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December 13, 2013: Graduation Night

It really wasn’t a big deal – Ryder’s foundation class graduation. It’s a very basic class and the dogs who attend the last class participate in graduation. But in my mind, this graduation was a milestone, in part because I decided early on that we should do this. Also, Ryder got a star for having attended all six classes. We were the only ones in our group who got the star award.

The final class in this series went quite well. We first participated in a contest in which Ryder was to do as many doggie push-ups in a minute as she could possibly do. A doggy push up consists of a sit/stand or a down/stand. We chose to do the sit/stand, thinking this would be easier. I let Pete do the honors.

Ryder’s performance was (dare I say it?) lackluster. Her count was four. (The record is 24). The other two dogs did way better. I was at first disappointed – I had worked with Ryder on this, and I

thought she’d excel. But as the class progressed, I got over it.

This is because I realized that Ryder is doing very well in her overall obedience training. She will now sit, stay, stand, come, and look. She’ll also walk by my side down the road for a brief period of time. And she usually comes when I call her. She is, overall, a very happy dog.

I don’t think that Ryder is going to be a good trick dog. Rather, she will do well at what interests her. Things have to make sense to her. This, I think, is actually a sign of intelligence.

In class, we also worked on sit and dealing with distractions, like having Claudia come up to us and shake our hands. She also passed by us using a walker.

Claudia, as usual, was her usual positive self. Her attitude has a way of rubbing off on the dogs and their handlers. Seems like little ever phases her. Her attitude complements her training methods. This is something to aspire to.

I didn’t mention this, but we’ve been having a problem with Ryder, who seems in one respect to have regressed. She resumed jumping on us when we were eating. For the life of me, I could not figure out what the problem was. It finally dawned on me that I needed to move her bed back into the kitchen. (It had been in the living room). I did this – dog immediately went over to her bed and lay down.

Smart dog was attempting to tell dumb human something important. Dumb human did not at first understand what smart dog was getting at. Very humbling, owning a border collie.

Next: 263: 12/14/13: Going to the Dogs -- Herding Class #5