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We had our test last night! How stressful!

Usually we work in a big room, but the tests were done in a separate room, and we were examined by a lady we'd never met, so it was a totally different atmosphere!

Most things went very well - sit/down/stand, leave it/take it, greeting person with an unknown dog calmly, off lead walking to heel, knowledge of your dog (although the questions weren't what I expected)!

The only things we had an issue with for Saffy was the 45 second wait, then recall. The examiner wanted to hold her lead whilst I put her in a sit and walked away, but Saffy had never met this woman before, and I was a bit stressed, so she just kept getting up and coming to me! I explained to the examiner that she was a bit timid and she was still a little nervous around people, so the examiner went to one of the sides of the room, and we did the wait and recall off lead absolutely fine (although my counting of 45 seconds may have been a bit quick!). We were marked down quite a lot for that though :( But, Saffy did let the examiner check her over, look in her ears/mouth/etc, so that was brilliant! We were also marked down by one point on the loose lead walking as Saffy jumped across me thinking she'd get a treat, and I didn't have hold of the lead the way they taught us. Oops!

She scored 36/40 - I think we were marked down 3 points (and only got 2/5) on the wait and recall, then 1 point on the loose lead walking (getting 4/5).

Humphrey got his puppy diploma too! He scored 32/40, so was marked down in quite a few areas. His was mostly because he was pretty hyper and excitable! He jumped up at the examiner when she was greeting hubby with an unknown dog, pulled a bit on the loose lead walking, didn't wait the full 45 seconds, etc. We were pretty impressed he passed though - we wanted him to give it a go because when Saffy comes into season, he'll have a few weeks away from any training as he's staying with my parents (we've been looking at training classes near them, but they're in the middle of nowhere so dependant on the weather, and whether my Dad finishes his jobs early, makes it difficult for them to commit to training classes with him) so I wanted to see how much we needed to work on - turns out we just need to polish up on everything, but he passed anyway!

The questions about your dog, I was expecting to be something along the lines of favourite toys, how often they get walked, how much they are fed, etc. The questions were more "What would prompt you to call the vet & give 4 things you'd look for" "When would you need to have your dog on a lead - 4 areas" I can't remember the others!

I am so happy with them and especially Saffy, who has come such a long way. That first day we took her broke my heart, she was shaking, wouldn't go near anyone, cried, etc. She is a totally different dog, will let most people stoke her and fuss her, is happy to meet new people, and is so much more relaxed and happy!

Humphrey is also a little superstar. Because of the mistakes we made with Saffy, we took a totally different approach with him, and possibly a bit too much the other way as he is very boisterous and excited when he meets anyone new, or any new dogs. But, we're working on calming him down! I sometimes have to remind myself he's still very much a puppy at 6 and a half months!

 

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Boogs said:
Awwwww!

Well done both!

:D

Tatze got her bronze award, I left it on the side the next day and she chewed it up! Good job I got a photo!
Humphrey wasn't interested in the rosette, but Saffy was all over it as soon as it was handed to us! She was jumping all over me trying to get it! It's going on the divider in the car (along with Saffy's 1st place rosette from the charity dog show we went to in the summer)! At the moment, it's out of reach, and I just need to remember to put it in the car now! :)
 

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Thanks everyone! I'm so proud of them both! :D They are little superstars!

We still have a long way to go as far as training is concerned, but we are really making progress! Nobody warned me how much hard work is involved in training a puppy, but the payoff is just brilliant! And I didn't realise just how much I would enjoy it all. Passing the puppy classes is a big confidence booster, and just what we needed I think! A good start to the New Year :D

Training 2 puppies is HARD! We have to dedicate time every single day to walking them separately and training them separately, but as hard as it is and as overwhelming as it's been at times, it's all worth it to have two happy, healthy and well adjusted pups! They're growing up so fast and I have loved every second. I get all choked up thinking back to that first puppy class when Saffy was so petrified of everyone, and have to hold back the tears of joy to think just how far she's come! She's amazed me really. I never expected to get this far, and the fact we've done it so quickly makes me so, so proud!

But...as a first time dog owner (a dog of my own anyway), I certainly wouldn't recommend two so close together age wise! Luckily for us things have turned out very well and Humphrey has made Saffy more confident, and Saffy has given us a lot of insight so we didn't repeat any mistakes with Humphrey (anyone that's met them will confirm that Humphrey is extremely confident and not at all scared of anything! And Saffy is fairly confident now too!). Perhaps we've made Humphrey a little too confident, but I'm sure in the not too distant future, he'll be a very polite gentleman. Things could so easily have gone the other way though, and I could have ended up with two very nervous dogs. Next time, we're waiting a good few years before adding another pup!

I absolutely adore my two hooligans and wouldn't change either of them for the world, despite the hard work!
 
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