Last night Liezel did really well with the other people / dogs in class. We heeled past everyone without any reaction. As soon as we got to our usual place to wait and watch the trainer said we were up next. She was excited to get out on the course and showed no interest in the other teams (note: neither the Aussie nor the Newfoundland’s were there).
Another week of a really difficult course – plus Liezel was very excited and had a hard time focusing. I have determined that I need to work with her on slowing down. She misses some of the yellow zones because she’s running too fast to hit them.
After everyone else left, we worked with the trainer on slowing down on the dog walk. The trainer put a target at the end of the dog walk and as Liezel approached she said “target” which kept Liezel from jumping off before the yellow. Attempting to get to the target forced her to stop on the yellow which brought with it much praise and reward.
Since my first priority in any outing with Liezel is for her to feel comfortable, I have let some rules slip (i.e. perfect heeling when commanded, extended focus / watch). However, since she’s doing pretty well with the agility classes I think it’s time to put more emphasis on obedience training.
A few things we’re going to work on in the upcoming weeks: on-leash heeling until released, slowing down and focusing on tasks, staying in position until released, and continuing to take treats / toys “gently.” If she is excited or scared she nips when taking treats. It’s a really bad habit that I’ve let slide for reasons pertaining to fear aggression training. I think she’s reached a point in most instances to be able to take a treat gently.
Maybe because we haven’t had obedience classes in months I feel like her obedience is getting sloppy. I don’t know when that trainer is going to start classes again so I need to work on this more diligently at home.
All in all a very good class with regard to exposure to others, not great with the difficult course and difficult obstacle locations. As my husband pointed out, “You’re in an advanced class, it’s supposed to be difficult.”