Huh. Compared to Open practice, Utility class seems to be both UBER fast despite us really only working on articles and brainstorming the exercise the rest of the time.
I guess - we got there early, but the lights were out inside the facility. Turns out I could have just gone in, switched the lights on and played a little more with Bertie... but I didn't know that! I did get a little walking practice in with him. And really just playing with him out on the floor and keeping his attention only on me while we were out there.
Put him away when our instructor came in... and class started.
I asked about peanut butter making the weaning process a bit more complicated. She didn't feel that would be the case. She said that thought that cheese was a stronger smell than peanut butter. Not sure about that. <- Of course I hate the smell of peanut butter. Blech.
I told her we pretty much just worked on week 1 (metal articles, around the clock 1 at a time), but I quickly went to not going in with him and expecting the retrieve.
She approved of me reinforcing the metal articles - she saw what Jacks was doing last week when it came to balking about picking up the metal article. That and I knew he would retrieve the leather articles easily. She didn't approve of me backing off too quickly (vs being right there to catch the collar or be on the spot to correct the dog before he can abandon the retrieve or pick up the wrong article).
When we went out to practice articles - she recommended I skip ahead to week 2.
When I asked about Jacks problems as far as him getting bored by the time we get up to the top of the clock, she suggested putting more articles down on the mat if he can handle that.
I need to read up (class handout) on the following weeks and figure out our training plan. Instructor said to focus on 3 days per week before advancing. I'm embarrassed to say I mainly focused on only the first 3 weeks.
She said that she's never had a class complete the "weeks" by the end of the session, but she thinks that our group has a good chance of being the first.
We did treat toss sits - the idea behind that is to really train the dogs to stop forward motion when they sit - and ohm. This is something I can work on with both dogs. Jacks does do sits on command fairly well (that's not the part of go-outs that causes us problems), but this is a good refresher for both of us. And of course everything is new for Bertie.