It was the last regular class for Breeze's handling 2 class before the winter break. There will be one more bonus class for people that helped with set up, but then we will be on our own for a few months. This was a very fun course, with a lot of object discrimination. Deanna said this course was based on a Rhonda Carter exercise, and it was one that she used to see if her students were ready to trial. I had the worse migraine when I went to class, and I started walking this course and I was so mixed up. Deanna had said we would be breaking it into three parts and I ASSUMED that we would just do a part first, and my head hurt. and I am almost always last to run....so I did not know how well I had the course memorized, and I was not too worried about it. Of course we ran the whole course first, and Deanna said she would like me to go first, LOL. The first time I ran it I surprised myself by remembering and I got to the aframe contact between I think 14-15 and all of a sudden thought I must be lost because surely I can not be to this part in the course already, LOL. We ran the course the first time with absolutely no mistakes, except the weave entry (Breeze went in on the second pole because she did not tap the breaks enough to get into the first pole). Anyway, wow, object discrimination is not always our strong point, but Breeze did GREAT today-I was so proud of her.
Today was the day I had to be consistent and draw the hard line. Breeze is getting more and more excited and more fast and pushing the limits a bit. So the first time we ran the course she held her start line. The second time we did a part of the course she got up and started running, I stopped and put her back, she got up again so I looked at Deanna and said WE ARE DONE. I took Breeze back to the crate. This did not make much of an impression on Breeze, she had a look like humm, that was a weird short course, but what ever......I was prepared to just be done for that exercise, but Deanna said I could go and try again after the next dog ran. Deanna is so wonderful, I love her. After the next dog, I took Breeze out to the start line, I walked out and again she raced up to me. I once again said, Thanks, we are done, and walked quietly back to the crate. About that time I was wondering if Breeze was going to get it. Deanna tells the class the record of someone having to do that was 17 times before the dog really got the idea, I had some shivers going down my spine at that moment. The next dog ran and we walked out again....this time Breeze almost let me get out into position and broke....so I once again headed to the crate. This time Breeze had such a look on her face like what the heck is going on? When I put her in the crate she sat at the front and seemed to study the dog running, and I swear I could see wheels turning in her head trying to figure out what the deal was. So when this dog was done I went out AGAIN and put her on the start line, walked out with confidence, because I had a plan.....this time I saw her stand up and just stand looking at me, I gave her a second and said down,....she laid down with her butt in the air, I still just looked....she laid down and so I released her. YIPPIE. Next turn she went out and laid down at the start line and did not budge.
I have had some trouble with Breeze feeling stressed at the start line before, so I made sure not to be mad or seem too concerned, I did not say anything, I handled it as quietly as I could but she did not get HER ultimate reward of running. I am sure the problem is not fixed totally yet, but I do think I made things clear for Breeze today which I hope will also help so she does not stress because she will know exactly what I want, so it will not be grey for her. I just had a feeling we were getting to a point with Breeze and her excitement level and if she does not totally understand the rules now....life would be a lot harder soon as she pushed the line more and more. I felt so horrible doing that to my class mates and taking the extra time but Deanna was great and said everyone of these people in the class will face this type of thing one day and taking care of these things is way more important then any sequence, so I think she was proud of me for doing that, did I tell you I absolutely love Deanna?
I also introduced Cricket to the manners minder. I love the manners minder-but had not thought of introducing it to Cricket yet. Some dogs can take awhile to get used to the noise of the beep, and the motor turning and then the food spitting out. I had read a post by Crickets Breeder where she introduced some of her dogs to the manners minder so of course I had to try it during a commercial in Survivor tonight...Cricket just seems to have no fear, what a cool puppy, she sort of stood back and looked for the first few beeps then she was just not wanting to look away. Tomorrow I will try to do some targeting to a stick and moving away from the manners minder then going back for her treat. I love the manners minder for teaching mat behavior and we have been working on mats, so it might be fun to add the two together. Today I had a blast putting a few baby gates on their sides, and some old wire crate fronts, and as many weird textures to walk on as I could find -we put them down the hall way and then had all the dogs walking on them, poor Cricket, she is probably wondering what type of house she has ended up at, but she did look like she had fun! Socializing puppies to lots of things is hard work, so it is a good thing they are so cute to watch so the socializing is fun, LOL