Last Sunday the dog group was not getting together so I decided to take Reyna out and about. I loaded up our shiny new ring gates and we headed to the local dog park. We have done some work with the box of gates in our yard just quick upbeat training sessions, but this was our first "road trip" with them. Clinton Reserve I just wanted to survive, now I had a plan.
We pulled up and instead of letting Reyna leap out of the car in scanning mode I actually took the time to scope out the field next to the actual dog park area, find a flat spot and set everything up. I LOVE these ring gates they set up in under a minute! So once I had my box of gates and all my other stuff laid out I went back for Reyna.
Hop out of the car - Reorient
Take a few steps - Reorient
Take several steps - Oops lost her to the wonderful smells of grassy deliciousness
Back to the car to start over, but this time we took it a little slower and she was focused the whole way. We went through the gates, reorient yes, go sniff...I got about 10 yes/treat/"go sniff"s in and then put the leash back on. We played tug, wandered around smelling things, meandered in close proximity to the the actual dog park, laid in the grass and contemplated life for a minute...then back in the ring gates for 15 or 20 moving yes/treats, I couldn't convince her to go go sniff stuff :) Then back out again for meandering and playing...lather rinse repeat.
She had one short reaction when a group of men showed up to empty trash cans...she keyed in so I went to put some distance between us but before I could get out of The Zone one stepped towards us, called and whistled for her a shook a large trash bag at her...reaction! But, I said "This Way" and she disengaged and turned to me AND accepted food as a reward!!! We did a few advance and retreat and marking glances, she was back with me and had no interest in the men who where still trying to mess with her...so...I couldn't help myself...I asked her to down stay and took off running in the other direction, about 30' out I yelled YES and kept running, she came, ears back, flat out sprint, I presented a tug at the last second, she nailed it! almost pulled me off my feet! tugged for a few seconds asked her to release and swing into heel, picked up her leash and we walked calmly back to our station...the guys didn't make a sound in our direction the rest of the time ; )
The best part of the day though was when we were walking towards a couple of dogs barking at the end of their flexi leads at everybody coming and going into the dog park. As we moved forward I looked down at Reyna and she was happy! Completely unconcerned by the other dogs and totally relaxed! Oh Reynaroo how far you have come!