IT WAS 80 DEGREES YESTERDAY! WOW!
We had class for Lizzie and training Lizards is one of those things where you have to very carefully watch the balance of all factors and there is no manual so I have to just always be sort of thinking about what I am doing in contrast to most of the other dogs where I can feel like I sort of know the basic path we are going to take. Lizards think a little differently though......So once again the Lizard brain seems to be showing through!
With Lizzie's excitement level, her stress issues and her zoomies-stress can be a result from excitement-I spent THREE YEARS mostly just rewarding for eye contact, for having her right next to me, for a very focused type of attention. Looking back, I am not sure that was the best thing.....but not being in that place now, at the time I needed to keep her with me otherwise at that time I could not keep her working with me more then a few seconds when we were in stimulating environments-she could be EXCELLENT and AMAZING when she was at home or in a very familiar environment, but I was trying to get where she could work other places.
Last year when she was not going to take off all the time I started working a little on a more informal type of attention and Lizzie was very uncomfortable if I asked her to stay connected but to work a few feet away, still moving with me, but not having to stare at me-like what you do in agility. Liz is the fastest girl I know so for us to get around a course since I am the slowest person I know....she has to be able to do some lateral distance.
We had been making a lot of progress, and she still can not drive down a very long line, but she was looking for some obstacles and being able to be more obstacle focused and still not feel disconnected, so WHOOO HOOO, we were making progress.
As all training with Lizards goes....there HAVE to be setbacks, LOL! I started doing some heeling training-I wanted to do some rally or Novice obedience with Liz. Liz takes to the heeling really well and likes it. As we went back to agility during class, Liz was a mess. She was back to where she would take one jump and whirl in front of me with full eye contact, barking, yelling, frustrated, I was putting pressure, using my whole body and telling her "jump", and trying to help her figure out she could go on like we had been. I finally ended up having to take my clicker and shape her looking at the next obstacle. I think the focused heeling, along with so much reinforcement history for staring at me is too much for Liz right now to understand going from obedience/heeling to something like agility, so I think heeling is going to have to go back into the closet for a little while longer until she gets the agility game better.
BREEZE had class, and she was marvelous, and TWO CLASSES IN A ROW AND SHE STAYED SOUND! What is going on? LOL, could it be the warmer weather or the fact I brought my own weaves with the wider spacing, and the club did get some new 24 in weaves, so I kept her out of the 21 inch weaves-I altered any courses where it went into the 21 inch weaves. Breeze is soooo good, it was fun running with her and seeing her look good.
CRICKET went to class and worked on her tricks and walking around nicely, tunnels, tables while the people in class were walking courses, and she was able to get really close without going bonkers. She is doing terrific. Cricket also got to work on sitting in the crate while the dogs were running in front of her and keeping herself relaxed, she is getting the hang of that and she is getting the hang of sitting quietly in her crate while I go out and look like I am walking the course. So she is doing most excellent baby dog work. Her lefts and rights are going to be ready for video soon-so that is pretty exciting.