She’s Driving Me Crazy!

So we go to Schutzhund last night, and Laev bombs obedience. Completely. She just can’t manage to keep her mind on me while there are other people and dogs moving around, and it devolves into a fight to keep her from lunging toward them. What happened to the puppy who missed me so much while I was gone? She doesn’t seem that she could care less about me now!

I finally realized that I was not improving the situation by getting frustrated (I’m a little slow) and I left the building to try the driveway or else put her away. It was like someone flipped a switch and I had a trained dog! I got beautiful heeling for about 20 feet, and then someone else came outside and she came unglued again. /sigh/

After that, though, she did some great bitework. She’s very good at focusing on that, anyway.

I added something new to her raw diet last night after training — trout filets, which my sister found on clearance and brought. Neither Inky nor Shakespeare had any trouble with them, but Laev started puking in the middle of the night and kept it up until 4 a.m. or so. 🙁

Today I took her to a Rally training class, because I feel that Rally exercises are the foundation of good heeling anyway and because we obviously desperately need some environmental variation and distractions in our training. And as predicted, she was very distracted by the other dogs and wanted to drag toward them instead of working. I tried to avoid fussing at her and instead just clicked for eye contact and simple behaviors. After a few minutes, Laev seemed to realize that no one else could reach her, either (it’s not a class of advanced dogs who are disinterested in her, or she would have caught on faster due to lack of returned eye contact) and that I had yummy dried sea clams for treats. I figured she would be hungry, since she didn’t keep anything she ate the night before, and indeed once she started working she got right down to it! even her trademark barking at me from heel position if she felt we were not doing things quickly enough.

So there is a light at the end of the tunnel; she can give me some very nice heeling when she focuses. I just wish I could call the Brain Fairy for an early delivery!

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About Laura VanArendonk Baugh CPDT-KA KPACTP

Laura was born at a very young age and started playing with animals immediately after. She never grew out of it, and it looks to be incurable. She is the author of the bestselling FIRED UP, FRANTIC, AND FREAKED OUT. She owns Canines In Action, Inc. in Indianapolis, speaks at workshops and seminars, and is also a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member.
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  1. Are you still going to show her this Friday even though she is having major issues with distraction?

  2. Good question.

    It’s a very small trial, which is why I chose to do it — a Dobe specialty happening before a bigger weekend of shows. And it’s my own club, so I wanted to be supportive and enter two dogs if I could.

    There are only two dogs in Laev’s class. Group exercises will undoubtedly be combined with the other Novice class for a total of four dogs. Our trial ring is traditionally in a far corner with little action. It’s nothing she can’t do on a good day (if only those were predictable!).

    But good days aren’t predictable. On the actual day, I will pull our entry if I feel it would be harmful in the long run. I don’t mind a non-qualifying run if it’s a good experience, but if I think it’s going to be ultimately a bad idea, I’ll just bow out.

    My bigger worry, honestly, is that Shakespeare is the last in his Open class and Laev is the first in her Novice class, back to back, and there’s no ringside crating. I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to get my dogs both to the ring on time!

  3. i think you should let her chill for a while.. while you talk to your other freinds about this matter.. and if your friends are busy, try logging at webdatedotcom and meet new friends that can help you big time

  4. /laughing/ Whee! About four months after the original post, we get a piece of advice and a dating invite!

    I’m happily married, thank you, and Laev’s too young to date, so I think we’ll pass. But thank you. 🙂

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