Training Time

Playtime is over. He is still a child, of course, but it is time to get serious. Zack is now 5 months old and, until now, I have been training him myself. It has become apparent though that it is time to go to school. You can watch as many YouTube videos as you like, but we all know there is no replacement for a real teacher. So that is what we did last weekend, Zack had his first private training session.

It was great, the trainer immediately flagged the problems that needed solving and gave us training techniques to practice over the next week. The main issue that needs to change is the fact that he will happily wander off, sniffing and chewing on anything that takes his fancy, and we can jump and shout and scream as much as we like and he pays no attention. That has been the focus for our training and I am happy to report that there has been progress, even if perfection is some way off.

Zack still gets very distracted outside, he is a baby after all, and getting him to pay attention to you is tricky. The difference that has been visible to us is how responsive he has now become indoors. It is heartening to see the progress he has made after one week of consistent training, using very simple techniques. You can see the signs, that if we keep it going then he will make very rapid progress. They say dogs learn 3 times faster than humans and you really can believe it.

We will have these private lessons for 3 or 4 weeks, then the plan is to join the group lessons. First Zack, and I, have to learn the ropes. You would think it would only be the dog who would need the training, but apparently the owners do too. I am quite a serious person and my homework from the trainer was to become more demonstrative in my praise. You see, my angry face has always worked well, whereas my smile has been more subtle.

So, it turns out that this dog training could become good for me too, though I will never be one of those who talks to his dog like a baby, at least not while anyone is looking anyway. We will go back next weekend for the second session and it will be interesting to see if any progress is noticeable to the trainer, both in me and in Zack.

© Neil Hayes and neilhayeswrites

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