Titles Achieved to date...

Monumental A to Z High On Liberty
NW1, NW2, L1I, L1E, L1C, RATI, RATN, RATO, RATS, L1V, L2C, L2I, L2E, RATM, R-FE/N, PKD-TL, PKD-N, ADPL1, ADPL2, TD, UWP, ADPL3, NTD, TKN, L2V, ADPL4, SDS-N, ADPL5, ADPCH, ADP1(2), ADPL1(GC), ADPL2(2), ADPL2(GC), VPN, AP, UWPCH, ADPL3(2), ADPL3(GC), NC, NI, NE, SCN, SIN, SEN, CZ8B, NV, NN, ADPL4(2), ADPL4GC), ADPGCH, ADPL5(2), RATCH, CZ8S, AI, TKI, AV, AE, AC, and AN... 59 and counting...

Monday, June 17, 2013

Public Dog (9)

Today we met at the park for class.  I mistakenly thought Gimme would be completely okay with the skateboarders, since she'd seen so many when we were out walking without any sign of concern.  What I didn't account for was how many different and unusual sounds they make on the ramps and the different way people move.  Gimme did not think that was proper at all.  It probably didn't help that the sidewalk we used to get to where class was being held was between the skateboard ramp area and the open basketball court where a game was in progress.  

We worked on lots of "whazzat" with the skateboarders as we moved through.  Later we worked on it some more during class from the other side where I could play with the distance more.  Ursula coached me on some things I could do better in that respect.  After class we took the long way around so she wouldn't be sandwiched between the skateboarders and the basketball players.

Interestingly I've found she is doing much better right now with simple impulse control games than she is with moving things (like LLW).  And her stay test in class today was absolutely flawless.  

Ursula is concerned about how much worse Gimme "seems" during this false pregnancy than before.  I put that in quotes because after thinking about it, I believe it may not be an accurate assessment. 


I'm wondering if her false pregnancy is really that much worse this time around - or if its the nature of the Public Dog class and how much more it "pushes" her.  Before whenever she was in classes when her false pregnancy came around - we were working on behaviors that might be a challenge for her, but nothing that challenged the emotional side of things for her.  In fact the only notes I have in my blog related to her false pregnancy and class was when we were working on the distraction of doing a stand for exam, even though we've been in class during her summer f.p. a couple times before.  It occurs to me that she probably also has a false pregnancy following winter seasons (mid October), but I don't even notice them (which would be about mid December) - probably because we aren't in any class other than maybe one agility class that month and nosework.  
It also occurs to me that she isn't getting the amount of off leash recreation that she has in years past.  I have plantar fasciitis and I have been trying to get some rest of my foot.  And since she was acting more emotional, I thought it might be a good time to get that rest.  Perhaps that is exactly the wrong approach for her - maybe she needs more opportunities to relax and be a dog, not less.
Throughout this time, Gimme continues to do very well in nosework.  Admittedly she is not quite as focused as normal, but she's probably at 90-95% of normal.  Nosework takes intense concentration and can be hard work, but it doesn't challenge her on emotional issues...  

Also she is continuing to train well at home.  Again with a little less focus and intensity than usual, but for the most part she is eager and enthusiastic.  Tonight we worked on the perch trick again (getting on a little stool and turning around).  She wasn't doing that well, so I put it aside, brought in and washed a milk crate that was outside.  I'll probably cut a piece of carpet for it and zip-tie it on, but for tonight I used a folded towel.  With that increase in size, Gimme was working nicely.  I still wasn't getting the turn, so used a target stick to help her get the behavior and ten clicks later she was offering it.  During this effort, she managed to kick the milk crate over a couple times getting on and off, but she was basically unconcerned and impatient to get back on (not always waiting for me to get the towel in place).  

I would think that if she was really in that fragile of an emotional state, that kicking over the milk crate as she was dismounting would be upsetting.  And this is all while having just whelped two "babies".  Both are Dalmatians and neither will ever be show quality, but we love them both (though she does have a favorite).

Anyway, I've changed her to the another class on Thursday, since it'll be less chaotic.  We'll continue to go to Public Dog on Mondays and will just plan to stay further away from the crowd until she is back to normal. 

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