Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Night School

Exciting news! Last night, I started school. We arrived in time to see Maggie, a rescue corgi, graduate from intermediate school which was really cool. She is a beautiful dog.

My class includes a dachshund named Lulu. Some think dachshunds are funny looking because they have long bodies and short legs ... to me, they are really beautiful.  

Rogue is a boxer and based on his energy level, I think he may be a contender.  It looks like he spends much of his time doing road work, towing cars.

Roscoe is a small dog that seems to be all hair. It was windy last night and I imagined him flying like a kite at the end of his leash as they crossed the parking lot on the way to class. No wonder Roscoe looked a little nervous. 

Zoey is our teacher’s sheltie and she is SMART. She has every move down cold. At first, I was a little envious, but then I realized that she probably studied ahead. 

JT, our instructor, gave us a mini-seminar on training methods. One approach is the “old school” method called negative reinforcement. The idea is to “avoid negative stimulus.” Yikes!  

Another approach is the “new school” method called positive reinforcement, where “good behavior is rewarded.”

Howl with me now: “Neeeeewwwww” school. I didn’t need to worry as JT teaches the positive reinforcement approach. Still, my paws were sweating so badly, I had to lay down for a minute.

It turns out that school is easy. While the alpha dogs have several complicated commands to remember, it seems like I get a treat every time I turn around. Do you know the favorite word of every new school student? Homework.  

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