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  • Julie Muller

Bruno -Trials And Training!

Two more classes down – and I am learning so much, but what is more important is that Julie is learning a great deal about me and my behaviour.


I enjoy both of my classes, but I think that I prefer Sue’s class because we are all outside. Having said that, I think that I actually enjoy seeing my puppy mates in Ann’s class more – not that we are allowed to interact with each other in either of the two classes.


In Sue’s class on Sunday ,we were joined by another collie called Gemma who seemed older than most of us and a little less excitable. Jarvis, the older Labrador, wasn’t there because somehow, he had damaged himself chasing a ball and he needed to rest. I bet that he doesn’t enjoy that! His human, Mike turned up so that Jarvis didn’t miss anything, and Sue used Mike to demonstrate certain training techniques. Mike had to pretend to be a dog and he is actually quite good at it!

Luckily, Sue had brought her lovely dog, Mouse, along to class and Mike was also able to practice training with him. Mouse is so good at everything!


Another trainer called Pamela had come along to help Sue who joked that Pam was much gentler with our humans than she was. I don’t know what she means.


It is strange though that Sue is just so good at communicating with us. She instinctively knows what to do if we step out of line. I was having a bark and grumble at Coco – the Labra Dane and she only had to look hard at me and I stopped immediately. She is definitely the boss!


Anyway, most of today’s class was spent going over what we had covered last week. Truth be told – we weren’t too bad, but it is so easy to be distracted when we are being watched. At times, Sue did get a bit exasperated with our humans for their lack of control but, we are still just learning. The most important thing is that we need to learn to leave things well alone when we are told to do so – whether it be food, treats, other dogs and especially sheep.


The main new thing that we learnt today was the ‘go back ‘command and this is a brilliant way to help us to stop us from pulling on our lead.


Coco the Labra Dane was particularly good at this.


So - as we are walking, our humans put something down on the ground that we particularly like – maybe a ball, a toy or some food - and we are told to leave it alone and just carry-on walking. That is so , so hard!!


Then just as we think it is left behind, our humans tell us to go back and retrieve it which of course we do and we are treated when we bring it back.


It was such a fun game , and I was so excited that I managed to lose my ball in the slurry. Julie was not best pleased.


But, she retrieved it after the class was over and we played the game all of the way down the track to the car.


When Tuesday came, Julie was dreading the class because Ann was going to give our owners tips on grooming.


It had been quite an eventful day already because poor Shep had developed a problem with his ears, and he had kept flicking them about quite violently.


Julie decided that a visit to the vet was in order and as we are going away soon, she asked the vet to give us our annual boosters and worming medicine.


I didn’t feel quite myself when I went to training class. We spent the first twenty minutes outside – walking on loose leads , ignoring our puppy mates and staying focused on our humans. That was fine – we all did really well and I was particularly delighted that my friend Pluto had come back.


However, when we went inside, Ann told our humans to get our grooming paraphernalia out and I was not happy – I don’t like the big red glove - and although Julie gave me lots of treats, I couldn’t settle. All of my classmates seemed to love to be groomed -I don’t understand.


Anyway, Ann was talking quite a lot about grooming products, and I wasn’t at all interested. I just couldn’t sit still, and I kept trying to mouth Julie. Ann didn’t seem to notice what a pickle Julie and I were getting into.


In the end, she decided to take me out of class early in order to calm me down, and relieve the stress. I was so glad to get back into the car and go home.


Sadly, for one reason or another, Julie won’t be able to take me to either of my next training courses with Ann or Sue – but I expect that I will have lots of homework to do.


Bruno -the red welsh sheepdog relaxing
Bruno -the red welsh sheepdog relaxing

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