We had a fun Match here in town today. I took Lizzie and Breeze to scope out the situation, I knew I would run Breeze, but I had to check out how Lizzie seemed at the site and what the fencing situation was. I brought Liz out first so that if it looked good I could get her going before she had a chance to stew and get herself reved up, and before I could get myself nervous. The only ring I could go into fairly quickly was a tunnelers course, with snow fencing that was about 2 feet tall around the course, but the course was in the back of the yard...so further from the open front area to the busy street. I have never had Lizzie loose in that loosely fenced an area, but I deceided I was going to screw up my courage and try it. I was not that nervous going into the tunnelers ring, and I alerted the ring crew that we could have problems so they put a bunch of chairs at the in/out opening.....(I also choose the tunnelers ring because NO one was there, so I knew I could take my time). At first Liz ran past the first tunnel and was ramping up to start running off, so I pulled out my toy and started putting her through one tunnel at a time and then tugging with her favorite toy after each tunnel. Pretty soon she was not scanning for take off points and starting to look for the tunnels then look for me, so I started finding two tunnels in a row to sequence a little more, then three in a row, and then I was able to do four that were a little further apart. LOTS of reinforcement in lots of places, and WHEW, we were done and there were no zoomies and no running off. I was so happy that we were able to do that, but now I am thinking that maybe the NADAC trial with no treats or toys might not be such a good idea. I do not want her to get ring wise and figure out when it is good to stay with mom and when it is not.
Next I wanted to put her in the standard ring, but there was a lot more activity there, a lot more people and a long wait. I could walk up to the jumpers, so I figured factoring everything in....that might be the best bet. So I asked the ring crew if Liz started heading for the gates if they could look big I would appreciate it, LOL, they were super terrific and all asked for a handful of food, everyone made sure they knew her name and they all stood in the entrance and exits. I WAS SOOOO NERVOUS. Way more nervous then I would have thought I would be-Could that be part of our problem???? Hummm. I had not walked the course, but I figured I was only going to try for a few obstacles at a time, but the fencing was seriously only about 2 feet high, and Liz has never been impressed by that type of fencing in the past. We were able to go and do some three or four obstacle sequences, pretty good attention and not trying to scan for a time to leave like she did in the tunnelers course. Lots of reinforcement, and I was able to do some short sequences with a little bit of handling....YIPPIE, so we safetly got out of the ring.
I was suprised at how nervous I got, I knew it would make me nervous but my heart was pounding soooo hard, it was hard to breathe. I think it will take a lot of these things before Liz and I can truly trust each other when I know she could actually leave and get into harm....BUT SHE DID DO IT!!! Which means with more experience and more training,....SHE JUST MIGHT BE AN AGILITY DOG!!! Yippie!!!
Breeze got to do the standard ring and it was hot so I did not wait to walk the course, I figured I just wanted to work on the contacts anyway. Gorgeous Aframe and the suckiest dog walk contact, grrrrrrr, I think I can totally do a four on the floor but she is just not transferring the dog walk 2020 to any sort of situation where we are anywhere else but my back yard or occassionally class. she just is not doing it anywhere there is any excitement, and I have tried to be so consistent and tried to set up situations but it does not seem to be getting better, that four on the floor is just so strong. I think I might have to just go with the four on the floor and train what I do not like that she was doing with that. Otherwise it is going to be forever until I can trial her in standard. I do not want to take her in there and let her not follow the criteria so she gets ring wise, I want to make sure I am reasonably sure she is going to do it or be in a place I can correct it.