Kids! It’s Time for School!

27 Mar

I’ve been a bad doggy mom! As I was spreading the word locally about the upcoming Bully Project classes, I realized that I have not attended a class with Bird in over three years. Some might say, “Well, we took puppy class, lots of workshops and even a stint in agility. Isn’t that enough?” Well, not for my Bird. She loves to learn and participate in classes. I have always felt guilty that I never continued agility training and trialing. Bird started out as a terrified young dog when approaching the agility equipment. It took lots of patience, guidance and lots of yummy treats but she quickly learned that the pieces of equipment were not scary at all – they were actually fun. Agility was a pure confidence builder! Now, years later, she gets amped up when she sees an A Frame.

Feeling guilty, I rallied a few of my “dog friends” and we signed up for an all-day workshop, “Fit To Be Tricked,” being offered by Frankie Joiris and Chris Ott at Westchester’s Port Chester Obedience Club. Both instructors are super impressive – Frankie and her dogs are superstars in the dog acting world (her dog Stamp was a star in Angelina Jolie’s Salt) and Chris is an agility legend! Although I was excited, I was concerned I was being too ambitious.

The class, designed by Frankie, Chris and Physical Therapist, Ria Acciani, MPT, focuses on trick training that will improve a dog’s abilities in performance (agility, obedience, freestyle, etc). Although none of our dogs “perform,” it was open to dogs of all training experience.  After watching a video of their class, I was excited!

And what an experience! Not only because of the cool tricks and behaviors we were beginning to learn, but because Bird and I were a team again! I hope to continue working with Bird on these tricks (jumping through smaller and smaller hoops, Bird walking on my feet, Bird catching hoops around her head and much more). Check out our dogs two thirds of the way through the class:

What I learned is that all dog/owner teams need some class time – whether it’s a brand new sport like agility, a refresher manners class or fun tricks seminar. This surely helps building our relationships with our wigglybutts! And, if you live in a multi-dog household, it is important to have some one-on-one time. And classes are the perfect opportunity for that.

I think our next class will be a Noseworks class! My question is: do I take Bird or Goose?

Classes can be especially great for pitties and their owners to help strengthen the bonds between them and the dog’s confidence. Pit bulls, just like my Bird, can do agility and other sports, too. Just check out these videos:



So take your pittie to class!

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One Response to “Kids! It’s Time for School!”

  1. barbarajkennedy1014 March 27, 2012 at 2:50 PM #

    Interesting and inspiring blog. Love the pictures and videos! I think Goose would be up for the challange!

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