Last night I took Kona to a training class on Patience. A few times a month we attend group drop-in training classes and they are on a variety of topics. While Kona has been recuperating we’ve mostly been training at home. It’s not quite the same as being outside with distractions like obstacles, surfaces, people and other dogs.
These classes are always fun but last nights was particularly interesting as we randomly varied the stay from sit to down to stand and we also used different obstacles (outdoor benches, seats, walls, rocks) and different surfaces (grass, wood chips, gravel, concrete, granite, wire grating).
Kona’s sit-stays are pretty good and he often doesn’t break them regardless of what he’s on or who’s beside him. Here he is doing a sit-stay on a cement stool – we do have an advantage over the other dogs though since his whole body fits nicely on the stool.
His down-stays on unfamiliar surfaces were interesting. He kept breaking them at first. I placed him on this obstacle and he kept either coming to me or going into a sit. We definitely don’t work this as much as a sit and I see how we need to do them more often.
What was really tricky was the stand-stay, that was a new skill for us last night. I wasn’t able to get too far from him but closer in he was staying. I was really surprised that out of all the surfaces we were on that the wood chips were the most challenging – not just for us but for many of the other dogs. It was too interesting for a down or sit-stay but somehow worked for a stand-stay.
And my favorite photo of the evening is pretty blurry but I’ll share anyway. Kona is on a skinny metal mesh bench beside Cole (a Catahoula). This would be more challenging for Cole just due to his rear end being larger, but Cole’s weight caused the bench to move so holding the sit-stay was a greater challenge than usual for Kona with the bench wobbling beneath him.
It was really fun mixing up the stays and surfaces. I think it made what we were doing more fun and by the end of the session it didn’t matter what Kona was on or what position. He figured out last nights game was to stay.