Thursday, March 3, 2011

Reactive Rovers Night Four

Last night was pretty much the same as last week. Elo still reacts to stuffed dogs and now to invisible dogs as well (jingling tags walking around without a dog attached to them)! (He did NOT react to the real live dog he was allowed to look at, interestingly enough. I wonder if the fact that the stuffed dog doesn't behave like a real dog is part of the reason Elo is so concerned about it?) I think next week I need to focus on letting him see the dog for a short time and getting him away before he reacts. In class, he is never completely under threshold. He is holding it together for the most part, but very concerned about everything that is going on, whether it involves a dog or not.  The first piece of dog work we did, he did really nicely and I made the decision to take him back behind the barrier before he got too upset. The rest of the times ended with him reacting, which is probably not a good thing. In real life, I try to make his exposure brief and end it WELL before it becomes too much. In class I think I feel like I have to sit there with him and let him look at the dog as long as the instructor keeps the dog in his view, and I realized after class that I don't actually have to do that and I need to be more active about controlling his exposure. So I will keep that in mind for next week.

We worked on relaxing on his mat, but also on relaxing in different places around our corner. I realized I need to work on desensitizing him to being at the opening of our corner--the only time we've been sitting there is when we're doing dog work and he's now getting really keyed up just standing in the opening with nothing there, looking around for the "dog." We did a bit of LLW and he did ok with that. He had a hard time walking by my side when we were venturing out into the ring space, so we did LLW with him following me in front position a few steps at a time. This seemed to keep him more focused on me.

So, overall, still going pretty well. Lots of work left to do with my high-strung boy.

On another note, Elo's handstand is coming along fantastically! And his disc doggin is coming along great too! He's up to 3-disc sequences. He will drop a disc anywhere! He weaves and spins both ways for a disc, goes around, flips both ways (I have to be careful with disc placement for his flips--he has no concern for his body and will throw himself on his back to get to the disc). He will now go get a disc that is "dead" across the room to earn a tug or a toss (We struggled with lack of interest in dead discs for awhile, but he's now learned that they come back to life if he brings them ot me!). We've started working on tiny overs too! And I've picked him out a freestyle song. Not that he will get on the field this year--maybe if we're really lucky, but hopefully next year!

And Jun's got the hang of lifting her paw and targeting my hand with her nose at the same time! We're working on the next step of getting her to lean forward to touch my hand without putting her paw down, then gradually increase the distance until she has to take a step.


  1. I hope you share videos on the Hand Stand Trick! I am teaching it to Griff and Sophia now!

  2. Unfortunately, I'm not much of a video person. I usually train in my house at night and it is usually too dark to get video with my phone or point and shoot. Good luck! Its kind of a long process! We're finally to the point where E is lifting himself all the way up. Now to build duration, then get rid of the prop/target. I hear that's the hardest part