Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Local Dog Trainers Tame The Gritty Beast (Well Sorta)
Recently, I took my 3+ month old border collie puppy, Kona, to the Puppy Workshop at Positive Approach, local dog training masters. Border collies are known for their intelligence, so naturally I expected my dog to be brilliant.
She was horrible really.
At home, she NEVER barks. There, she barked the whole time. At home, she can and does "chill-ax;" there, no, she yanked and tugged and got into the trainers stuff. The other puppies were sitting at their owners feet calmly while mine is bouncing off the walls, raring to go. I don't think it helped that we got to the workshop late (because Gritty mama couldn't figure out a way to park her oversized car in an undersized parking space) and the Gritty doggie pee'd on herself (with a little on me). We kind of came in the room like a hurricane, but our kindly trainer and kindly classmates didn't mind.
So, the training commenced and we learned all kinds of things about potty training, teaching manners, greeting puppies, keeping puppies safe, healthy, and active, and all the good stuff (of course, I suspect some didn't hear as much in the class due to my noisy pooch). But the best part was letting the puppies off leash to play and interact. Not only was it cool and fun to watch, but I learned so much about my dog.
Kona ran circles around the other puppies--that canine can RUN! She could "dish it out" but sometimes couldn't take it from her fellow puppies. She loved to keep moving. And our training expert really acknowledged this. He was great with Kona (gently whispering to her, "...let's keep you busy."). When he used training examples, he used Kona ("let's put you to work" he'd cheerfully say). She LOVED this. Here's what I loved.
My border collie is too much. Too much of everything. She too cute, too smart, too high energy, too loving, too demanding, too stubborn, too much energy, well, you get it. And this is why I love her. She's an interesting breed; not an easy one, certainly, but fascinating. Most people don't want borders; not enough time, patience, energy, etc. Don't get me wrong, she can be naughty and over the top, but that's why I like her. She'll give me a run for my money.
At the end of the training, the trainer commented that lots of dogs match their owner's personalities. The whole class looked at me and laughed. Yeah, I was the student that asked too many questions, too loudly, and I was shouting, "Run it, Girl! Get that sprint on!" with enormous glee.
Good match, eh?