The adventures of SD Juno and SDIT Kaline (and their human, Colt).

29 August 2012

Open Foundation Class

Dog of supreme awesomeness.

Tonight Juno got some quality alone fun time! An obedience club was having an Open Foundation Class (i.e. a class where you get advice and get to work on various aspects of Open-level obedience) in Santa Clara and I got invited. Junebug and I met this lady who is involved in running the club when we were at a match once, and she's really into mixed-breed competition, so obviously we had stuff in common.

We were a bit late getting there due to traffic, but we still got to be there for all the important stuff. We didn't get to hear all the tips on heeling—about five minutes after we arrived, we got sent into the ring along with a bulldog (for the rest of the evening, we were known as "the odd couple") to show our skillz to the instructor. Juno was predictably not so awesome at that. First of all, obedience heeling (where they keep perfect pace with you and stare lovingly into your eyes at all times) is not one of her best areas to begin with. Add to that we had not warmed up, I wasn't sure if we were supposed to use bait (so I didn't), and I had just switched from her prong to her flat collar ... and yeah, we kinda sucked. Enough that the instructor asked if Juno had ever been worked off leash. Oh the shame. (Not really.)

Between exercises, Juno gleefully lay on her back for belly rubs and attempted to mooch food off our neighbors. Training classes are the only places where she actively solicits attention from strangers, because she knows everyone has food.

Our next focus was the drop on recall and Juno was awesome at that one! First we did random drops; on the first one, she was like, "Wait, are you sure?" Then she got a treat and was on. Any time I raised my hand, she threw herself into a down and lashed her tail eagerly. The only challenge was trying to get her to stay far enough away from me to start getting some distance. (Anytime I released her, she came bounding up to me, like, "I did so good, didn't I, Mom?")

Then we did drops behind barriers; again, Juno just needed to be shown what to do, and then she got it. I love watching the little gears turning in her brain. She is always so up for learning new stuff and she wants to know exactly how it's done. She flopped on the barrier at one point, and I moved her back off it; the next time, she dropped with her front paws about an inch from the barrier. For that, we need to work on the folding-back style of down; perhaps I'll put a new word on it other than down.

The instructor then talked to us a ton about proofing stays for the out-of-sight sits and downs. The exercises to try were hilarious, and sounded just like the kinds of things you'd do to proof a service dog in training. Throwing balls past them, having random people come up and talk to them or offer food, letting another dog play near them, etc. I can't wait to try all this stuff with Juno and Kaline, it sounds like a blast.

At the very end—we'd run over time—those who decided to stay got to practice short out-of-sight group stays. Juno broke once, when I first left her on the sit-stay, and after that was good. The instructor had me go outside but keep talking continually to Juno, which really seemed to help. It was interesting, because when we practiced the same thing Tuesday at the park, Juno did a perfect three-minute sit-stay, but then popped up into a sit when she was doing her long down. Tonight the down was good.

I wish this kind of stuff happened more often! Juno loved it, you could just tell she was having a blast. I can't wait till we can start trialing again.

Kaline update: He worked more on retrieving at the park, and I worked on his loose-leash walking with him on his own at night. That actually went really well. More individual work on that is in order, possibly in a different collar, since he can't wear the prong for the CGC. I just don't want to rub the fur off his neck, cause I think it's looking better.
Juno and Kaline sacked out at Red Robin yesterday.

We ran into a woman on our middle walk today who saw Kaline and went, "A baby Dobie!" I practically hugged her for knowing without asking what Kaline is. He was kind of a pill on that walk (he, Xena and Jett all amp each other up) but then he was excellent with Juno, her boyfriend Ellis, and Teddy. Woohoo.

Life update: My beloved 21-year-old Honda Accord, affectionately known as Faithful Little Tygs On Top, has just had what I assume will be his last very expensive appointment with the mechanic. Dad and I are planning outings to showrooms this weekend just to get more information on my main options, a Honda CRV and a Toyota Rav4. I'm thinking of taking Juno to one showroom, doing a recharge at home, then taking Kaline to the other. Hopefully it'll go well ... maybe by October or so I will have a new (to me) car more suited to my dog profession. I will sorely miss my little Honda though. My faithful dog-nail-scarred Tigermobile.


  1. Rav4! I have had mine for 12 years now and it is fantastic. Heidi Hurdy also has one (hers is much newer).

  2. Yeah, the mechanic said go with a Honda or Toyota, don't screw around with anything else. We'll see which one the dogs like better, probably!