First off the Real Big News.......
I entered Breeze in a trial on the 27th, and 28th of May. That is a Thursday and Friday....so it should be a quiet trial, and it is at a place I am familiar with. If you REALLY want to know who needs the relaxation protocol, and to learn to control their nerves...well, that would have to be ME!
I sent in my entry, and after all the injuries with Breeze...I have not trialed in a long time...I really wanted to do this one and I think Breeze should be good for it physically but once I sent the entry I got an upset stomach. YIKES, stressing weeks before the time. How sad is that? I do not know anyone else going... I am sure I will see familiar faces on Friday, but the first trial I am doing all by my lonesome, so maybe I will do a search on the net for a Handler Relaxation Protocol, LOL.
AN UPDATE ON THE RELAXATION PROTOCOL:
I am working on the relaxation protocol with my three border collies. I am sure the shelties could use it too...but have to admit I am a little too lazy for that right now. LOL.
Of course as with anything I train, the three dogs all handle things so differently, same protocol, same starting point, but totally different experiences and challenges. What is new?
LIZZIE-ya know, knowing Lizzie's ADD nature I am sure people would think she would be the one this would be hardest for. They would be wrong. As weird as it is Little Lizardo with her zoomies and her stress difficulties...she understands relaxation and impulse control better then any dog I have worked with. It is true, even if that makes no sense ;-). Lizzie is on day 8 and gets on the mat and starts relaxing-she gets it. One of the exercises that has come into play is walking out of sight for 15 seconds, walking to the door and going out for 10 seconds, she handles it all really well, and really keeps herself relaxed. It might be my imagination but after we work on her mat work, she seems to follow me around more and to look to me when she is going to go over the top--Can not wait to see how this affects her in the long term.
CRICKET-She had a slow start, I had to do the first two days protocol for a few days because she really was not getting it, we limped along but now she is the champion. She really relaxes better then anyone else, even though she really had a slow start. I have been praising and treating when I see her close her eyes, put her head down in a relaxed manner, and now she sees the mat, tugs on the mat the entire way to the living room where we are doing the protocol, then when I put it down and start counting slowly, she flops on the side of her hip and puts her head down. She is a few days behind the others but what a good girl! The hardest thing has been me going to the door and starting to open it. Today Cricket got alert and looked at me, then made a choice to put her head down to relax, wow, that is HUGE-she chose to settle herself down and understood how to do that! I think this whole thing is teaching her to relax, and to look to me for what is expected and when she is supposed to settle she is learning how to settle herself, I can not imagine how much that might help in the future.
BREEZE-Yikes, Breeze goes through the exercises and was doing really well the first few days. She still does it well but the last two days she seems to think it is a shaping exercise or she should be ready to shoot off the start line. I started to treat for heavy eye lids, for putting her head down, for rolling to the side, well, she got confused and just started throwing out behaviors, so she is the only one I use the clicker during the protocol work to pinpoint the relaxed behaviors, we will see if it works. This last day she was in a hyper aroused state the entire time, she did the full day perfectly, but she was not relaxing, oooh Breeze. I think I will just do a couple of extra time sessions just working on shaping relaxing on the mat.
I am pretty proud of myself, each of the dogs takes about ten minutes, and I do it at breakfast time, so it takes me about an hour to feed all the dogs. I also have been taking Skyler out to play Look at That-from Controlled Unleashed -because we have a new neighbor dog and it is really upsetting Skyler-so I want to nip that in the bud now that we are working on everyone keeping their heads!
SUPER FAST ORDER:
I have to give a shout out to a company I ordered my Cosequin from. Today I got my new order, 500 pills for $137 plus free shipping. I thought that was an EXCELLENT price, but in addition I placed my order yesterday at 11 am and by 10 am the next day it was at my door. Wow. The company is called Entirely Pets, and both times I ordered I was shocked how fast it arrived. http://www.entirelypets.com/