Jul 17, 2009

Puppy Class Today = Stress!!

First off, we left the house right on time for getting to Bandit's 10 a.m. class. When we got a short distance from the house I checked the training treats in my fanny pack from last week - they were hard as a rock!! (stressor #1). We had to get some training treats for class that Bandit would actually find palatable. We quickly made a stop off at the Woodinville PetSmart and get a fresh bag of training treats.

With only seconds to spare until class time starts (stressor #2), we arrive for class. Knowing that we need to keep our distance from another dog who might cause Bandit to bark, or vice versa, we took the far left chair, with the next closest dog a sweet golden Lab named Lucy. Bandit's brother, Brady, was as far away from Bandit as he could be, off to the far right. Bandit pretty much started periodically barking from the get-go (stressor #3), and pretty much continued until class ended (stressors #4, #5, #6, and #7).

The only time he refrained from barking was when the puppies got "play time" and were allowed to roam the classroom freely. It wasn't as wild and chaotic as I thought it would be, but that was probably helped a lot because the smaller breeds, and especially the toy breeds, had their own playtime inside a little pen set up in the classroom.

Once class got serious again, I looked around the room. Everyone's puppy seemed to be sitting quietly at his/her master's feet, nibbling happily on a toy or treat. Lucy next to us was. Brady was. Even this one puppy who looks like a scrappy little troublemaker was happy and content, laying quietly while his humans gave their full attention to the instructor. Meanwhile, Bandit's barking, fidgeting, fussing, having nothing to do with his chew treat, and all the while listening to absolutely nothing I'm telling him to do (stressors #8, #9, and #10). The instructor's husband came over and took Bandit's leash and proceeded to perform the "calming method" we had learned last week. Bandit was not happy about this at all (stressor #11). He was even more fussy and generally not enjoying his second puppy class. By the time the instructor put Bandit back into my care, Bandit was a nervous wreck (stressor #12, #13, and #14). Bandit knows "sit" and "down" like a pro, but he wasn't interested in anything except barking and messing around (stressor #15).

By the time class was over, I was so glad to get back to the car and head out of there. Bandit proceeded to bark most of the way home (stressor #16) while in his crate, but once we got home he napped for almost an hour. When Bandit's cranky and crabby, he usually needs some down time. I'll have to work on trying to get him to take a nap before class next week.

Romping at play time

Getting to know classmate, Lucy

Bandit was interested in the smaller breeds who had their own playpen

1 comment:

DoggyMom said...

WOW Nan!! Bandit the barker huh? I feel for you having to deal with that in class!! I hope you have a better time in the next class.