Anyone who owns a wheaten terrier knows that they can be a bit on the excitable side. Andy is certainly no different. We have tried our best to make our routine comings and goings just that, routine, but he still goes nuts when we get home and cries when we leave. This really isn’t a big deal for us. In fact, my wife and I get a real kick out of him when he does his little wheaten greetin’ any time we get home. The issue of course is that other people may not be so happy to have a 40 pound terrier bouncing up on them. To be honest, I think people that don’t like cute little wheatens jumping on them need an attitude adjustment but I digress.
Andy will be attending Golden Grange Kennels “Basic Obedience I” class. It’s a parent student kind of thing from what I gather. When I brought Andy’s paperwork in the owner of the kennel looked down, saw wheaten terrier next the breed and notably exhaled exclaiming “oh boy.” I’m wondering if this is a good idea. I guess we will find out.
Update – 9/20/13
Andy’s matriculation at the esteemed Golden Grange Kennels has been going quite well actually. My wife and I were a bit skeptical given the fact that our little wheaten is so independent, however he has taken quite well to the course instruction thus far.
Class 1: We showed up (5 minutes late of course) walked Andy in the door and at the sight of the other 10 or so pups he started pulling so hard he was walking on his back feet. Awesome. Of course everyone was looking at us like we were the crew from Animal House walking into the bar to see Otis Day & the Knights (You mind if we dance with yo dates?). After a brief introduction the instructor began by demonstrating the first command, “Look” with his ultra-obedient Golden Retriever. The look command is the bedrock of the training regimen. Andy has actually picked this up extremely well. He is a quick learner, but is also easily distracted. It’s a constant struggle when in class to keep Andy focused on the task at hand (our task) vs. his task at hand (attempting to goad the other dogs into playing with him). We have generally prevailed, but not always.
Classes 2 thru 6: Andy learned a number of commands throughout this training class. We were taught the following: Sit, Stay, Look, Down, Stand, Leave It and Collar. We found Andy to be really receptive to the sit command, as we had worked on this one with him since puppyhood. We did however realize that we taught him the Paw command, which apparently was a terrible idea. The instructor told us that now every time he wants something he will start pawing at us. Which he does. A lot. We think it’s the cutest thing ever though so no biggy. At home Andy is a training machine. He sits, lays down and stands almost on command. We still have trouble with the stay while sitting command, because he’s a Wheaten and wheatens just don’t like to stay still. He stays better when he is in the down position for whatever reason, but it’s still not dependable. The look command has come in handy. It works well in getting his attention when he is otherwise occupied.
Class 7: Andy graduated! This little crazy wheaten is the proud owner of a diploma from “Basic Obedience” class. Good for him. Great for us. His success is really up to us in the end. He does not and can not practice these commands on his own. The more time we put into his training the better he got. We will be signing him up for the next class offered at the Golden Grange kennel. Great place, great owner. Fun time.