Remember the movie "What about Bob?" and "baby steps"? Well, I decided to have some "baby goals" for each obedience class. It seems like every class is more about what we are all doing wrong and it is sometimes hard to find the fun and positive in the class. So I decided to set "baby goals" for each class (and maybe training sessions too - haven't gotten that far yet ) That way I can get a sense of accomplishment and have a way to measure our progress. The goal for last night was simple, but very important to us - get through the class without Emilu growling at another dog for any reason. And we did it! It really helps that the pit-bull is no longer in the class (I kept thinking it was an American Bull dog - it seemed too tall for a pit - but the instructor said it was a pit) I kept a close eye on her, made sure she was right next to me at all times, had plenty of treats to give her if she needed the help to "watch me" instead of another dog. The worse time is always when all the dogs for the next class start coming in - sometimes 1/2 hour early. She wants to watch the door and make sure she monitors every dog that comes in - I sometimes had to actually take her head and turn it toward me and say "watch me" and give her a treat when she did. It did seem to help, and by the end of the evening she was just glancing with her eyes at the door, then right back at me. Ears were in her "something different is going on and I'm trying to figure out what it is", but she did good.
Excellent idea Pat! I'm having one of my students do something similar in our Rally class with her dog aggressive mix. She noticed a difference right away, too. Keep up the good work! Are you still going to get her spayed? If so, when?
Susan UCDX GRCH Dunn's Marsh Caleb of Waltona UDX3, OM3, RAE Canadian UD, RE FallRiver's Micah of Waltona GN RAE, Canadian CD, RN
I think you are very smart for setting smaller goals. I've repeated this often here but I always set small goals for every class/trial we are in. It's too overwhelming/depressing to focus on EVERYTHING. Work the little details and the big picture will come together eventually.