We started the day with RallyFrEe class. Because I thought I might be trying to get a cold I didn't go to my parents' - no reason to be sharing, eh. Gimme was unfocused from the moment she got out the car. I tried clicking any offered attention and she wasn't even focused enough to be able to keep attention to get the treat. If I took the treat to her face, she was happy to gobble it down. She was just giving me a whole lot of hit-n-run attention. Plus she was much more concerned about the other dogs than she had been for the last two weeks.
As I was trying to get her brain engaged during our first session, I suddenly realized what the problem was. Miss Gimme is officially into false pregnancy mode. Once I tumbled to her reality, I made it even simpler still and was able to get some attention. By the end of our first working session, she was able to actually work and do the exercises. On our second session, she did some really credible work and then when class was over, she was able to walk to the car on a loose leash. So I was able to get her brain and use it.
I had hoped this new supplement from the reproductive specialty vet would do the trick - for most bitches it prevents false pregnancies entirely. Apparently not going to be the case for Gimme. Its interesting the onset was so rapid - yesterday she was fine, today not. Because I wanted to see what the supplement was doing, I didn't start her on the homeopathic remedies until today after I got home. Normally I would have checked and been using them a month ago. So it'll probably take a couple days for them to take full affect.
Tonight in agility class it was a challenge to get her attention, but I did and it went well. I basically work with getting her to focus and sit in heel, treat and repeat. Then we focus and "set-up" and one jump, treat. Then the same with another jump - adding one obstacle at a time. When we got to five obstacles, Blynn suggested we move to another place and start over. This actually worked very nicely. By the time we got three obstacles there, I had Gimme's full attention. So then we were able to do some longer sequences, about half a course worth.
Our second session went even better. Gimme was still a little distracted to begin with, but came around much faster and after she did, she was really doing some nice work. Although we didn't do anything which was great shakes, I was still very happy to have her working with me much better and sooner than has been the case in the past. To a large extent I think its because we've established a new pattern of attention and working together over the last few classes and its starting to really pay off.
RallyFrEe class was about pivots and combination signs. I found the timing of cues for Gimme and my own handling and footwork challenging for the combination signs. Once I got it, Gimme did a very nice job and seemed to enjoy it. The combinations we worked were:
- starting with dog moving on right side, clockwise-spin-to-center-trx, thru-to-left-heel
- starting with dog moving on left side, counter-clockwise-spin-to-center-trx, thru-to-right-heel
- starting with dog moving on right side, clockwise-spin-to-center-trx, step-back-center-3x, thru-to-left-heel
- starting with dog moving on left side, counter-clockwise-spin-to-center-trx, step-back-center-3x, thru-to-right-heel
I'll be interested to see how the new supplement works with the homeopathic remedies. Clearly it isn't going to prevent the false pregnancy entirely, but if it reduces the intensity, I'll be happy. Gimme hasn't adopted a baby yet and usually she would have by now. She got SuperCow out the other day, but just left him on the floor and didn't notice I put him back in the toy basket. She did beat up BrownBunny during the ride home from agility class and since we've been home beat up MrFroggy and DeadThing. So she is clearly more emotional, but is now resting and relaxed. Time will tell how this all shakes out.