GDA has all their puppy raisers enroll their dogs into an outside obedience class. Along with the GDA obedience classes, this gives the dogs ample opportunity to interact with many different dogs and people. Dylan, being 7 1/2 months, has had limited opportunity to do this. I mean, Bailey is different, but I don't thing that's what they mean.
So we set off to Recreation Park to begin our 6:15 PM class. Rose is our instructor and has been doing this training for 20+ years. She was the instructor when we put Randi, our first Lab, through obedience class. She is very good and the guidelines she uses are AKC guidelines. Which is ok, but AKC and GDA are like PC and Apple. An example; AKC has the dogs sit as soon as they stop while heeling. GDA wants their dogs to stand until told to sit. When you call your dog to come, AKC wants the dog to come right in front of you and sit. GDA wants the dogs to come to the left of you, circle and then sit. This is so the blind person can put on their harness. Very small differences, but nevertheless, different!
At GDA, all the dogs are just about the same. In Dylan's GDA class the dogs are 5 to 8 months old and most are Labs, Retrievers or Lab/Retriever mixes. This class has a very diverse gene pool. Most are small, vary in age and there wasn't a distinct breed we could discern except for one 5 month old Golden Retriever, Jackson, who was as beautiful as he was out of control. Another rather large mixed breed dog was so aggressive, they had to work outside the circle of the group. That is exactly what GDA wants. They want their dogs to experience this diversity and for us to benefit from working with our dogs in this environment. Of course, Dylan spent most the time looking over her shoulder and wondering why that big dog was barking so much. But she did great with just a few lapses. It usually happened when she came up behind a small dog who wanted to let Dylan know it was not to be trifled with. Dylan wanted to teach them otherwise and play.
Small breeds don't play with large breeds! At least not on the first date.
|Why is that dog barking?|
|Small dogs abound.|
|Listening to Rose|
|Both looking down, not good Tom!|