Friday, September 12, 2008

The wild Lizzie Lou

So we had an AWESOME private lesson with Lizzie yesterday, it has been several lessons since Liz has run off in lessons-so that is a huge victory-she is doing great even though we are doing a lot of handling with her now. Why is it when I left I felt so discouraged? Now sitting and thinking of how the private lesson and then the class went....I should be happy, and I am today. Just hard not to want more when we are in the moment I guess. Lizzie is getting some of the exercises better then I am, so I am really pleased with how she is doing, we are doing some of the Linda M exercises. I think the LM handling is looking like it will be very nice for her. We had some major things going on with her contacts, now she really wants to do her 4 on the floor and sees no use for a 2020 :-0 . Have I ever said that I hate contacts, probably my fault my dogs arent so excited about them, now wait, Breeze and Chloe like contacts! The real work of our lesson came when I brought Liz out during the beginners class. Alicia has let us hang out and work around the beginning class and wow, did that fry Lizzies brain? YES IT DID! She gets very excited/aroused/scared??? or some combo of those things when she sees the little dogs, there is a very sweet tiny black poodle that Lizzie really can not figure out how she should feel about that dog, and there is a little dachshaund that she seems to be getting used to how she looks, and then there is the JRT, hummm, Liz knows that dog is very exciting to watch because you never know what she is going to do. She was very excited by Trevor the BC running small parts of a course, and really wanted to try to play with the big collie. Liz does get overaroused with some of the fast movement, but that is much easier to work through then some of the other issues we are working on. Needless to say I went through a HUGE bag of food, but I think we made some progress because by the time we left for the last time when class was over we left with a relaxed body posture and a loose leash, we were also able to sit and do stretches and Liz was able to lie down calm enough to relax and let me do that, so even though I get discouraged at times, she is making progress I think. I am using the "Leave It" game and when the class first started the rate of reward had to be VERY high, my clicker was clicking almost non-stop. We did sit and do some mat work but I am thinking I should have brought a mat and started some mat work and clicking for relaxed body/eyes earlier. We were able to first do a tunnel in front of the other dogs, our next turn a jump tunnel, which made me nervous-Alicia gave me a hard time about how nervous I act about Liz and was able to take Liz who performed like there was no big deal when Alicia worked with her, and like she was used to working all the time in the class, then we did a short sequence of tunnel/teeter. When I went back and did tunnel/teeter the second time she did try to run off, but we were able to get her very quickly so she wasnt self rewarding. So with Lizzie think the moral is that we dont expect huge things and be grateful for what we get, be careful of putting too much pressure on this girl and set her up for success. THINK of the feeling of victory when that little girl is finally able to run a course in a trial. I really think it is going to happen, and I havent always felt like that but gosh, I am ready for it to happen today.....too bad Liz and I are on different time tables, LOL, Patience is hard!
Breeze did some work for the first time in several weeks in our private-because we have been sticking to the plan and she was just doing limited jumping and not combining it with speed or collection, we were very good trainers and kept with her little rehab plan and did not go longer then we planned. She forgot how to complete her weave poles which she has been doing at home, really she can do it at home, LOL, but they are looking really fast and she did get it together, she is doing some nice collection with the jumps and she is just so happy to be the one who got to work in the yard last night. I love that dog, she is just the sweetest thing alive, such a sweet girl. OOH but last night an old friend showed up, one I have not seen in a long time, that DURN alarm barking. Breeze used to be the worst alarm barker, when we were in our privates she would sit and bark and bark in a posture where I was not sure she wasnt going to bite if Alicia would come up, so we would divert her and have her do her tricks, until she calmed down, but then she would sit and maybe be working with someone, interacting fine, she would turn her head and boom she was back into a fit of alarm barking. Like she was saying ooooh I forgot you were right there and now that I think about it, I should be very scared. So we have worked through that with the diversion and then with the Look at That game and of course I think that was the height of her fear period, so we have more maturity on our side and she has not been spacey like that in awhile, but last night she did all of a sudden just start getting alarmed at everyone in the yard. Actually it didnt look like it had the fear associated with it that she used to have, she was just standing there like she thought that barking might be the thing to do, anyway, pretty short lived, but she still has it in her! I think it was just a friendly reminder about how far she has come! Yippie, good work Breeze!
Alicia set up a small course for Chloe, think that was to build my confidence for the trial this weekend and that left me feeling way more prepaired.
We will be at the Fillmore trial this weekend, Chloe is running and Lizzie is going to work around the rings and the other dogs. Looking forward to the trial it has been a long time since Chloe and I trialed, although thinking today we should have been working more, and I should have started my exercise program earlier, somehow that got lost over the summer, so.....there may be handler issues this weekend, hahahahaha. I am looking forward to the trial though, it should be fun.

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