Albert is one of our longer-term guests at the Chateau Le BACS. He’s a very friendly guy, and he’s not out of control but he’s definitely got a surplus of energy. He’s one of the dogs that likes to catapult himself to the ceiling when people walk down the aisle – not the best first impression for potential adopters. He’s also unfocused on walks (or as the Bad Rap instructor told me, “He’s focused, he’s just not focused on you.”)
I hitched up Albert and off to class we went. There was a much bigger group this week, and we divided into three smaller classes. Our group included BACS dogs Raulon and Lyle with their volunteers. The instructor sensed that both Albert and I were new. I didn’t even have his collar on correctly. I also needed basic tips on how to hold the leash and where to stand. Other dogs were attentively following the leads of their human companions, but it was all I could do to get Albert not to stare at the two cats playing on the side of the hill. I was worried we were both going to get demerits on day 1.
I spent the first half of class giving Albert treat after treat as a reward just for looking at me. But as the class progressed, I received more tips from the instructor and became more consistent at leading Albert through the drills, and he started to respond. We’re nowhere near the dean’s list, but we were much improved by the end of the class.
Afterwards I figured Albert deserved a break after his first day of drilling, so I took him to the play area to relax. In between his 23 urination breaks, we discussed our goals for the class. He’d like to show up Avea by becoming the next BACS Shelter Star, so we’re going to work towards that end. Unfortunately I’m probably only going to be able to work with Albert on weekends, but he’s a smart young guy and I’m sure we’ll make progress.
Thanks to the other volunteers for taking dogs to the class! In addition to Raulon and Lyle, I saw Yvonne there. There were probably others as well. Look for future Albert updates from Bad Rap class.