I took some time today to savor my new DVD that I have been trying to find some time to watch, Control Unleashed. I first read the book right when it came out, and then I was on the yahoo list discussing the book and working with the dogs, I was lucky enough to attend the Control Unleashed seminar and I have done quite a few of the exercises and work with my dogs, Breeze for her alarm barking and stress issues, and Lizzie with her over excitement and zoomie stress issues. It is a four DVD set, so I suspect it will take me some time to watch all four, but I watched the first one today and I am LOVING IT.
CONTROLLED UNLEASHED-this was the decription given in the first section of the DVD.The first section is showing people how to observe dogs and their natural way of handling their environment, do they look to their handler, do they have to run around, what is their default emotion and behavior.
A training system that teaches puppies and dogs how to process high-criteria environments in a way that saves their energy for focusing on giving a good performance instead of using up that energy getting distracted by, or worry about, the "stuff" going on around them.
CU accomplishes this through a series of games designed to create a dialogue about the environment between the dog and the handler. which meets the needs of both. CU is also a philosophy that stresses the importance4 of balancing attention and control work while letting your dog "be a dog".
There were a lot of types of dogs shown but the first dog really interested me because it was Lizzie Lou to a tee. They called this dog a ROLLER COASTER DOG. This is a dog that might look like they are excited and having fun, but it is like you riding a roller coaster or watching something really scary, it is fun because it is controlled and you know it will end. The dog may not know this will end so it is more stressful and their default emotion is to just go up and over the top. Unfortunately stress and excitement intersect and they handle that by going over the top, running zoomies, taking off, etc... they look like they are having the most fun but it is really an out of control feeling. Leslie the author equates this to asking someone who is really excited, going on a roller coaster to do really challenging algebra. This is how doing something complicated with a lot of little things to think about like agility feels to this dog when they are in this state.
I have just watched the first dvd but already have some good ideas for some new things to work on with both of my dogs, even though I have done a lot of controlled unleashed things in the past. I am very excited to get started on the next dvd in the set.