It was a massive, roaring, wonderful, amazing success!!!

Honestly I don’t know why I even bothered with the first group when there was such an amazing training place within walking distance!

Like I said, we signed up for puppy classes at Ahimsa Dog Training. I’ve heard a lot of good things, and was so excited to go last night, but as part of who I am anxiety was running pretty high.

We got there with a few minutes to spare and I was prepared to have a meltdown, or for Bri to get really worried like she had at the group we had our Little Disaster with.

She was a little shy when she first saw the other puppies, but no where near as outright nervous as she had been before. After greeting one of the other puppies she decided she liked it and strolled along with tail wagging.

We got a new clicker, and our puppy pass to drop in on other classes.

Each of the dog/handler teams had their own little space with a few chairs and tie-out and mat. This was so great for both Bri and I. It gave me the time and space I needed to assess the situation and calm down, and Bri go to watch the other dogs and have a personal bubble and no worries about being mowed down by other dogs.

There were only six dogs total, two labrador/poodles mixes, one miniature (or was it toy?) poodle, an Akita (oooh, I have puppy envy!), and a Shepherd/chow mix that looked like Bri’s mini-me.

We got to choose what we wanted to work on, and the trainers showed us how to do it. We played the name game, and worked on come, and a few other things. Then we had a play break.

Bri and the set of less rambunctious puppies went off into one room, and the two older, harder playing pups (Akita and Lab/poodle) stayed in the other. Bri was with the first group of dogs, and when we released them to go play she just kind of hung out for a few minutes before making a bee-line for the water dish.

Eventually she got excited enough to try and play with the other pups, the little poodle was sooo much faster than she was and eventually she gave up trying to catch him. The other lab/poodle who was in our room was a pretty shy puppy, so she really didn’t want much to do with Bri and Bri subsequently ignored her.

Bri ended up running around with the little Shepherd/Chow mix. They had a great time, though when they started playing rough the trainer showed us how to break it up so it’s a little more friendly and less intense. We also practiced catching and releasing our pups several times.

After a little play session we caught and leashed our pups and went back to our spots. We worked on tricks, stay and targeting, and talked about attention barking, jumping, and nipping. Then we had another play break.

This time Bri stayed with the two bigger pups to see if she wanted to play with them. Mostly she just watched them and had no interest in joining their antics. The two other pups were racing around the room together (much faster than Bri could go even if she tried), then they saw her and raced over and that scared her for a minute. Thankfully the pups were very well mannered and backed off to give her some space. She recovered quickly and even followed them around the room a little.

Finally we worked on strange objects. We clipped the dog to the tether at their spot (or handed the leash to the other person who had come with us) and got a hat, or an unbrella, or a duster and walked around the room greeting the other puppies and giving them treats and praise and showing them the wierd objects.

My Mom reported that Bri did really well the duster was the only thing that wierded her out and she didn’t run away, just sniffed it and looked puzzled.

Then we packed up and went home. Bri was so tired she didn’t even want all of her dinner (granted, she had had a lot of kibble for treats). She slept very soundly last night.

Bri wasn't the only tired one.

One of the wonderful things about Ahimsa is that they do drop-in classes. The classes you pay for you’re guarunteed a spot in, but if a class isn’t full you can drop in even if you aren’t signed up for it. I’m really hoping to do that, it’ll be sooo much fun and I think Bri will really enjoy it.

The only bad thing is that Ahimsa is just close enough to be within walking distance, but just far enough away that walking there would be a bit far for Bri, and it would be a hassle if we got there and the class was full. Maybe I can convince my Mom to drive me more than twice a week!

Holly got the lucky spot, Bri was left to find the softest patch of floor, which she seems to prefer to the dog beds.

We’re so looking forward to next week!

Until Later,

Kat, Holly & Bri

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