Tonight is the last night of my dog obedience class! Woot! Molly and I have toiled away for the past six weeks, and I’m proud to say we’ve emerged on the other side as a well behaved and well trained team. To be honest, this isn’t our first obedience class, and I doubt it’ll be our last. We don’t really go to teach Molly obedience, we go to desensitize her to dogs. Her one issue when we brought her home from the SPCA two years ago was that she was “dog reactive”.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, it means she makes scary snarling noises when a dog she perceives to be a threat gets too close. It’s pretty embarrassing when we’re at the beach or the park and a nice dog comes up to meet her and she reacts like this, so off to obedience class we go, and I try and show her that no, not every dog wants to eat you, and no, you don’t need to make your “scary” sounds to make them go away.
Honestly these classes make a world of difference. She still reacts sometimes, especially around dogs who are off leash or dogs that bark at her or act unpredictable (like running around). But around other well behaved dogs, she’s been able to keep her cool and act like a model citizen. I have no doubt that without training classes, our recent trip to the vet’s office would have been a horror show, instead of the quiet and uneventful trip it actually was.
I’m a big fan of investing in things that are important to you, and ignoring the things that aren’t. I’m not concerned about having designer clothes, so I don’t buy them. On the other hand, I love taking Molly everywhere with me, and having her behave properly while we’re out and about is very important to me. So I spent my money on training classes, and suppress a little smile every time we pass by another dog quietly while out on a walk. It works and I love seeing the results.
Today is my last class of the session, but I have no doubt it won’t be my last class ever. I plan on signing up for at least one more before the summer ends, this time we’re going to go for an advanced class, really test our skills.
Have you paid for obedience classes? Did you find them worth while?