I swear even my aches ache after obedience training! Yes, me and Polly were back at it today after our week's holiday in Cornwall and to top things off, I was forced into the dreaded 'long winding reverse' on one of the narrow lanes leading to the training field, groan! Fortunately, after watching my hesitant attempt to back along the muddy lane, the oncoming delivery van eventually took pity on me, deciding to reverse his vehicle instead ... I reckon watching my clueless girly struggle was simply too painful for him!
Polly couldn't wait to get onto that training field with the other dogs today. I clipped her long training lead onto her collar and off we went for some more of the dreaded 'recall practice'. Now bearing in mind I know perfectly well 'Miss Polly Playful' knows exactly what the word 'come' means because at home she returns in a flash almost always when I call her and proved to me on a walk round the nature reserve last week that she can race back to me when called, I have to assume at obedience class she chooses not to 'come' because she's having way too much fun with her new pals ... even after they have all trotted back to their owners like perfectly well-behaved doggies! Hmph. I wonder how many lessons it will take before she registers 'Polly come' means 'get back to mum pronto girl - at school as well as at home'!!!
It was our eighth lesson today and quite frankly, I felt as though I was pulling Polly from pillar to post to position her for the activities because she was so distracted, preferring to tune my instructions out. I absolutely hate having to tug Poll into place when she doesn't do as she's told ... other dogs, the ground, horses in the next field, you name it, she was determined to get to it, so my arm felt as though it was being yanked out of its socket much of the time. There were glimpses of hope as the session moved on, including a nice 'down stay' at the end, but all in all, today was physically and mentally hard work, not to mention frustrating, given Polly is usually so well behaved and responsive at home.
Mind you, when I first met Polly's instructor Kevin a few months ago, he asked me what I hoped to achieve from her training and I remember telling him I would like 'a polite, happy dog' ... which to be fair, Polly is. She may be a long way from performing on cue in school, but these days I can rarely fault her at home, or when we go out walking, so I won't be losing too much sleep over it.
Incidentally, I also asked Kevin for a strong recall, which as you know, we have yet to cement ... so we won't be beaten, we'll be back up to his bloomin' field for more of the same next week!
Training sure is tiring!
One thing's for sure, training days certainly wear my girl out ... this was her a couple of minutes ago, snoring her little heart out on my living room carpet, aw!