Thursday, March 24, 2011

Reactive Rovers Night Seven

Last night of RR.

I walked in with Elo and didn't really feel like working with him. I started off pretty much expecting him to be good and normal, mostly ignoring him and expecting him to just hang out quietly. Of course, he decided it was much more fun to bark at smells and sounds. After whining to the instructor about the fact that he should be able to be a good dog and I shouldn't have to keep him engaged constantly, she acknowledged that yes, maybe he should, but regardless, we have to go at the DOG'S pace. Oh yeah. That.

So I got my act together and started actually working him and he was much better for the rest of the night. There were only two dogs in class, due to the fact that winter is BACK (again, ugh). Luckily the other dog that came was the calmest one that Elo has been doing well looking at. We did a bunch of dog work. The instructor had us walk briskly in circles around a barrier and part of the circle passed an opening where Elo could see other dogs. He did well with this and for the most part stayed focused on walking with me. He does best when he has something to do. On one round, I clicked and threw some food on the ground when he glanced at the other dog and then back at me. Instead of eating it, he started sniffing at a spot nearby. Weird . . . he NEVER ignores food. After a second of this, I started thinking he was up to something and just called him to move on. I suspected he was buying himself some time to keep looking at the dog, and apparently his eyes were darting that way. Naughty, sneaky boy.

So our class is over and hopefully we will be able to find some good situations to keep exposing him to dogs at his pace. One interesting thing that came out of the class is that I've been sensitized to tag jingling. I have never noticed jingling tags before, but they drive Elo insane and because of that, they now drive ME insane too! I guess conditioning works at both ends of the leash.

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