Yesterday Harpo and I attended our first puppy class, at the Gouden Jachthoorn
retriever school. Conveniently located in Zichem next to the Ernest Claes house; the birth place and former home of one of Belgium's great (so they say) writers. This is in fact one of the only dog training schools in Belgium which only accepts retrievers (Labrador, Golden Retriever, Flatcoated Retriever, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Curly Coated Retriever and Chesapeake Bay Retriever). No obedience training or silly agility here - this is the real stuff, hardcore hunting preparation :)
In any case, school was fun even though objectively things did not go as well as I thought they would. As the trainer mentioned the most heard phrase at puppyclass is "at home he does listen"...
But I can't blame Harpo. It was in fact me and Mrs Stellegasie who made some mistakes in training up till now. We did our home work, read about everything there is to read about labradors and dog training, joined a labradorforum, picked a good breeder who gives advice - but nothing beats hands-on, one to one training from a good instructor.
As an excuse we can say Harpo has never so many dogs at the same time, and after all he was by far the youngest puppy in puppy class. Nevertheless we now have practical homework - very good for me, I never was a hero in theoretics. Harpo of course doesn't mind. The only theory he is interested in is Discovery channel and repeat broadcasts of TopGear. Good boy!