Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sadie Graduates!

Since the second week we brought Sadie into our home, we have had her in "puppy school" aka obedience class. Being Sadie will be between 85-100 pounds, full grown, we need to make sure we are responsible owners and she is obedient. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are VERY intelligent and that is ONE of the reasons we decided to go with this particular breed, but they are also known to be slightly stubborn.  Sigh... we REALLLLLY do not need ANOTHER stubborn ANYTHING in this house.  LOL!  We decided to use PetSmart's training class.  Our instructor's name was Tony.  She has been training dogs since she was 8, or so she says.  
Sadie went through a 6 week training course.  The class was every Saturday at 1:00 pm.  We stayed with Sadie the entire time.  One half of the class was instructional, informative, and useful information for pet owners, particularly dog owners, and the other half of the class we spent using what we learned and teach it to our puppies.  
On March 7th, Sadie went through a "check point" course and passed her final exam.  I was so nervous about whether or not she would pass.  I'm not sure why, but I just was.  I guess you could say I have a fear of failing.  I am proud to announce that Sadie did graduate aka pass the course.  Congratulations SADIE!!!! The intermediate class starts in April.  I am not sure if we will move on or not, but I am thankful for the information and tools we have learned, for her, since taking the puppy training. Sadie learned the following tips/tricks:

1. Sit
2. Down
3. Heel (Come When Called)
4. "Watch Me"
5. Stay
6. Crawl
7. Wait
8."Leave It"
9. Paw (I taught her this actually)
10. Name Recognition
11.  Walk With Owner
12. "Drop It"

Sadie does every single trick for treats, so she KNOWS IT, but she is NOT necessarily obedient to some of the commands when temptation arises and no treats are involved.  For instance, today, as I was cleaning my basement, she was VERRRRRY quiet (usually NOT a good sign).  She had a roll of toilet paper in her hand.  I had the basement door open, which leads to the backyard.  When I told her to "leave it" and started walking towards her, she bolted outside with it.  It's ALL a work in progress.  Like I said, she KNOWS every command, but being she can be stubborn and being she is still ALL puppy, she is not (at this age) always going to be 100% obedient, to the commands I give to her.  It's very similar to a child.  The BEST command she follows and I LOVE IT, is the command "wait".  She does this without even being asked now and it exemplifies such good manners.  She "waits" to be told she can eat her food, while I am filling her bowl and as I lay her bowl down.  She "waits" to come in the house, when she is outside, even if I open the door, until I say "okay!".  

We were also taught how to massage Sadie, brush Sadie's teeth, what foods/items are harmful to Sadie, what human food is okay (such as frozen carrots, frozen apples without the peel, and peanut butter), why puppies bite, how to potty train, and so much more.  I am really thankful for this class. The class was $120.00 for 6 weeks, but we had a $20 off coupon, so we paid $100.00.
I am very proud of our girl and I am also very proud of the kids.  Our entire family attended 4/6 classes together.  There were 2 classes that the boys had to miss due to basketball.  We were encouraged to bring the entire family, so everyone was on par with how to give the commands and also so that we were all on the same page, sparing confusion for Sadie.  On "Graduation Day", Darren took the boys to Virginia Tech's last basketball game, so Lilah and I worked together to cheer Sadie on.
Sadie met 5 new puppy pals in her class.  One pup was a Jack Russel mix, 3 pups were pit bulls, and the last pup was a beautiful, yellow lab!  We hope to see them around PetSmart or at the local dog park soon. Both Sadie and the rest of her "peers" graduated.  Be on the look out for the full video footage of her final exam.  Another puppy's mommy was kind enough to record it for me, using my camera, while I took her through the course. Oh and just incase you are wondering where the adorable graduation attire came's a build-a-bear graduation cap, sash, and diploma that I snagged from Lilah and Jaxon's build-a-bear chest.  Hehe.  The other moms and dads loved it SOOOO much that they asked to borrow it for photos too!!!! After all, it is something worth documenting.  
Hip-Hip Hooray Sadie!!!!  We love you girl.

1 comment:

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