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He's passed (at last). After one failure I've finally got David through the Intermediate Obedience training course. I haven't got his full review from the examiner yet but here's a summary:

  • Walking to heel - he walks around making changes in speed (anything from very slow to jogging speed) and direction (left and right turns, varying from sharp to gradual, and about-turns) and I follow him, staying at his side the whole time.

  • Automatic sits - we walk around with me at his side and whenever he stops I sit down beside him.

  • Come to heel - I sit, he walks forward to the end of his lead and says "heel" whereupon I walk up and sit down beside him.

  • Sits and downs - I start in a sitting position and he says "down", then when I've done that he says "sit". He repeats these pair of commands twice more. When he says it, I do it.

  • Distance sits and downs - he moves 5 metres away and makes the "down" and "sit" hand commands accompanied by a verbal command. When he says it, I do it.

  • Come - he walks 20 metres away and turns to face me. When he says "come" I run towards him - at great speed just to get him worried ;-) - and then skid to a halt in front of him before sitting down facing him with an adoring look in my face (I can never get him to practise this one enough....).

  • Finish - after the "come" command he says "finish" and I walk around his right-hand-side, behind him and then sit down on his left hand side facing the same way as he does. Another real easy one.

  • Down stay - I stay in a down position while he stands 30 metres away. After 5 minutes he comes back, and when he says "sit", I sit. He managed to pass this one first time so he didn't need to do it again.

  • Sit stay - I stay in a sit position while he stands 30 metres away. After 3 minutes he comes back. He also managed to pass this one first time.

I know what you're thinking - "this isn't rocket science - how could he possibly fail to pass when it's me that's doing all the work ?" - well he managed it the first time - he just wasn't paying enough attention and failed to achieve the right level of communication with me - that's why I deliberately misunderstand some of the commands so the examiner had to fail him - fortunately this time I had him much better trained !

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