Monday, March 22, 2010

One More Step Towards Good Dog-dom!

I am so incredibly pleased with my Bella dog right now.

Yesterday at the barn was a terrific day!

I took a crate for her, a blanket, my clicker and lots of treats.. Oh! And a chair so I could sit and reward like crazy for good behaviour. I started with only the back, where I was sitting, un-covered. She could only see me, but she could hear the other dogs. She did well with that, so I un-covered a side again, so she could see me, and also the crates beside her, which the closest one had my other dogs, and the one beside that had 2 stranger dogs. She started to bark at them, but turned back to me instead. Click, treat!

I then took the other side off, so she still couldn't fully see the dogs, but she could hear them, she did well, so I moved my chair to the front of her crate and un-covered all sides.* She barked once, and when she did, I covered her again on all sides. She quickly (like, as soon as she realized she was covered) stopped her little fit, and calmed down, I waited a few more seconds then un-covered her again. From there she went to watching a Sheltie do a full jumpers course, to a Collie doing the same, and then to a Border Collie doing it as well. All with out any fits.

Of course, she was getting a boat load of treats, and I was practically shoving them down her throat, but still, she was behaving, and doing what I wanted (which was paying attention to me (offering eye contact) and not reacting at the other dogs), and so she got major rewards for that!

I was very pleased with my girl. Next week we'll do the same thing (in her crate) except for the fact that I will be adding more time between rewards, and asking for more - longer eye contact, some downs and sits, etc..

After that, depending on how she does next week, I may try opening the door some (with her leash attached to her, and a hold of her leash), and eventually move to just outside of her crate, to someday out of her crate.

Just a general update on how yesterday went. We're looking into agility classes in May, and I'm very excited because it feels like we're finally getting somewheres!

*This was all over the span of about 2 hours, and it's also her 3rd week working on the issue in this manner

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