Monday, March 4, 2013

LEXI's first puppy class

(Above: Lexi spending time 'watching TV' AFTER her puppy class)

By Saturday 2nd March, all Lexi's necessary documents had been collated and emailed off to...

MCKAYNINE TRAINING CENTRE in Johannesburg.


 All the necessary boxes were ticked: 
Vaccination certificate, treats, water bowl, water, lead, collar and, of course, our little Sunbeam...

13-week-old "LEXI" !!!

We arrived at the venue with ample time to spare so that she could acquaint herself with the new environment.  
(Above: Lexi meeting the sheep at McKaynine Training centre)

McKaynine Training Centre is located in a farm-like setting with many distractions - sheep, ducks, other dogs, etc, etc.  The trainers are well qualified and under the guidance of the highly qualified animal behaviouralist and instructor, Shannon McKay.  If you recall, Toby did his own training at this centre, as well as his preparation for THE STAGE PRODUCTION OF THE MUSICAL, "ANNIE"  (click HERE if you missed it) so I was more than happy to return to McKaynine Training with our new little Lexi.

We parked our car below the main fields and allowed Lexi her first glimpse of things to come. She climbed out of the car - tentatively - and looked around.

 "What's this Maxmom?"



I am fully aware that our Lexi is a soft, sensitive little puppy and needs to be ushered into new environments gently. She's always a little timid at first, but once she's familiarised herself with her environment, then her confidence blooms.  Her first day at puppy school was no different.
 There were approximately 20 pups attending, (a large class with lots of distractions) but more than enough 'crew' to help and supervise the pups and their  handlers.

 The first class is designed to familiarise both pups and handlers to the setting and the whole idea of puppy 'training and socialisation'. There is a lot of talking and giving of advice in the first lesson, but it gives the pups the opportunity to learn patience and be encouraged to settle down next to their handlers. 





 Later in the lesson, when everything is calm, the pups are let off lead to explore and to play with their co-students.  At this time, the handlers are encouraged to stand still and not interfere at all.  











Lexi was a little tentative again, but more interested in exploring the array of humans that were present.  She is a friendly, happy and affable little pup.  









We then moved from the enclosure onto one of the larger fields.  Here the pups were encouraged through two different tunnels. For many pups, this exercise can be quite daunting, but Lexi was very happy to perform these tasks with confidence.  

Well done, my Sunbeam!!!

At the end of a happy lesson, we were sent home with a complimentary packet of puppy food as well as a DVD for "handler's-homework".  


My goal this week is simple - to reward Lexi for offering me calm behaviour in potentially excitable situations - eg, visitors at the front door or when I am busy in the kitchen.  Our puppy classes are approximately six weeks in duration and I know that we'll learn a lot of new things during that time.  We look forward to our next one this coming Saturday. But for the moment, it's time for a puppy cuddle:

Well done, my little Sunbeam! You've survived your first lesson.

Sending lotsaluv to all our friends around the world...



15 comments:

harrispen said...

Your Lexi is quite the sweet girl. I LOVE your new header picture too.

Cindy

Becky said...

Oh my so precious.

Amber DaWeenie said...

Good job, Lexi! And MaxMom too! The school looks great. Can I send you my two pup sisters. They need a lot of work! :)

MySpecialDoggies said...

Oooh, how sweet! And then we're tired at day's end:)

Woofs
Nadine & goldens Neeli & Elle

Bouncing Bertie said...

Lexi, you were brilliant, just brilliant! Fancy braving those two big tunnels. I am most impressed.
But the post-lesson cuddle was the best bit, for sure.
Toodle pip!
Bertie.
PS Don't forget to do your homework now...

Mrs. JP said...

What a great way to start. Nice and easy,,nothing forced.
Go little Sunbeam,,GO!!!
I love the new header picture...it's so funny.

Isaac, Emily, and Laura said...

If you ever need an assistant puppy cuddler, just give me a shout! Who careworn you're on the other side of the world from me? I'd hop on thenext plane to see that sweet baby!

Isaac, Emily, and Laura said...

"Careworn"?? Stupid autocorrect! I meant "cares,"of course!

Mitch and Molly said...

What a lot of cute classmates you have, Lexi! Love the cuddle picture and we love your new header photo!

Love ya lots,
Mitch and Molly

Sam said...

Awwww...

24 Paws of Love said...

What a wonderful way to start out, learning to be calm. Beautiful.

Can't wait to hear about the rest of the your classes.

Last photo: priceless

STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Oh Caryl, that puppy class sounds absolutely wonderful. No wonder your dogs do so very well. Lexi is adorable. Enjoy!! No worries, and love, Carol (and Stella and Rory)

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Lexi- you are a shining star!
love
tweedles

Sue said...

I loved seeing you work with Lexi at her first class. What a wonderful bonding experience. She is such a beauty, and so lucky to have you.

NanaNor's said...

Hi there, Lexi seems like the perfect pup for you! Hunter is also very timid and I've found that he doesn't like playing with big dogs(even in our obedience classes)due to their size. I'm surprised you have to travel so far for your classes-but I know you'll be rewarded with the great training. How long does it take you to get there from you house?
Hugs, Noreen