Dexter and Kimber are siblings who are here for 10 days of advanced off-leash obedience with Dogtra IQ collars. They are classic Shepherds which means they are smart, inquisitive, enterprising, and also whiny, manipulative and very very sweet to people they like. Dexter is a big boy who would love to be carried around in someone's pocket. He relies on someone else (dog or human) to tell him what to do and he looks to his sister often for direction, though this sometimes leads to an argument. Kimber, while more confident than Dexter, is still very cuddly and she knows exactly how cute she is. While doing the Down command today she dramatically flopped over as if I had mortally injured her then rolled over and cocked her head at me and wagged her tail. She complies with commands but she has to put her own spin on them. She sometimes tends to backtalk by pawing at the leash or at me but she is quickly learning that it doesn't work.
Dexter constantly looks for comfort. Physical praise is extremely important to him. He will do anything for a soft pat on the head or a chest scratch. This has been instrumental in building him back up when he gets scared or overwhelmed. He is becoming more comfortable all the time and is starting to understand that when he walks nicely and sits when I stop he gets touched and when he doesn't he gets a correction.
They have both been introduced to Heel/Autosit, Sit, Down, Implied Stay and Come today. They have picked up the commands quickly but are sloppy still (it IS only day 1). Dexter oozes all over the place when told to Down. He acts like all the bones in his body are gone and just slides around on the ground until his nose is on my foot. Even if this means squirming for 5 feet along the ground.
Kimber is a little princess who likes to get the answer right and this leads to her trying to guess what I am going to ask her to do. She isn't always right and this leads to corrections and I have to be careful not to frustrate her and so we are working on slowing down her thought process while keeping the training fun. We do a few commands in quick succession then I have her hold a sit or Down for 15 seconds (an eternity to a puppy) before asking her to do something else.
Overall, these guys are doing STELLAR for day one. Dextar is currently pouting because I changed the lock on his kennel. He figured out how to open his door in about 3 hours. Stinker. Kimber is curled up on her blanket waiting for the kitty to move from her hiding place so that she can bark at her.
Tomorrow we are doing more on the short leashes and working towards the long line that we will hopefully start in a few days.