At night, Bazl slept in his crate in my room. Sometimes I let him sleep in my bed and then transferred him to his crate. He didn’t like this and voiced his displea- sure. He wanted to sleep in my bed for the whole night, but I didn’t feel he was ready for that step. So I put a towel over his crate, hoping it would encourage him to go to sleep; but he only pulled it into his crate. Eventually I got the message and let Bazl sleep all night on my bed. I had several stu ff ed animals on my bed and once while I was sleeping, Bazl absconded with one of my Chihuahua toys and proceeded to chew on the nose. He was telling me that he is the only Chihua- hua I need. Message received! Bazl’s training began immediately. When I took him outside to go to the bathroom, I repeated commands (i.e., “Go pee.”) that he would associate with going to the bathroom. He soon learned this foreign language. I took Bazl to Puppy Kindergarten classes at my dog obedience club where he was the smallest and cutest dog in the class. After Bazl graduated from Pup- py Kindergarten, we went on to Basic, Advanced Basic, Subnovice, Novice, Ral- ly, and now Open classes. I soon discovered that teaching a small dog is very di ff erent from teaching even a medium-sized dog. You have to tailor your technique to the individual dog and persevere until you reach your goal. For- tunately, I found a teacher with experi- ence teaching toy breeds and she helped me fi nd a way to help Bazl understand what I wanted when I said, “Heel”. Bazl is an eager student because he enjoys spending time with me. He is the fi rst from his kennel to earn an obedience title. Chihuahuas can succeed at obedience! Bazl also did well in Rally and earned his Rally Excellent title. When the new Rally judging heights were implemented, Bazl only had to jump four inches. It was quite interesting to see the stewards run- ning around attempting to quickly fi nd a four-inch jump. Bazl studied agility, but we stopped for a couple reasons. One of which was not having a teacher who was interest- ed in teaching a small dog. I think the
Bazl visits Niagara Falls, Canada (American Falls in the background).
Close-up of Bazl.
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