Sunday, February 19, 2012

Trial and Success

We went to an agility trial yesterday!

No we didn't compete, but we did spend a whole hour wandering around the parking lot, walking past dogs in crates, dogs on leash, in cars, barking, sleeping, get the idea...and no reactions!!!

When we got there I was a little nervous. I have never been to an agility trial either and the sheer number of people and dogs was a little intimidating. I promised myself I would keep Reyna under threshold and we found a parking spot.

I opened up the back of the car and let Reyna out, fully prepared for her to start scanning since there were at least 4 dogs in front of her when she jumped out...nope...she reoriented and sat with eye contact.

I was so taken aback I had her jump back in the car and do it again. Same result!!!

We started wandering around playing LAT and Pattern Games, she was so cool about the whole environment I would have thought we did this everyday. I even released her from the structure for a couple VERY short sessions so she could look around on her own and that's exactly what she did...look...not scan, look!!! Reactive Reyna was casually taking in the surroundings!!! Then when I asked her to re-engage she did with no problems. We walked by dogs just a foot or two away. We passed dogs head on. We even watched a dog get all revved up (from a distance) with no major issues.

She did go over threshold a few times, and by that I mean heavier breathing and some aroused tail carriage. When that happened I just lowered criteria and she came right back down. She did bark at one dog...right as we were leaving she was sniffing a corner and a little Border Terrier came running around the same corner. She didn't "knee jerk reactive" bark though, we both quickly walked our dogs in opposite directions and at about 40' or so she looked back and gave one "woof"...oh well.

We played around for about 30 minutes, back in the car for a 15 minute break, and then out again for another 20 minutes or so before heading home. We went through her entire breakfast and dinner of kibble, and some dog treats, along with bits of ham, cheese, and bread, but all that tells me is that she had just that many markable moments!

Did you notice I said kibble?! Reyna....REYNA...ate kibble as a treat at an agility trial and stayed focused!!!

I think it's time for us to enroll in some private lessons :)

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