Over the past month I have been trying to best choose a Fenzi Academy class that can help me teach Perri, and after reviewing our Library lessons, I have decided that I was lumping parts of the retrieve chain on Perri. What we were having a lot of issues with was her picking the DB up and then doing a hold but only a light one and then dropping it at the slightest provocation. We have been focusing on a more solid hold. Last night for the first time again I saw the tail wagging. I paired each rep with a pivot of Perri's body, which she loves, and it keeps her up and happy. Something seems to have clicked and I really do think that she understands that she needs to hold the DB until clicked or otherwise released.
It is true progress that I could take a photo of her doing this. I have tried in the past (should not have been taking photos with how delicate she is.) but she would drop it before I could even raise the phone to eye level.
I feel very good about this. I feel extra good that Perri wants to keep trying. She is not the same dog that she was a year ago! Of course, I am not the same either. I have learned her so well. I know when I can push for more, and I know when I need to back off and do a trick, an easier rep, or do a break for her brain to soak in the information.
My brain is still full of "Nevers" for Obedience, but I am having fun with the training and my brain does have a big "Maybe" that it just might all fall into place after all if we just keep having a good time.