Forget the Heeling — I’m Miserable!

Well, we’d been making progress, I thought. Last night I had my husband hold Laev’s dinner while I took her through roughly half a BH routine, at the end of which I sent her for supper. It wasn’t a world-class routine, but it was good enough, and I was happy that she was able to work that long.

This afternoon, however, I felt as if I were begging for every scrap of behavior, and Laev was failing abominably at stuff she’s known forever — the down out of motion, for example, which has been nearly foolproof since she was six months old. What on earth is going on?

My plan was to hit the road and work in all-new locations this week. Conventional wisdom would have me continue at home until she’s much better, but 1) I don’t have time for that, and 2) I think a good chunk of the problem is conditioned critter-hunting in her own yard. Maybe she’ll do better away.

I’m just nearly ripping my hair out. This is a test she should have been able to pass months and months ago, consisting entirely of behaviors at which she’s been fluent for well over a year. I had no reason to anticipate particular trouble with this. I don’t know why I’m getting trouble with this. She’s driving me crazy!

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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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