Friday, May 4, 2012

School's Out!

Yesterday was Luna's last day at Attention & Handling class.  I originally signed her up for the class to help her get back to obedience training, but also as a way for her to continue some physical therapy.  At first, I wasn't sure if this was money well spent since our first night was pretty rough.  She was the only greyhound (no surprise) and she was the only dog wearing a harness.  She also struggled with sit and down which made us stand out a little more.

Over the past two months, Luna improved so much.  She was really holding her own around the golden retrievers, border collies, labs and poodles.  Her eye contact was fabulous.  She would stare me down with her ears perked up.  The trainer frequently commented on how great Luna's eye contact was.  Nothing could distract Luna when she was in a stare down.  Her good attention led to improved performance with basic obedience.  She would lie down and sit when asked, heel attentively, and leave an item alone even when it was a tasty treat.  All of these improvements were crucial to our success earlier this week at the therapy dog test.

So what's next for Luna?  Logic says we should continue the obedience class, but the primary focus of the class is to prepare dog and handler for competition.  Since her accident, Luna has shown that she has some physical limitations.  Her sits need a whole lot of work, she is slow to lie down, and she sometimes trips up when running.  To me, it isn't worth the aggravation to overcome these quirks to make her perfect for competition.  Luna has already overcome a lot and I want her to keep having fun with training.  Focusing on these details would not be fun for either one of us.  For now, school is out for Luna, but I'm looking at signing her up for a tricks class.  Who knows what our next big show stopper will be?

Maybe the fiery hoop is a bit much for Luna. 

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