Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bad Rap with Albert - Session 1

I was able to head back to Bad Rap class on Sunday, this time with an eager young mind in tow. After discussion with Amelia, Sam, and Pam, we decided that it would be best for me to take:


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.


Pam said...

Thanks so much for giving Albert the extra attention, Joel. He is a wonderful dog who just needs his very own lap to curl up on.

Joel said...

No curling up on my lap, this is all business! Seriously he is a really good dog, just needs some direction and attention. He's got energy but he's kind of quiet so I think he gets overlooked at the shelter. I think he'll respond well to the classes.

Rob said...

I really like Albert, and I'm glad he's getting the attention he sorely needs. (Joel, were you the guy with Albert today at Kathy's class? If so, hi, I'm Rob, the guy who was taking pictures. Send me your email address if you want to see the photos.)

Sherri said...

We (my dog Isis and I) met Albert today at BACS and we agreed that he would be a great addition to our family!

Isis is an APBT, almost 3 years old, and recently came to us from Alabama. She's assimilated well but very much misses playing with other dogs. Albert and Isis got along well on our introductory walk today; at the end of the walk they were sitting together comfortably ignoring each other, like an old married couple :-)

After Isis' spay on Wednesday and her recovery, which we've been told could take a couple of weeks because she's older, we're hoping to be start the adoption proceedings for Albert!

Sam said...

That's wonderful, wonderful news, Sherri! Albert is such a good boy and I've been waiting for him to find a home that will appreciate him for his goofy, playful, cuddly-love-muffin, and silly personality. You'll be happy you chose him!

Sherri said...

Hi Sam,
We're very excited :-) I just e-mailed Kate to let her know that we're interested, and will call her tomorrow as well.

Rob said...

Great news, Sherri! I hope it works out.

Here's a little video of Albert that we made on Saturday before hearing this great news. Feel free to share.

Joel said...

Sherri, that's great. Albert is a good dog, only mildly reactive to other dogs and certainly very trainable. I don't think he's received as much attention as some other dogs at the shelter because he doesn't appear to be in need of it as much.

Rob, yes that was me with Albert on Saturday.

Sam said...

Actually Joel, Albert is very good with other dogs. In fact, he's great! Here's a small comment from a BACS volunteer named Suzanne who took Albert for a 1 week "vacation" away from the shelter:

"In a nut shell this is a really wonderful dog.

He likes other dogs and wants to play - he is more relaxed when meeting females, than males.

He is not housebroken but was 90% there by the end of his stay with me. He is okay with cats but not great, so okay to place with a cat/dog experienced person but not first time person.

He has some pent up energy and some jumpiness and (soft) mouthiness which correct easily but will probably not dissipate until he is in a home with someone working consistently on this, and outlet for his energy. NO aggression issues that I saw, including no food or toy aggression with humans or other dogs. He is VERY responsive, and his recall is good- he does crate well.

He is a nice very dog that needs a good home and some structure.

While he is at the shelter he would get a LOT more out of just going to the play area, and running, then on walks. I was actually surprised because he is more high energy than what I thought he would be, which is fine, but he always seemed so mellow to me!

He can play with the best of them!


Joel said...

It also looks like Albert somehow accomplished his goal of becoming a Shelter Star! I'm not sure how the process works, but he'd like to thank the academy.