Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Dexter...a Show Dog?!

Class on Monday went way better than the last one. I was worried that Big V's reprimanding of Dexter would be a distant memory this week, but it turns out the dog is actually learning!

We did circles again and this time walked with the leash around our necks, still correcting if we needed to but trying to do it on voice. Dexter was great– he looked at me a lot and responded right away to the pinch collar.

Then we did sit-stays and down-stays... upgrades of those as well. This time we dropped the leashes and backed as far as we felt comfortable across the room. This made me nervous. JoAnn also came by bouncing a ball and kicking around a stuffed animal. Some dogs went for it, but not Dex. I still think this is class shock though... definitely need to work on it at home around Harley and in the yard.

We wove around through cones doing laps and then also doing figure-8's. The figure eights allow you to practice getting the dog off you and getting the dog back in next to your leg, all so you don't trip over the dog and so it learns to respond to you rather than going where it wants. Dexter did better at the lap weaving than the figure-8s. The previous week when we went on walks, I practiced weaving in the street. We also did U-turns and catch-up turns, so I probably look pretty silly to the neighborhood unless they know what I'm doing.

JoAnn mentioned this week that she is watching all the dogs and handlers because she gives out awards at the end of the 8 weeks for Best Handler, Best Jr Handler and Most Improved. So... now it's competitive! Dexter got a lot of comments from the instructors this class on how good he looked (the beagle looks great!). She also mentioned showing him (!?) "Wow, that beagle...if you wanted to show him, I think you'd really have something there." She mentioned it twice, the second time noting it was because he wants to please so bad and would do well. I'm sure it's not because of his sway back. She did mention that he was little. Dexter the show dog?? I can't imagine! Don't you have to not be neutered?? Plus, to quote the breeder, "He ain't got no papers".

Anyway, it was nice to hear that he's behaving better... and now I want to practice like crazy so we get the top of the class award! It could be a repeat of the Westminster! aarroooooo!!!!!

Look how fast my tail wags!!! You can't even see it!!


Butch said...

Way to go Dexter. You'll be showing Sissy and the squirrels in the yard who's who? Go for the gold doggy snack.

jamie said...

Congratulations on the progress!! We're looking forward to meeting the new and improved Dexter when we get home... perhaps sporting a little doggie trophy?!

Erin said...

Yay Dexter! Good puppydog.