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Breakthrough with some training!

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I switched the remainder of my agility group lessons (7 weeks worth) to privates for no extra cost a few weeks back. Our lessons are right after her last group lesson of the day (which was our class), and they tend to run over a lot, so Joy still gets to interact with the dogs a bit. The first time we were in the waiting room/office Joy was totally calm while the class was running and I was able to keep her focus on me while the dogs were walking out.


Not so much luck the second time.


But the third times the charm! I brought her kong and practiced watch with it, and I gave it to her so she can take out all of her stress (for lack of a better word) on the kong rather than my cheesey fingers. When she wanted to lunge at a dog, she licked the kong extra hard and stared them down, but no lunging or growling.


Because of her privates, we're now able to work on more of Joy's issues as well as mine. Joy would get distracted and run off, and I couldn't get her back until 5 minutes later. I started walking out of the ring when she ran off, she would panic and run back, and now we don't have that issue. Her sequencing is 10 times better, since she can focus with no dogs! I think training with other dogs and gradually adding them in (trainers dog) has given her confidence.


Some of you might remember how I moved to a new town this summer where people like to walk dogs with no leash, and let them run around however they please. Well, thanks to her newfound confidence around other dogs, she can calmly walk past them. A girl in my school a few houses down has two uncontrollable labs that she takes out (on purpose, I think) on a flexi whenever she sees me. I always tell her that Joy isn't friendly, but she still lets her dogs greet Joy! I usually block there interaction, but Joy was really calm.


I can now walk Joy AND Bear at the same time!


I'm so happy for my girl. Small successes with huge pay offs :rolleyes:

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I am glad to hear things are working out in your favour. I am also really glad to see that your trainer is doing the right thing for Joy. Having a dog with similar issues, I know how frustrating it can be, so keep up the good work!


Keep in mind that you will have regression, it's a normal part of learning, so if you have a bad day, know that the next can be better. We had a terrible 2 week regression and I was beside myself. My trainer assured me that it happens and we'll get back on track. I gave Daisy a 5 day break from training and she started back where we left off like a rock star!

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I try to remember regression is normal when Joy's being especially naughty at training one week. Now that there isn't any dogs in the ring, Joy seems to be pushing me even more to see what's allowed. I hope she doesn't do that tomorrow...we actually have a lesson with Amanda Nelson!

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