Sit. Heel. Aw Hell.

Monday night was Owen’s first official obedience class.

*dramatic pause*

Nah, he did really well. He made an effort to say hello to eeeeeeeeeeeeeveryone and most of them said hello back. I expected him to be noisy since he talks NON-STOP at home, but much like my friends who have rowdy kids and are shocked at how well they behave at school, Owen was relatively calm. He only whined when the other twelve dogs did and I don’t think he barked more than once.

Once he realized there was a never-ending supply of treats he was putty in my hand. He sat. He laid down. He sat.

Then we tried to heel.

Prior to class I knew heeling involved walking but I assumed it was the command to stop, when it’s actually the command to go. The dog is supposed to sit on your left, which he sort of did, then walk on your left until you stop, when they’re supposed to sit. On your left.

Well he sat, but directly in front of me — facing me — with that big dopey grin (see above) on his face. Someone pointed out that at least he was SITTING and it was only the first class, but I’m determined to correct this before next week.

Owen better realize now that I am a perfectionist and I will not fail.

About Melanie Hooyenga

Writer. Designer. Jock. Reader. Wife. Puppy-Mama.
SCBWI member since 2015.

28 Comments

  1. Awwww, many many points for effort, Owen! πŸ˜€

    He’ll get it. If he’s clever enough to own a blog AND a facebook page, heeling is nothing. πŸ˜‰

    Adam

  2. If you got him to stop when you stop, it’s all good. One of my three dogs thinks that if you stop it is his cue to get in front of you and look back over his shoulder at you as if you are broken.

    “C’mon monkey! You can do it! This way!”

    He’s quite worried about my IQ it seems.

  3. bigwords88

    I’m sure most dogs are much smarter then they allow people to know. The way that some dogs can detect cancer, lead the blind, or help with bomb disposal, all leads me to believe they are capable of problem-solving on a level we are as yet unable to fully prove with scientific means. I’ve seen dogs do simple things which, with hindsight, indicates they looked at a number of possible ways to accomplish a problem then chose the way that would ensure they got what they wanted.

    I can’t wait to see how he reacts to the eventual ‘fetch’ command. That should be interesting…

  4. mary hart

    It is amazing what treats will do for them!! He’ll get it! You might try just keeping the treat at your side beside your leg when you stop so it is right in front of his nose.
    12 dogs in class!! Wow that must have been fun to watch!

    • Mary, I hope I’m able to take pictures at some point. We have quite a variety.

      Yes, the treats. I struggled for almost ten minutes to get the choke collar on him tonight. He WANTED it on, but wouldn’t close his mouth. I’m thinking treats would’ve helped.

  5. JLC

    He’s so cute! Yes he is! Yes he is, that cute wittle guy!

    Oops! Sorry! I was having a cute fuzzy wuzzy moment. It sounds like he is doing great! Very typical terrier. πŸ˜‰ They are so smart. It wont take long to acheive perfection.

    *wonders if they have training classes for chickens* bok!

  6. He’s such a cutie! I love that dopey grin!

    My dogs never learned to heel. I was happy they learned to walk on a leash. When they were puppies, they didn’t want to go for a walk and I pulled them along anyway. The boys were horrified. I told them not to worry. I was taking them for a drag.

    • Robin, Ibis used to do that when Owen was smaller and he ended up with these cuts on the inside of his ankles. Poor guy. I don’t drag him ever now, I’ll just lift his belly a little to keep him moving.

  7. Nadine

    Aw, that’s so cute that he heeled in front of you! But I like the point your friend made – that at least he was sitting! You’ll have to upload video once he learns his tricks!

  8. Penguin

    You guys are funny, Heel means stop, right.
    Heel means just that, get to the back of my feet, heel.
    If you want to keep him from getting in front of you hold the leash back so it is not slack just before you stop. It works well, he realizes that he doesn’t have the room to get in front of you with your attention, he will be fine along side of you once he realizes that’s what you want. Up until now, that is how you have taught him to address you. When he learns that you know what is going on next to you he will start acting as such.
    Remember you are learning to communicate with each other.

    • Well if you’re gonna get all technical…

      I’ve been working with him on the leash from day one and don’t let him get ahead of me. It’s been a slow road, but he’s getting it. It’s worse once we turn around and are on our way home, but even that is getting better.

      He has learned to only cross behind me, not in front of me, so that makes me happy.

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