Everything I read about Boerboels said they were very strong-willed dogs that needed early obedience training and socialization. I’ve trained lots of dogs but thought Coco could benefit from being in an obedience class with other dogs and people. There was a little notice on our veterinarian’s bulletin board about dog obedience classes so I called it and Edwina said come to the showgrounds on Sunday at 11 am, bring your dog’s rabies certificate, and leave her in the car until we’ve confirmed she’s safe to bring onto the property.
Of course, I forgot Coco’s rabies certificate but fortunately our vet is a total workaholic and has her office on the showgrounds so I just ran over there, got a handwritten note and Coco was admitted to kindergarten.
The showgrounds is a big complex of buildings, restaurants, arenas, even a polo club area. It’s right by the two big malls in town. (Kind of strange to me that it’s right smack dab in the middle of everything.)
Once you’ve entered the showgrounds there are lots of little sideroads with no signs so either you need someone with you to tell you where to go or you have to stop and ask strangers on the street how to get to where you’re going (and half the time they give the wrong directions). I just drove down every road, systematically, until I found it. It’s well labeled once you arrive!
It’s quite a nice doggy complex.
There’s a shaded area where you can sit and eat snacks, benches for viewing classes, dog pens (there on the right), and even water bowls.
Edwina is the main teacher and in charge. She bakes doggy training treats out of liver and other things dogs love and sells them very cheaply.
That’s Edwina in the yellow shirt teaching some classes. When Coco first met her she was terrified of Edwina’s fanny pack, but since it contained the treats she came to accept it after a class or two.
We started off with about 10 dogs for the 6-week puppy obedience class but only three of us made it through to the end. After learning the basic commands it really is up to the owner to practice daily with the puppy so I think people dropped out when the classes became practice instead of learning new things.
One of the best parts about coming is the doggy park right next to the work arena. Many of us came half an hour early all through the 6-week course and let our puppies run and play. This is the main reason I brought Coco — to make sure she was socialized with other dogs. I brought Buddy last week and he held his own with all of these large-breed puppies.
Sam, the German Shepherd puppy below, is a wild child. He likes to take a running start and then rolls the other puppies, including Coco. Though Sam and Coco started off the same size several weeks back, Coco’s at least a third larger now.
Coco and Tembo (the puppy with the red collar above) were always so exhausted from the pre-class play that we’d have a hard time getting them to sit, for example, because they’d already be laying down. Though classes have been over for a couple of weeks now, several of us still meet at 11 am on Sundays to allow the dogs time to play.
When we started the classes Coco was afraid to get in and out of the car. Now, she jumps in like an old pro.
This last photo has nothing to do with the kennel club. The other day Buddy disappeared for a long time and finally he came out of the guest bedroom with this pillow in his mouth (one side says “nice” and the other says “naughty”). He knows he’s not supposed to take pillows off the bed so we thought it was pretty funny that he just naturally came out with the “naughty” side right side up.
You would never believe he’s 11 years old! Our vet thinks he’ll live to at least 20.