Tonight after work, I took Rocky to his very first formal obedience training class. The only other class he had been to was his puppy preschool - which was VERY basic!
We went back to the club where we used to take Snoopy and Arrow (which was over a year ago now!), called All Breeds, which is only 10 or 15 minutes from our house.
There were a lot of firsts for Rocky tonight! It was his first outing when we left home in the dark (he has been to agility with Snoopy and I to watch before, but that was before daylight savings finished), his first time working in a group of dogs outdoors, his first encounter with a train (!! The club grounds is right next door to the railway, so three trains whizzed past within 20 metres of us!) - he was very good!
Now for the surprise... When we arrived, I went and paid and signed up, and then went and found where the 'first timers' go. Though after walking one circle with Rocky paying perfect attention to me, we were promoted up TWO more classes into the first competition class!
Which was a nice surprise, there were only two other people in that class, so there wasn't lots of standing around doing nothing.
Rocky learned to properly 'heel' (not to be confused with loose lead walking), ie- him to be stuck to my leg with his head up looking at me - bribed by treats at this stage. We did a few sit-stays (though he was tired by then and wanted to do down-stays!), and some 'proper' recalls.
So, we have come home with plenty of homework.
I either need to figure out how to train Noel-John too, or just take Rocky along on Monday nights to obedience, then Noel-John can take over a bit later on, once it has all gelled in place in Rocky's head, and Noel-John's not so busy at work.
I'll work on the homework exactly the same with Snoopy too, a little extra training on top of her agility homework, won't hurt :-)
I've also learned that brain work tires Rocky out an awful lot faster than just physical exercise.
If we take him for a walk on the beach and he just runs around or chases a ball, he'll get home and still be wanting to play with Snoopy - even if it's an hour long walk!
If I do some full on training (loose lead walking, clicker shaping, or like tonight, 45min of obedience class), when we get home he is knackered!
He ate his dinner (half size, since he had lots of food treats at obedience training) and went straight to sleep on the bed he shares inside with Snoopy: