Bobbie is my wonderful but naughty Tibetan Terrier. She is now 3 years old and I can’t believe that it was just over 2 years ago that we were introduced to Tip Top Dog Training.
Being my first dog Bobbie was very indulged – in fact she was spoilt rotten. So much so that my sister bought me a sign for my porch saying ‘A spoiled Rotten Tibetan Terrier Lives Here’! Our first class with Tip Top Dogs was on the Heath and a nightmare!! Bobbie barked throughout the lesson. Sue kept saying to me ‘walk your dog out’. I think we spent the whole lesson walking out – it was like being sent out of class. By week three we were, at least able to participate a bit in the exercises but I still had to keep taking Bobbie out and, worst of all, she loved flirting with all the other dogs. Bobbie has a tendency to suck up to larger male dogs, Trooper to name one, give them loads of kisses and then roll over on to her back with a real ‘come hither’ expression on her face.
So we persevered. By 21st October 2009 Bobbie was becoming a bit more disciplined but, trust me, she was still no angel. But as that day was her birthday and it coincided with a Heath Class, I asked Sue and Barbara if we could have a special class to celebrate her first birthday. I made up party boxes for all the class participants and Sue and Barbara put on special games, including recall without pinching the sausages!!! It was great fun and cemented my relationship with Tip Top Training. I now knew that this was the training for me.
Bobbie and I worked really hard and went in for the bronze Good Citizen Dog Scheme run by the Kennel Club. If there is anyone out there wondering whether to go ahead with this test, I say go for it. Bobbie had to be the most difficult dog in the test. When I tried grooming her, she wanted to bite me; when I tried walking her up and down the hall she decided to attach herself to my leg and refusing to let go; playing – she was having none of it. The other dog owners were having a hard time not to laugh. Bobbie’s performance was straight out of a comedy! However, Chris, the judge did allow us to redo certain exercises and eventually Bobbie got through with a bare pass – but she got through. Since then we have carried on with the training and sailed through the silver and got through the gold.
So now for some hints on dealing with a Tibetan Terrier. First of all you have to be consistent. If I give in once Bobbie knows and will make the most of it. Secondly I have to keep practising and practice in different places. I am lucky enough to be able to walk my dog on the Heath so have lots of opportunity to do exercises as we walk off lead. Thirdly I have to be one jump ahead. For example to overcome her dislike of grooming, I used to hide treats in a towel in front of her while I was brushing her. She got so busy looking for her treats that she forgot about the brush! Bobbie wouldn’t go to her mat when told so every morning after I had finished grooming I would take her to her mat and say ‘On your mat’ and give her a treat. Now she runs to her mat before I even say anything. And, in the gold test she went straight to her mat and settled down on it like an angel! So my advice is, if the dog doesn’t do it then think of interesting ways to entice and go for it.
I am very proud of my Bobbie – she has gone from an unruly 10 month old to a reasonably well behaved 3 year old who is a joy to live with. She is gentle, I still have her first ever toy, she is loving and best of all she seems to love people. So I say a big thank you to Barbara and Sue for having the patience to help and encourage me to get Bobbie and me to where we are today. Thank you guys.