We had our first puppy class with Kolby this evening. Two Directors from CCI home office are in town and came to visit all the classes. It was a great evening for Kolby to show-off all of his goodness and impress his bosses!
We sat in our circle and opened with Q&A like we do every class, and then we set out to experience the room with Kolby. Similar to an Agility ring we have obstacles set up for the pups to experience and work on. A hanging circle tube for the pups to go through, varied heights of platforms for the pups to do Ups, Unders, and Jumps, a swimming pool filled with plastic bottles (it changes throughout the year), a skinny bridge, and much more.
My favorite moment came when Kolby was half way around the room and came to a ladder made from PVC pipes. There were two of them, and our Trainer laid them flat to the ground so that the two ladders were side by side creating squares from the rungs - squares on the left and right. The pup was to step in each square as they stepped over the rungs of the pvc "ladder".
I hope that makes sense. Think of the pro-football players warm-up routine where they are jumping the rungs of the ladder laying flat to the ground.
I bent over and got the kibble lure ready to take Kolby into each square, and he immediately stepped on the PVC pipe that ran in the middle of the obstacle. The actual pipe, not the floor, but the skinny pipe of PVC. He continued to walk the pipe the entire distance (about the length of a good sized couch) without missing a step, without getting scared, without falling off. He wasn't too slow, he had confidence, and he was determined to keep going.
The trainer was shocked, called to the Directors on the other side of the room to check out Kolby. It was so fun!! He strutted off the PVC at the end for his treat as if he knew exactly what he was doing!!
Every obstacle he didn't hesitate to try it out - and he succeeded in every challenge.
I love our first pup Haddie, LOVE HER!!!, but she was no where near the confidence level that Kolby shows. I have tried so hard not to compare the two dogs, but I just need to say it here that working a dog that has total confidence is completely different than working a dog that needs to be encouraged. I am very thankful for the differences. I wouldn't trade Haddie's learning style for anything, and I wouldn't do the same for Kolby.
I feel like I can love Haddie for all that she gave us in learning, and I can love Kolby in an entirely different way for all the experiences he will provide us in learning too. I don't feel like my two pups will cross into that gray area where I feel like I've "been here, done this before" or that I will expect certain things from Kolby because of Haddie. It is exactly as it should be. Opposite. Unique. Independent. So Happy!!!
So - Mister Kolby, well done at impressing all the right leaders of CCI tonight. You were a rock star and your little heart was pounding so fast with excitement when the class was over. You seemed to really enjoy your moment of learning. Nice work. Goodnight Puppy.