Sunday, September 1, 2013

Quit While You're Ahead

This weekend has been frustratingly busy with work-call, house chores, poodle grooming and family gatherings.  It left little to no time for dog training.   After spending a beautiful, not-a-drop-of-rain day eating hamburgers and chatting with family, we arrived home with two hours of daylight left and a thunderstorm rolling in.   I had had high hopes of getting Perri and Ein to the park to work.   When we pulled into the driveway, a thunder rumble crushed all hope of a training outing. 

We had to wait the storm out, and that meant having to work in the yard with what light we had left in the evening.

Ein's biggest struggle Rally-Wise is the Directed Jump in Level 3.  Since March we have struggled with it in every way possible, and last weekend we had a big breakthrough.  Our troubles are history!   Tonight?  I tried to work him in my yard.  He hates my yard (everyone PEES there.  How's a dog supposed to work?!)    He was spotty with his jump taking, directed or not.   He was spotty with his distance Stand-Down-Sit.   I'm learning: Don't push it.   If he doesn't want to work, don't overwhelm him and frustrate yourself.

Next, Perri.  We worked on Stand-Stay proofing.  That went well.   I ran around like a lunatic, threw her ball and squeaked it.  Gave her frequent rewards for staying, which she did.  I provoked one moved paw with a ball throw but that was all.   She is improving.
We worked heeling.   It was great on the Figure 8, but for some reason Perri didn't want to go in certain areas of the yard tonight.   She did not want to go by the garden.   I cannot imagine why, nothing has happened there.    Then we worked on recalls.   Perri stubbornly sat and stared at me instead of recalling.  I double commanded her one time and that worked, but I don't want that to become a habit.
I don't know why she was behaving this way tonight, she has been very consistent with her recalls.  
And though I wanted to slam into the issue and "fix it", I put our toys away and went inside.   Not pushing it.   

Perhaps the storm bothered the dogs.  Perhaps they could feel my less than cheery mood.  Perhaps they simply did not feel like working.   But in the end the answer is always: quit on a good note, come back to it later.   Training with my canine friends should be a fun bonding experience, not a chore to be rushed in at the last moment, right?

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