So I felt it was a pretty lofty goal to set a goal of Cricket walking on a loose leash.
I feel like we have done pretty good with that goal, it was pretty pie in the sky to dream of such a goal and you would know that if you saw my other dogs walk on a leash. Cricket walks really nice except when we first arrive or she is way over the top, but all I have to do is stop and stand still and she gets herself together and comes back to my side. When she first sees someone she still looks like a fish on the end of a pole...but I would say we are 90% to where I want to be, so hey, not too bad, it is a work in progress but the best border collie I have had with loose leash walking and we aren't done yet!.
In one of our training calls Susan Garrett talked a bit about how you need to see where you want to be as the first step of training something. You do not need a list of all the things you do NOT want, but a clear picture of EXACTLY THE BEHAVIORS YOU DO WANT so you know where you want to go. Then you can objectively sit and take stock of what you currently have.....and the steps between what you got....and what you want ...IS CALLED DOG TRAINING!
SO THIS IS OUR NEXT GOAL-THE PICTURE OF WHAT I WANT MY BEHAVIORS TO LOOK LIKE If you have seen what my dogs used to do when another one is training you will know this is a lofty goal (they have gotten better, but time to bump up my training)....but I am pretty determined. I can sit and think of what life would be if I had this type of behavior and I get a silly smile on my face, boy it would be like heaven.
PLAN: FIRST VISUALIZE WHAT I WANT: THIS IS IT:
NEXT LOOK AT WHAT I HAVE: I will fully admit my dogs can be idiots when one is working. Lizzie has chewed up several mini blinds attacking the windows, I have put a picture of the window seal Cricket chewed up in frustration when seeing another dog work, there have rarely even almost been fights between dogs watching because of the extreme amount of excitement-OVERALL PRETTY BAD BEHAVIOR. That is why this feels like a pretty pie in the sky goal, but we are going to work it!!! I love that my dogs want to work more then anyting and doing games with me is the highest value reward but they have to have enough self control to handle when it is not their turn.
THE PLAN: I have had my daughter doing the crate games with Cricket-she puts a blanket down over her crate when Cricket starts SCREAMING when other dogs work. Cricket is doing really well with this and if we are not too close working she is quiet in her crate which is a HUGE IMPROVEMENT.
I took Cricket to the agility class I was NOT enrolled in last night and worked staying on the table the same way I trained crate games when some smaller, slower dogs were running, ones that don't get her going that much.
We practiced crate games with distractions, I left the door open and worked on doing crate games while the bigger, faster, more exciting dogs were running.
Lizzie gets to go for her turn tomorrow in the other class I am not in. It is not as hard a distraction for them with me there and with dogs they don't know.
Soooooo....the plan has been put into action and we are starting, we will see what the next couple of months bring, this is going to be a REAL CHALLENGE, but boy, can you imagine how much fun it will be to reap the rewards if I can pull this off?
PS, tonight was our first agility class for Breeze, it was colder then crap-the temp has fallen almost 50 degrees in the last week... and my back hurt a LOT! So I was moving like an old lady and Breeze was so full of herself, apparently start line stays are optional,the focus of the class was FRONT crosses, not a good night for those with me.. and if Mom is not moving fast enough, hey make your own course, LOL. Whose idea was it to get a fast dog? Breeze was AMAZING, you know the old "Great Dog Shame about the Handler" story. LOL