Use this space to discuss training issues -- brag about successes, lament setbacks, or bounce a question off the group.
I was inspired by Robyn and Autiger's discussion on the last "Anything goes" topic, so I've been working at keeping my trio in line when we walk past neighbor dogs in their yards on our way to the park.
Their discussion was different. They have prey-driven dogs: Robyn's Chessie is a field dog who likes ducks; Autiger's cattle dog is a herder who likes, well, sheep. They were discussing the difficulties they've had in keeping them in line at certain times when every fiber in their body wants to pursue the prey or flock.
Their discussion reminded me of the difficulty I have keeping my three walking on a loose leash when neighbor dogs are barking at us from their fences. Not exactly a prey drive, but you get the picture. I'm tired of looking like a fool fighting three dogs who are tugging at their leashes to try to get to the fence.
Yesterday, I just paid closer attention to how I react when it happens. I discovered I get TENSE. It's like I'm a part of this mad frenzy, shouting orders and restricting movement the whole time. Even with treats to distract them, it just felt wrong.
So today, I worked at keeping myself calm. I spoke quietly to them and asked them to come back into a heel. It worked better. At the very least, I had the same results -- eventual compliance -- but I wasn't as stressed out about it.
Tomorrow, I'm going to try anticipating better and bringing them into step earlier. I know exactly where and when it's going to happen, so I should be able to get their attention and keep it.
What's up with your crew?