Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Dr. Dog Advanced Level: Lesson Four & Five
The Dr. Dog test is only held twice a year and the upcoming one is on July 13, which is less than a week away. To take the test, we need to have our instructor's endorsement and lucky for me, our instructor, Pudding's Mom agreed to sign the application form for us. Dad will be taking me through the test this time, so if we do pass the test, Dad will be my handler and Mom can only tag along when we do service work. Mom says that she will probably take the test with me at the end of the year because she feels that she still has some work to do with me. Everyone thinks that she spoils me too much and that is why I don't obey her commands some times. Mom does not think so, but well.....she still has about half a year to figure that out. :D
Since the test day is on next Sunday, our final advanced class will be postponed to the following Sunday. I did not perform well during the past two lessons and we blamed it on the heat. The soaring temperatures are making me hot and uncomfortable, I was in no mood for training at all, but then again, it was nice to go out and meet my friends.
Toys and treats in covered containers were placed all over the floor and we had to heel around them with the instructor using a shake can to give out noise distractions. We continued with more heeling exercises and our instructor said that that we have to practice the "Look" command more because I was not really looking at Dad the whole time, but with all the toys and treats on the floor, that sounds like an impossible feat.
The two tricks that we have to learn this week are putting your head down on your owner's lap and getting a hug. Putting your head down on the lap is a little like saying your prayers. Both tricks are simply taught by using treats to lure us into position. I don't enjoy getting hugged, so that one is going to take lots of practice and patience. That is also one important element in the Dr. Dog test, so I really need to work hard at it.
Next, our instructor showed our owners how to give us a massage. It was like drawing circles all over our body. I really enjoyed that segment! A full body massage for free! Our instructor said that it is very important to let us get used to being touched at every part of our body, so a daily massage is in order. Yay!
Finally, we had to get used to all the grooming accessories, like hair brushes, combs and scary nail clippers. Our instructor demonstrated how to clip a wooden chopstick with the nail clipper near our paws and giving us treats at the same time. That was a really neat idea!
If it does not rain next week, we will be having our lesson outdoors at the Da Jia Riverside Park. I am really looking forward to it!
Woohoo! Sunday is here again! And what a beautiful day! Just look at the blue sky and the low clouds! We went to Da Jia Riverside Park for our outdoor lesson on this gorgeous day.
We decided to alight from the taxi about half an hour away from our meeting place and walk there. That was a big mistake! Although it was a perfect day, the temperature was on the high side, so it was quite a torture to stroll under the scorching sun.
Da Jia Riverside Park is located near the Taipei Songshan Airport and many planes flew over us as we walked.
Here is a short clip of the picture perfect day:
It was hot hot hot and I panted like crazy when we arrived, our instructor told Dad to pour some water on my back and belly to prevent heat stroke.
Here we are getting ready for the class.
We had to exchange owners and Dad took Bibi. Bibi was very responsive and obeyed Dad's command to sit and down instantly.
Yummy's Dad took me, but I was not very cooperative and took some time to sit.
Throughout the lesson, I was not paying much attention and I even spat out my favorite treat. I think I don't do very well under this heat and the only thing I could do was to rest and watch the others.
Bibi's sister, TinTing came to watch us practice too!
Bibi will be taking the test on Sunday too! I will be keeping my paws crossed for you!
Lafy is so cute with his frisbee!
Yummy having some fun with his Dad.
Here's Gula giving his best smile for the camera.
A homemade cookie from Kerry, just perfect for practicing my nose trick.
As usual, group photos after the lesson.
Just in time to watch the sun set after class.
Just one more week to test day, since it is too hot to go outside during the day, we will be practicing indoors everyday. Our instructor said that I have to work hard on a few things:
1. Get used to receiving hugs.
2. Get used to my owner being away and not keep looking out for Dad when someone leads me away.
3. Have more sniffing exercises to train my nose to work
4. Practice more tricks because they will come in useful during service.
Will keep you all updated on my progress. Please keep your fingers, toes and paws crossed for me.