Friday, July 23, 2010

Luc Training

After getting my hair cut yesterday, I came back home to pick Luc up for a serious training session at Tractor Supply and Home Depot.  He is better in that he did not pull me with quite the determination he has done in the past, but he is a long way from passing a Canine Good Citizen test.  There were quite a few stops, sits, and returns to the spot where he would not do what he was instructed to do, i.e., heel and walk with a loose leash, in both parking lots.  As we walked up to the four-foot high, customer service counter, he did what he always does when we walk into the vet's:  stands up and puts his front paws on the counter to greet those behind the counter.

Luc made it out of the house with a stolen pillow from a chair. 
Note the bare ground; photo taken when we were experiencing a drought in 2009.

He finally calmed down as I searched out the item to be purchased.  But as we were walking towards a check out counter, there was a little girl of about four years old standing off to the side.  In Luc's world, a child of any size is the most exciting person to walk the earth and should be immediately investigated.  I stopped about 20 feet away, made him sit for about 30 seconds, and gathered my courage with the hope he would not dash (pull me) over to the little girl.  I gave him the "let's go" command, kept my body between him and the little girl, and made it to the check out counter without incident, although I kept a tight leash and used my knee to help guide him to keep walking straight.  I breathed a sigh of relief that we made it without his rushing up to the little girl, knocking her over in excitement, and then licking her face. 

Today, we have another training session.  We are going to the vet's to pick up his dog food, to Tractor Supply, Home Depot, and to the kennel where the therapy classes are to be held.  Since he is in training, the kennel will allow us to hang out for a while so he can get use to people and other dogs coming and going without going into a slobbering tizzy of over exuberance.  Tomorrow's session will be to the Farmer's Market; Sunday or Monday will be Pet Smart in Austin.  Tuesday will probably be Tractor Supply on the way to the first therapy class at 7 PM.  The Canine Good Citizen test is administered in the first Therapy Dog training session.  If passed, the dog goes on with the rest of the session; if failed, he is out until he can pass the test and then wait for another session to be scheduled.  

Wish me luck.  :D  Luc is goosey and still acts like a pup at five years old.  He had two 6-week obedience training class sessions.  I should have really stayed with  field trips to get him under control in public places but it was an incredible fight and tug-of-war and did not keep it up.  I thought that by waiting until he was older, he would be more inclined to behave.  Again, not a good decision.  So, I'm worried that he will not pass the test. 

I always like to have a Plan B.  If he does not pass and cannot participate in this therapy dog training session, we'll do a couple of more private training sessions with field trips to various places that allows dogs or see if there is a Canine Good Citizen class anytime soon.  I am determined to make him into a therapy dog...he is perfect in that he has a sweet personality and loves, loves people, and would bring much joy and love to those that might need some extra. 

Until next time, God bless.


Rae said...

Luc reminds me so much of Piper. I think all Labs are puppies at heart, even when they get older. I used to get so upset with Piper when he did not mind his manners - which was often- now I would give anything to have that rogue dog back. Good luck with the training. I hope it works out. Give Luc a big hug from me. I am imagining my arms around that big yellow galoot right now. You have a wonderful dog!!

DJan said...

Yes, I am wishing you and Luc lots of LUCK, although it will take more than that. I think he's very fortunate to have you to guide him into new horizons. He sure is cute in that picture with the pillow.

AL said...

Oh Luc, how I wish Oreo would be like you. There were times that Oreo thought that he still a little puppy especially when I put his leash on and I still have to train him with that. Right now, I'm still training him to sit before I feed him and glad he is responding whew! Well good luck Luc, and say hi to Mom for me!

Lynn said...

Rae, I wish we lived near so you could give Luc a big hug. You know my heart goes out to you about Piper.

DJan, hmmm, new horizons. I like that idea. :D

AL, how old is Oreo? Isn't he under a year old? Luc is now 5 years old and he still is a hyper handful. It's a Lab being a Lab which is one reason we love them so. :D

SquirrelQueen said...

It sounds like Luc is calming down a bit out in public. The little girl was probably a really good test.

I hope he did okay at the Farmers market yesterday, if it's like the one here there would have been lots of other dogs and many small children.

The Japanese Redneck said...

I so wishing you good luck with Luc.

My mom was comatose before we had to make a decision to let her go. We saw two therapy dogs in the hospital lobby and asked if they would visit her.

They brought them in and had them on a cart. We put her hand on one of them and she smiled.

Momma luved dogs and never had her own until she got Lexie. She had him for about 2 years before this happened and he was her "bay bay".


Lynn said...

Ramona, relating your mom's experience with the therapy dogs is so touching. Thank you.