My training journey with Gyp, has always involved "taking a step back, to get further ahead". The first time I saw this was when we were training for Weave Poles, many moons ago. I beaned her in the head with a tennis ball when I was rewarding her. Well dear god, the world ended, and poor Gyp wouldn't go near the weave poles for 2 days! For real. Took a step back - came back, and within a short time she was weaving fully and fine - and I rewarded with something softer ...
It's showed up in all training - Obedience, Rally, walking her in the coulees and being scared of the gun shots and wanting to run to the car. She is not a dog you can flood or force to work it out. It has to be on her terms, and I'm fine with that. In Obedience training for her CDX, most of what I did was on my own - and I dealt with many shut down moments - so we stopped, I worked K and we tried again the next day. She would NOT work in my basement, it echos, the furnace kicks in and it's weird. She also wouldn't work in my Garage near the door, esp. when it was windy. So we would stop. I would trhow the toy so it landed my door - want the toy? Go get it yourself. And reluctantly she did, then she did with no problem. Come back to it, super high value rewards with no expectations - and she worked it all out in a the matter of a week or so. And she conquered that pressure and rocked her CDX in one weekend. It's like building layers for her, and getting it through her little cute head that she can do it, and doesn't need me. It's the opposite of Kaleb - get it through his thick skull that he DOES nees me - and ya, buddy we get that you think you know more than me.
So now I am dealing with this in herding ... She ran her fist Arena Trial in November - round 1 - she placed 3rd in Ranch! Wow we can do this! Round 2 she could not move the sheep, she tried to bite a little, I tried resending, we did all the moves we know, which are like 2 moves. She would come running back to me to save her :) I've always said, I don't care if I look like a fool - but I don't want my dog discouraged - and she was. So we've taken a step back - well 5 or 6 really. And we are getting the BAD back. We worked so much on finesse and control she lots some of her guts. We are working on Jazzing her up. So now we are trying to get that back - even better than it was. I had a couple lessons with Scott to get more boldness back. We've been trying to teach her it is OK to grip when told - and it's working and helping her confidence - so she doesn't think biting it bad (when needed) - and that feeling of walking in boldy should start to transfer without the bite. I adapted what we've been learning with Jenny and Louanne - it takes a village ...
I don't have huge goals for herding - my dog is 8. But I do want to see her be happy and bold like she is in Agility - if only I had the same dog in both sports! I hope with my next pup the lessons I've learned will make us a great team, from the get go!
|Some nice bend on that outrun, good job Gyppie!|
|Shit. um they shouldn't look like bowling pins - someone has a leg somewhere.|
|I am the Orchestra conductor in this Symphony of Destruction.|
|HUH? I say as Louanne tells me I shouldn't use my grip command on the outrun - |
hence the bowling pin sheep. OH, right.
|WEE!!!!! I have the cleanest teeth in the West!|
|Walk up, looking good Gyp!|
|Um. that's maybe a bit too much.|
|I had to call in reinforcements because my dog was trying to kill me.|
*Note my death grip on Louanne's arm.
|She did good getting them out of the corners with some boldness and power.|
|That was fun, can we go again?|
I leave you with a little Megadeath ... Symphony of Destruction ...