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Friday, October 12, 2007

Mud Dog Training Survivor

We made it through the "mud training" unscathed on Wednesday night and learned a great deal. Although we were bumped up to this class (we didn't have to start at the basic level since the Lab Brats already had some training), we found out quickly that there are many different ways of training and that all of them has both positive and negative aspects.

Training on a dark, cold, and rainy night definitely redefines the alpha role in the pack. Cheyenne and Dakota really couldn't see each other that well from each side of the training line so there was very little dog talk during the class. At the end of the night, I felt so bad for Cheyenne though that I wanted to just wrap my arms around her and get her to forgive me.

Why? Well, it is difficult to appreciate the dark chocolate color of our Labrador Retrievers in the dark and it is even more difficult to see them. The class was moving at a very fast pace and, while trying to keep up, I stepped on my poor puppy's tail a few times. After jumping up in her spot, she would shoot a look up at me as to tell me "Hey mom! Watch it! I am doing what you tell me so why do you keep hurting me?" I felt so bad because it was so dark, rainy, and muddy that our "Reverse" (or Backup) training lesson kept resulting in Cheyenne and I colliding with each other; mainly me and her tail. I felt like a kid learning to do the waltz with partner that was just as clumsy as me.

Thankfully, Cheyenne did forgive me after loads of praise and kisses. How did Dakota do? Not a clue! My husband has been tight-lipped about his lesson with Dakota at the other end of the line. Her tail and paws don't seem to be broken so at least that is a good sign. (laugh)

Remember, this was our first time training in the elements and since we know we couldn't get much worse, it is only up from here. Thank goodness my training partner loves me unconditional. Such is life with loving and very forgiving Labs.



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