Last night marked the end of the season of group classes at Good Dog Home Obedience Training (in Arlington, just north of DeForest). Which I would say is perfect timing because we were holding classes exclusively outdoors and I think we’ve exhausted our share of nice weather and sunlight on weeknights for the year.
The end of group classes sometimes makes me a little sad. I’ll miss some of the dogs; like this class had a little 5 month old shih tzu puppy named Tula that I just adored – she was SO CUTE! (Yes, I’m a sucker for small dogs 😛 ). And there will always be one or two people/couples that I just wish I could have done more to help or showed them a few more tricks for dealing with whatever issue they were having.
Class can be hard – after all, it is set up to be ridiculously distracting for all involved parties. I can be your best cheerleader and coach, but I can’t move you the way I need you to move to make things work as well for you as they do for me. All I can do is demonstrate. I love using class dogs as demo dogs. I already know my dog can do it, if I just show you how awesome my dog is, then I’m kinda just showing him off. I want to show you that your dog can do it. I can borrow people’s dogs and prove over and over again that their dog will do what they want him to do. Their dog can pay attention in the face of tremendous distractions; their dog can stay for them to walk 20 feet away, but sometimes it’s just hard to convince people that I’m not the only one who can get their dog to do whatever it is they’re asking. You can do it too! It just makes me wish I could do more.
On the whole, GDHOT has a lot of really cool advantages as a dog training business. Ken Wedel is the owner and the business is based on his farm. He’s got acres of space, plus barns and it’s mostly fenced in and open. Even the trees in one of the fenced areas are planted in such a way that they make great tools for stuff like heeling. If his barn was just a little bigger, it would be perfect for winter training, too. But! Maybe next year for that.
But: Good News Everyone!
In the new year, I’m going to begin to take on private training for GDHOT in addition to teaching group classes! I’m TOTALLY STOKED! The way that it’ll work is I’ll be splitting my week up, working certain days at GDHOT and other days at Tabby & Jack’s. I am so hip to this jive. 🙂
I think this may call for a move back to the near east side in the new year. Rock on.