Thursday, March 15, 2007

Rico Graduates! Hurrah!

"Super Shepherd" by Ken Bailey. Visit his wonderful artwork at
We visited his studio near the market in Seattle in December and I purchased this print.

Rico the wonder dog graduated from Obedience Level I tonight. No cap and gown were worn but many treats were given and barks were shared. We were all "tested" on sit, down, stand, stay, walking with a loose leash and come - then the dogs had to do these things too. ;)

In case you're new, Rico is our 10 month old German Shepherd. He first went to puppy class and now we just completed Level I Obedience. He is a very high energy dog and is quite a handful. When we first started classes he barked the entire time. The only time he didn't bark is when my hand was frantically shoving treats in his pie hole to shut him up. Thank goodness the instructor gave handouts because I hardly heard a thing the first two classes. Rico was so overjoyed with being with other dogs, he would totally ignore any attempts at obeying a command. He preferred to test my grip while he lunged to the end of the leash to play with the other dogs. My arms ached by the end of the first few classes.

I had thought maybe waiting for a while before the next round of classes would be a good idea. Maybe he would settle down a bit more and we could "home school" him in the meantime. But tonight he did something he hadn't done in all the classes. The instructor held Rico, I walked about 30 feet away and turned to look at him. I then did a little dance and song number called "Rico Come." It involves a high squeaky excited call, stomping of the feet, clapping the hands and zero pride. Lo and behold, he did it. Not running at the other dogs but right to me! And not just once, he did this twice. The second time I hid in the bathroom and called for him. Right to me again! It was then I realized he had made a lot of progress since those first few noisy and embarrasing classes. So, in two weeks we start Level II Obedience classes. To celebrate, Rico pooped in my van on the way home.


RennyBA said...

Congrats - and what improvement for a dog. It must be his master good influence:-)

See you in Second Life - thanks for inviting me as your friend!

Btw: To my surprice I could tell I had forgotten to put you on my blogroll - sorry! Your up now:-)

Mary said...

LOL!! Seriously, Rico's celebratory "ending" of his big night totally had me laughing out loud.

Okay, so I'm in fifth grade -- I still find potty humor hilarious. I like Adam Sandler too.

Maybe that was too much info??

CONGRATULATIONS to Balou and Rico! Way to go Graduates! Looking forward to reading about Obedience school phase II.

voyageur said...

He is a beautiful dog. Any idea if German Shepherds are supposed to be easier or harder to train than other breeds?

Balou said...

Renny: I made the blog roll! Thanks. See you on SL! (If I can get off that darn island that is!)

Mary: Glad I started your day off with a laugh. And poop humor is ageless I'll have you know.

Voyageur: Each breed has their own intinctual tendencies built-in so you have to work with those in mind. A lot depends upon the personality and history of each dog too. Rico does some things (sit, down, stand) like a pro but come and heel are a bit more of a challenge.

Mrs Lifecruiser said...

Ship Ahoy! time for some heavy seightseeing of STockholm! all man on deck!