I’ve started a new class at the RSPCA Brisbane Animal Training Centre!
You remember I was in the Dog Sport Prep class which helps beginner doggies learn about Agility & Flyball but I had to stop that class because of my back ouchie and the vet said since I am a “senior girl” now, I shouldn’t do anymore classes with so much jumping and banging around…and I was very sad.
But then the nice trainers at the RSPCA Animal Training Centre told my humans that I could transfer to another class! This one is called Rally-O & Tricks and it is great fun too! Rally-O is sort of like Obedience but more fun ‘coz it isn’t so serious and strict, and there are more interesting, different exercises and best of all, our humans are allowed to talk to us and praise us & encourage us during the exercises!
This is my 2nd week so I am still just learning the different Rally-O ‘stations’, such as the “270 Degree Turns” and the “1-2-3 Step Forward“. (by the way, I was doing this wrong in the video below – we hadn’t been taught the exercise yet and were just messing around, guessing by ourselves! Please see Em & Pepper’s comment for the correct way to do it! )
Some of the other stations I know how to do already – like “About-Turns” and “Stand Stays“…
…and until we learn more different exercises, we get to do some ‘fun stations’ such as “Jump Through the Hoop” and “Shake Paws”, to fill in.
Some of the stations are really boring – humph – like “Push-Ups” – ugh, I hate those: ‘Sit – Down – Stand – Sit – Stand – Down’…you know how much us Danes don’t like doing anything that requires a lot of effort. We’re not small doggies, you know, and it’s a lot of weight to have to keep getting up and lying down and getting up and lying down…(sigh)
You don’t believe me? See for yourself…
And as if that wasn’t bad enough, do you know what else happens in this class? They come and touch you all over! Creepy or what? Yup – my human makes me do a Stand Stay and then one of the trainers comes up and touches me everywhere. Actually, I don’t mind it – I quite like being touched! (gosh, with the number of new vets I’ve seen lately, I’ve been touched and poked by strangers all over lots of times!) but this can be a really hard exercise for some doggies, as you mustn’t move at all when they are touching you.
Check it out:
Well, aside from trying out the Rally-O stations, we also get to practise different Obedience exercises, like Stays and Recalls, with distractions.
This is really important as lots of doggies can only do their training well if they are in a certain place and their human is standing in a certain way and all is quiet, with nobody around them…well, that’s good in the beginning but if that’s all you can ever do, then that’s not good enough!
Our humans need to keep challenging us with new distractions and testing to see if we can still follow our commands well – that’s how us doggies become reliable and really well-trained.
So check out my Sit Stays, Down Stays, Stand Stays – and my awesome Out-Of-Sight Sit Stay (with awesome distractions) – not that I’m bragging! Hee! Hee!
Aside from Rally-O, we will also be learning different ”tricks” in this class, using clicker training.
For example, we are all learning to “Say your prayers” – I have learnt the first part of this trick (my human calls it “Paws Up”) but I haven’t learnt to put my head down between my paws yet.
Although it’s much harder for me ‘coz I’m so much bigger and more “top-heavy” than other doggies – and my legs are so much longer (and my back too!) – Hsin-Yi was worried it might be uncomfortable for my back or I might get a back ouchie again – so I might only learn to put my chin on my paws and not my head all the way down between them.
The other trick I am learning is to carry a bag. See, I’m not very good at carrying things in my mouth (other than my stuffies!) – I always prefer to bash things with my paws instead! (it’s a Dane thing) – but my human says I need to learn to do more with my mouth.
I can retrieve balls and toys and dumbbells but Hsin-Yi would like me to learn to walk beside her, carrying a bag in my mouth (lazy human – I bet she just wants me to help her carry the groceries from the car!) – so I have just started learning this new trick…
And last but not least - in honour of the Football World Cup - we’re also learning some ball skills!
Hsin-Yi was quite impressed because although she started teaching me this trick back in the beginning of March, we hadn’t practised it at all since…but I still remembered! And I did pretty well, considering that I was in a new place with lots of distractions & other doggies (and clickers!) around me.
Personally, I was more impressed with my ‘paw ball skills’ – you can see them at the end of this video – c’mon, what do you think? Aren’t I just bending it like Beckham? Huh? Huh?
Anyway, so I’m really enjoying my new class and I can’t wait to see what other new tricks & moves I’m going to learn!