So this week was the last training class. Mara did okay in the beginning but really did awesome at the end. She worked better with me yesterday than she did with Josh. We just reviewed some of the same exercises we learned in the previous classes and the trainer gave us tips on how to perform them better.
We’ve been giving Mara hot dogs for the last 3 classes, but this time the trainer broke out the Kong Aerosol treats in a can. They are meant to fill the Kong toys, but the trainer was just squirting in right into her mouth. Mara got the pepperoni flavored one, which she went nuts over. The other dog in the class got the cheese and bacon flavored one. Mara did get a taste of both and immediately perked up and started listening again knowing she was going to get better treats than the hot dogs. The trainer also gave us some peanut butter which is always a win for her. I definitely recommend trying the Kong treats for anyone who has a dog that has a little ADD. Josh kept calling it a gateway treat. First is was the kibble, then hot dogs, then cheddar cheese, onto peanut butter and then spray treats in a can. She honestly was running around like a crack addict when she got the spray.
Our friend Pippa with the Cain and Able were there, except mom couldn’t come so dad was filling in. Since dad has never really been to the class and didn’t know what he was doing, he tried to learn quick which meant not paying attention to his rotten kids running around the place. I could see the trainer was getting really, really annoyed, which he admitted to almost throwing them out after the class was over and they left. We were trying to do the sit, stay exercise where you would get your dog into a sit and have someone else approach the dog. As soon as the dog broke the sit the person would walk away. If the person approached and the dog didn’t break until they were told they could they got pets and treats. Of course when I tried to approach Pippa, the kids kept jumping on her while she was sitting so I just stopped trying to help. On several occasions the trainer told the dad that the kids needed to sit. They sort of listened for 5 minutes and then were back to running around. I really should have recommended they go to a child training class instead of a dog class because the dog was 10 times more well behaved than the kids.
At the end of the class the trainer made his recommendations and said that all of the dogs except for one could move on to intermediate, although he said a better recommendation for Mara would be to re-do basic. He said she could handle intermediate but would struggle a bit. The one other dog that was not recommended to move on was Salty, a sweet dog that was just terrified of everything and everyone. The poor thing covered in the corner during every class, but the owners were able to take a lot away to work with him.
Mara and I got our certificate of completion and Josh joked that he wasn’t on there because he failed. The trainer said the certificates are written for the dog and the person that actually signed up (me) so that’s why his name wasn’t on there. He did tell Josh that he needs to be patient with Mara and not get so frustrated with her. Mara also got a little bag of treats which she immediately wanted to break into. I am debating on whether or not to take another class, I might just wait until it’s not a class with Cain and Able. Not sure I could handle another 6 weeks with those little brats.
My overall impression of the class
Overall I enjoyed the class. The trainer was very friendly and knowledgeable of how best to help each different type of dog personality. The facility was nice, probably a bit small for any more than 4 dogs at a time. Once one of the 5 dogs moved to private lessons it was easier to perform the exercises. They train with the aid of a clicker, which at first I didn’t like but Mara really responds well to it. Mara learned a lot and Josh and I definitely got some good takeaways that we will continue to work on with her. The cost for the 6 weeks was $160, which works out to about $26 per class. I felt that was pretty fair. I would definitely consider another class with Spring Forth Academy. Of course you never know who will be in a class so you either win or lose with the other people around you. Unfortunately that is not something anyone can really control. If any one is interested in classes with Spring Forth Academy you can check out their website here.