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Novice obedience grads?
by Karen
Novice obedience grads?I would like to hear from anyone whose maltese has qualified for the C.D. How long did it take you to accomplish this feat? What did you do to get the attention of your maltese focused on you? Lilli and I have started down this road. I watched a novice obedience video which stated it could take up to 14 months to train the dog for novice. I believe Lilli will take that long if not longer. We completed basic successfully, but I really don't have her full attention yet. What experiences have others had?


Karen: KoKo was an Agility dog and I had to stop because of my health. Kept getting sick from running around at night in the cool air and overheating. Anyway, she was wonderful at it, I would get her attention by talking to her before we started. Telling her how she was going to work with me, watch me and follow my signals and we were both going to have so much fun. Just the tone of my voice would get her to want more attention and off we went to run the course. I would clap my hands after I gave her the signal to go on the proper jump, walk, A frame, etc. and tell her good girl, slow down or faster or watch mommy. Her eyes were always on me while I was talking and clapping the whole way through the course. She was just a puppy, started at 6 months had to stop when she was only 16 or 17 months. It was so much fun for her, she would jump with excitement every Thursday night, she knew we were going to Agility practice. Sorry I can't tell you how long it takes to get a CD, but your Lilli should love the attention. Good luck and have fun. Keep us posted.

Hi, Karen, Touquet and I trained for the Novice level in obedience, although I did not enter him in any "official" trials. Touquet is an incredibly smart dog (as I believe most Maltese are), and picks up new routines quickly and easily. We trained for approximately 18 months until he would have been trial-ready. Touquet's biggest problem is that he is easily distracted by other dogs, people, noises -- and anything else you can think of. When he decides to perform, he is a joy to watch in the obedience ring. If I give him a command, can't do it fast enough. When I call him, he runs to me so fast that he skids to a stop at my feet! People always applaud that exercise.

I entered him in a couple of mock trials. On the first one, he performed to perfection, and was the top-scoring dog. On the second one the following week, he decided he didn't like the judge (don't ask me why). I spent the entire exercise heeling around the ring by myself as Touquet ran around the judge's legs barking. He failed every exercise. The audience laughed themselves to tears -- it was hysterically funny to watch, but I was so embarrassed. Finally I started to laugh myself. What else can you do? It was beyond awful.

Touquet is now learning to do tricks (he turns 3 this month). He knows to sit pretty, play-bow, shake paws, fetch, etc. Soon I hope to have him break-dancing. It's our fun new hobby. By the way, I did put my former dog, a Lhasa Apso, through his C.D. I think the training took 12 months until he was trial-ready.Lots of luck with Lilli! I know you'll both love working together -- these little guys love the time and attention!
Barbara and Touquet

Karen, how old is your Maltese? Has she been to puppy kindergarten or to a *basic* class instructed by someone who shows (or has shown) their dogs? I only teach pet dog obedience and also puppy classes. It does take a while before they're ready for that show experience and the Maltese will take longer than a golden retriever, but keep trying....you can do it. But remember...no choke collars!! The toy breeds have a different set of priorities than many other dogs, so they work for different rewards, and at a different pace. Be patient!
To answer some of the questions people have posted: Lilli will be 10 months on April 20th. We started Basic in January, graduating in March. The people who run the training club have all showed dogs. Lilli does really well at home on our driveway despite neighborhood distractions. However, when we go to class, she is busy looking at the spectators. She hears them say how beautiful she is and has to take a bow. Plus, she has her special friends she needs to "wave" at as we go by on our treks around the ring. I have started giving her tiny pieces of hot dogs as rewards for watching me when I ask her to do so and have seen a tiny bit of improvement. She, too, runs down the ring at top speed on recalls and is a joy to behold. We go to class on Wednesday evenings. Major problem coming is that I have to be gone for two classes after tonight. I hope she doesn't forget everything she has learned so far as there will be no practice while I'm gone and grandma babies her and my older maltese. I'll try to keep everyone posted. There is a fun match here in August which we will probably enter in Novice A. At least she'll be on leash that way!
Hi! My little Sugar loved obedience and thus I got hooked. She was being "trained " from the time I got her as a puppy but she started puppy classes at 7 months. At our first "fun match" she placed third in novice! I had planned to try the prenovice but the novice came first... it was only going to be practice! Imagine my shock! When they called us into the ring again, I thought , "oh we get another chance". We were called in to get our ribbon!! So we continued... and got the first leg of the CD title (age 2). I was waiting for spring when there would be some local matches, but Sugar died in February as a resul of her booster vaccination (autoimmune disease). She was so eager to please. She too got applause on her recall. She came at 100mph (or so itseemed) and came to a halt right in front. THEN, she did her finish by turning 180 in the air as she jumped into heel position. It got applause (I was always unaware since I was concentrating, however, the judge would say, "you just got applause". Of course, there was the outdoor match when Sugar was on the off leash heel and she was busy smelling all the smells in the grass. It was like she was stopping to smell the daisies! Spectators said that that is the disadvantage of a small dog... her nose is soooo close to the ground! Sugar also loved agility. It was a playground for dogs. She had just begun a few month prior to her death. She was phenomenal!! She wnt through the tunnels, tires, and up the Aframe, (and even wove pretty well). She loved the jumps and went down on the table at the speed of light! I did limit her jumps because I was concerned about her knee. I asked the vet who suggested that in practice we take alternate jumps. She had the possibility of a future loose patella on one knee. However, she never had any problems...I just wanted to avoid future problems. Hope you enjoy obedience as much as we did.
Karen, why not take her to different strange/new (to her)places to practice so she 'll get used to doing it right everywhere? Good luck. Get out there and show all those "big dog people" that a little tiny Maltese can do it just as well and a heck of a lot CUTER!

Linda, I'm so sorry about your little Sugar. What a wonderful and sad story. She had a very full life even though a short one, didn't she?

Karen, Yes, Sugar did have a full life. That thought helped console me a bit. She traveled with me and was with me almost constantly (the main exception being doctor's offices!). A day never went by when I was not thrilled to have her...even on rainy or snowy days when I took her out for elimination ( she was always quick). After she died, many, many people did tell me what a wonderful life she had. She brought joy to all who knew her and since she went everywhere, many many people knew her. Since her name was on her tote, more people knew her thatn knew me! News: I just got my new maltese yesterday! He is very very cute!

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