oh well, she’s a work in progress.