Today, I officially passed my training school's Obedience Level 3 test, and I'm moving on to level 4. Since I started training at 9 weeks of age in Puppy Class, I moved straight from Puppy Class to Level 3. I've been stuck in Level 3 for 9 weeks now, high time for me to go on to a more challenging level. For a while there, I was getting really bored with the same old obedience commands.
Mum told me that the purpose for me to attend school is not so much to learn silly commands like "sit" and "down"; the real essense of training is to challenge my mind and to give me something to think about, training provides me with structure, guidelines, and an opportunity for me to practice self control. I know she's not telling me, but its also to help me understand that she is the Alpha female, and Dad is Alpha male, and me, oh well, I'm Omega. Establishing the hierarchy in our family pack is of supreme importance, because as a dog, I am happiest when I know someone else is the boss, someone else takes care of me, someone else makes all the decisions, and I should just be content, eating my food, playing my toys, pooping and sleeping, and Mum and Dad takes care of everything else.
Here are the 5 behaviors I must perform to pass. Let me add that my tester is very strict and rigid. No nonsense during testing.
Sit - Sit/Stay without movement, handler departs dog to stand at the end of the leash. Handler returns to dog and releases dog.
Down - Down/Stay without movement, handler releases dog.
Attention for 3-5 seconds - Dog stares into the handler's eyes consistently until released.
Walk on a loose leash and follow change of direction by the handler.
Back up Recall. Made to sit, and then handler walks away. Dog goes to handler when called.
During testing, no food rewards, no corrections, no bait bags, are allowed. Only verbal praise is allowed after the tester says each exercise is over.