Puppy School

My golden retriever and I are about halfway through an eight-week long dog training program (puppy school). Class meets once a week. It is not our favorite hour of the day.

The dog (pictured practicing the “come” command in my neighbor’s soybean field) exhibits some behaviors that give the head instructor headaches but are making me secretly pleased.

The class opens with about 10 minutes of socialization – basically a time when the pooches are free to growl, sniff and nip one another. The golden usually crawls under a desk and watches this social time from afar. The lead instructor, a pleasant lady named Linda, works diligently to get the dog to shed her antisocial issues. She is probably unaware that this reflects the social views of her owner (although I rarely actually crawl under a desk).

Last week’s class ran long. We were working on the “come” command and it is apparently a word most dogs in the class don’t have in their canine vocabulary.

We’ve covered the basics (sit, stay and come) but the learning curve for the golden is a steep one. We have work to do.