Saturday, 5 May 2012

Advanced Life Skills

As most of you may know Kobi and I had been taking Advanced Life Skills with Sublime Canine for the last little while, well last Sunday was graduation night!

I'm glad we took the class because I feel like I learned some great information about how to deal with Kobi and how to take our training to the next level, however, I'm not sure if I'm totally content with the class. The class is yes called Advanced Life Skills, but is described as a prep class for the canine good neighbour test. I'm not sure if I will ever take Kobi through the canine good neighbour, but I know there are similar elements to the Therapy Dog evaluation so I wanted to be able to work on some of those skills with Kobi in a controlled environment.

The exercises we worked on were lots of stays, walking loosely and being able to sit the moment you stop, being able to down while walking, coming when called and a tiny amount of meeting other dogs.

I really liked the class at first, but as the weeks went on I felt we were covering the same thing over and over. Kobi got awesome at working on his stay, but I felt like we had practiced the skills a lot and we were ready to move onto other things and we never did. What I feel Kobi really needed and still needs work with is getting to meet other dogs politely. We never even got the chance because we had to work in a separate area of the room to try to prevent his barking, so no meeting dogs which is a huge component of the test. Kobi also needs work on greeting people calmly. Again this is something he struggles with and there wasn't nearly enough attention given to achieving that goal. Lastly you have to leave your dog with a stranger while you go out of sight, this is something that was never even done.

So, am I glad I took the class, yes, I am. We learned lots of great tips and got to do a lot of work on Kobi's stay improving its reliability. Am I totally happy with the class, no. I really feel a little let down. We didn't accomplish any of the goals I had in mind and because of that I know for a fact that Kobi is not even close to being able to take the test. The other thing I was a little disappointed about was we never did a mock test. I really was expecting to have the chance to go through a mock test to see where we needed work (which I think I know) but also just to see how it works to alleviate some of the stress when people decide to actually go and take the test.

Today Kobi and I start agility so hopefully that yields greater results.

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