13 Things I Learned in Advanced Life Skills Class

Last night Shiva and I graduated from our advanced life skills class. I wouldn’t say we got perfect marks but I am proud of the baby steps we have achieved. Here are some of the things I know now that I didn’t know before:

1. I really like hanging dog training certificates on my refrigerator.

2. Shiva will always eat the poison.

3. Shiva’s sit-stays, down-stays, and stand-stays are better than I expected. She can even hold an impressive bow-stay.

4. Food on the floor is still much more interesting than I am. Even if I have beef in my pocket. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, as far as this puppy is concerned.

5. It makes me really happy to hear our trainer comment on how much Shiva seems to love people.

6. We did almost too good a job at instilling Shiva’s confidence.

7. Shiva can handle herself if we leave the room. But not for more than two minutes.

8. I really like showing off my dog’s tricks.

9. Even though Shiva is three years old, she is less mature than dogs half her age.

10. Dog training takes a lifetime. There will never be a point where we can sit back and say we are officially done. Even the things I think we’ve got down, still require constant practice.

11. Shiva the Dog is insane. Instead of trying to cure this, I need to start working with it. Of course, I have absolutely no idea how to achieve this.

12. Every dog and dog handler has their training difficulties. Even if the dog handler is also a professional trainer.

13. I am very lucky my dog is willing to put up with me.

23 thoughts on “13 Things I Learned in Advanced Life Skills Class

  1. Congratulations! What a wonderful accomplishment. Your #12 is so true and the best trainers will admit it. I had to laugh at your #4. Our dogs are always more interested in bait that is on the floor rather than what is in our hands (or pockets)…and the can spot it at 50 paces. 🙂


  2. A trainer we consulted said that a perfectly trained show dog can hold a down-stay for 8 hours. An “ordinary” dog should be happy with two hours. We are happy with 20 minutes.

    Hard to believe, but she *will* settle as she gets older. You will not recognize this dog when she is five.


  3. I always thought advanced life skills included having kids, getting married, buying a house, paying bills. I’m very relieved to know it involves sitting still and eating treats. Finally, some goals I can get behind. 🙂

    But seriously, congratulations! It sounds like you learned about much more than dog training.

    I agree with 2browndawgs that #12 is awesome. My favorite dog training blogs are the ones where the trainer talks about their challenges. Which is also a good reminder to make allowances for the personality of the dog (and the trainer).


  4. Congratulations!

    I love the life skills list! It’s great you can look at training objectively and with a sense of humor. Those qualities will enable you and Shiva to go the distance!

    Happy, Waggin’ Tails, FUREVER!
    Stumpy and me


  5. Congratulations, girls!
    I love your certificate – wish I had one to put on the fridge! – as well as your list. Very funny, and there’s a lot of truth in there, which could be applied to other dogsters out there!


  6. yes, I know a trainer who has a dog-reactive dog, that is just the way he is and she has to avoid situations that he will hate… all trainers have challenges with their own dogs, and as every dog is different, their learning process is also never finished!


  7. Congrats and awesome list… #10 should be put on walls in training facilities everywhere. One of the most frequent questions i get asked “when will he be done training?” I almost always respond with.. when were you done learning? Have you learned anything recently? Do you think you will learn something new in the future? training, like learning, is a life-long affair (which is why training should be fun… if it’s miserable who WANTS to do it for a lifetime?)


  8. I think you and Shiva are perfect for each other! I can’t imagine one of you without the other. I loved your list — it made me smile, laugh or nod my head in places.

    You know, you can get cool magnet frames that will nicely display those certificates on the fridge! 😉


  9. Congratulations and keep up the good fight!
    You are so right that dog training just like people improvement takes a lifetime, sometimes many!


  10. Congratulations to you and Shiva!! It would be great if more people realized that training is forever 😉 We all need to keep learning!


  11. Congratulations on passing this course. It sounds interesting and I love the list of things you learned. Many of them ring true for me, especially 10, 11, 12 and 13 in regard to Frankie:) While I wouldn’t call him insane, his nose tends to take over from his brain when outside of our yard and I have no idea how to use that to my advantage!


  12. I think other site owners should take this site as an model – very clean and wonderful style and design, not to mention the content. You are an expert in this topic!


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