We were to heel slowly and practice our turns around a series of connected baby gates connected in 90 degree angles. Perri was head down for me and when my instructor took her, she was forgey. Our instructor diagnosed that Perri does not understand heel position. This was very discouraging for me but I don't disagree with it.
We then practiced throwing treats over (an 8 inch) high jump and then recalling our dogs back to us. Perri did this okay about four times. Our instructor then put a target out there with the treat on top of it instead of having us throw the treat. Perri ran out and laid down after she nose bumped the target, I can only guess because we have been told to train drop on recall this way. When neither me or the instructor paid up, she tried to mug our instructor for treats all the while being deaf to my recall attempts. We repeated that two times before I pulled her from the exercise. We were not successful and while it looked on the surface like my dog was blowing me off and was not trained to do a recall, I think the real cause was stress. Perri went to the target and laid down. That's how the game has worked for months. I was not holding up my end of the bargain and that was Stressful. Perri is not a dog that completely ignores me and mugs other people for food. Molly? You bet your ass! But not Perri.
Can I be certain it was stress and not my poodle alien simply acting like a normal dog? No. But it certainly seemed like it to me.
But no matter. It was not tonight's class in particular, this decision has been a while in the making and I have already e-mailed our instructor and I already feel at peace about it.
I also enrolled us in the Bronze Level of Denise Fenzi's Precision Heeling class. I have heard great things about the online academy, and I am very excited to start this (on February 1st.) We will have three nights a week where we get to Be Home instead of driving to the training center. The real challenge will be to actually use that time to train the dogs instead of just reading a book or playing on the internet.
|Unrelated but adorable photo of Perri!|