Sei had his second class today! Basic pet obedience.
This one went MUCH better than Friday’s class. The instructor was solid, the instruction was reasonable, and the class was well managed.
Sei started out a little overwhelmed at all the barking when class started, but quickly settled in and stayed engaged with me pretty much the whole class. I was shocked! Perrin wouldn’t have stayed engaged that consistently for that duration, and he has a lot more practice and maturity on him. I certainly wasn’t expecting it from Sei! I was able to find a place near a back exit, so we could run outside if things got too overwhelming for him (we only needed one pee break exit!). Sei was able to play tug with me at appropriate moments, and was able to take food the whole time. He just laid down and chilled out with me, practiced hand touches or worked on following my finger while we waited between exercises. He worked interchangeably for kibble, liver, peanut butter and chicken/cream cheese puree, although he did make it clear that the pb was his favourite.
The dogs barking continued to make him unsure when it happened, so we I worked on pairing a dog barking with an enormous amount of peanut butter. This is something I can work on at home, as Perrin sometimes alert barks when the neighbours’ dogs get going.
He met a few new people, which he enjoyed, and another puppy who was quite over the top. I got backed into a corner by them and had to wait a moment to make my exit. Sei completely ignored the crazy puppy at first, then when it calmed down, he initiated a VERY adult greeting. Again, shocked. When the room filled up with people waiting for our class, the energy level came way, way up (lots of dogs barking, whining, screaming and jumping around) and Sei got a bit over aroused (play bowing and barking at another puppy). He was able to quickly come back down again when we got some distance from the other dogs.
I do wish that the training building had a better entry set up. There is quite the bottle neck from the door to the waiting room, with several blind corners. I just picked Sei up and walked him in to avoid any unpleasant surprises coming around corners, and that worked for me (I got flack from someone about it, but whatever. Not their dog). Next time I will wait until class is just about to start to go in. There isn’t any downside to being a minute or two late, but lots of downside to getting trapped in a corner with a bunch of highly aroused dogs who may or may not be reactive.