This weekend was rather busy for us - though not as busy as some weekends can get! On Saturday my dad came down and we took care of the cedar branches that had come down over the winter and did some weeding and bush trimming. FYI - always keep an eye on the extension cord when you are using the electric trimmer!!! :-) Otherwise the sparks will fly! Dad also worked on the lawn mower - which still won't start, and the snowblower, which still won't start - but probably just needs a new spark plug. (fingers crossed on that one). Didn't quite get the AC unit installed in the bedroom - but it's not too bad with a couple of strategically placed fans. Dad left about 3:30 and then I had to get ready for our class that is based on some of Leslie McDevitt's exercises in Control Unleashed. It was HOT and humid on Saturday even at 4:30 and the back yard doesn't have a whole lot of shade at that time.
We are working on Box Work, and Give Me a Break. This week there were four of us. Lindy the aussie (I think she is ~12), Seamus the Berner, who gets reactive when other dogs rush him, Nahar the aussie/BC mix who was only adopted by his owner in February. While the other dogs were learning about the give me a break game, Steeler and I were working on shaping some relaxation. OMG that is hard!!! I have worked so hard on having Steeler focus on me and not really pay attention to the other dogs around him, that he will happily lie on his mat for extended amounts of time on the off chance I might drop him a cookie. So this week he only got cookies when he was doing something other than looking at me using that spotty will power to get cookies.
Steeler and I did some work around the box while Seamus was working in the box and the boys did great. Seamus didn't seem all that concerned about Steeler or Nahar walking around outside while he was working inside. Seamus was even ready to handle both Steeler and Nahar walking around outside the box. Yay Seamus! Steeler and Seamus did some sits and downs very close together but with the gate between them. Both boys did wonderfully. And Steeler and I practiced some formal heeling as well as loose leash walking around the other dogs. And Steeler was able to hang out on his mat and let Lindy come walking by as well as Nahar .... Both dogs got pretty close to him and he didn't care! Whoo hooo!
Today was obedience day! I volunteered to help out at the Show n Go up at MasterPeace Dog Training from 9 - 12:30. So I went up early so I could work Steeler in the building before the rush started and of course he was a good boy. I worked the open ring today - and it is nice to work the list of people from the begining! Much less confusing than when you take over half way thru. Things were running pretty smoothly for a change! I thought about crating Steeler in the building while I worked - but I really thought that he would just be a basket case in a crate with dogs coming and going all around him - so I left him in the car backed up to the building with the back gate open and reflective tarps to keep out the sun. He was much happier out there and the car actually stayed cooler than it was outside!!! We also took several breaks since things were running so smoothly so I was able to get him in and out of the building several times. I really dislike crowds myself - so it is even harder for me to relax with Steeler in a crowd. Steeler is doing great though!!!! He only had one minor growl when I was trying to get away from a dobie on a flexi lead that was visiting while his owner was talking to someone else. And it wasn't the dobie that he grumbled at but the boxer on the other side of us. *sigh* Honestly - why would you bring your dog into a crowded training facility on a flexi ... if you are going to do that at least lock the leash at 5 or 6 feet. ARGHHH!!!!!! Of course this had to happen as we were getting to do stays - which I dread as it is!!! However - Steeler recovered very quickly and was able to do the long sit and downs without issue. I did sits and downs with the open crowd since the novice ring was kind of crazy. :-) For the first set of Stays - I kept Steeler on leash since I was so wound up. I did another set later with a group of 5 dogs and I was able to actually drop the leash and walk across the ring instead of staying at the end of the leash. So we are making progress!
I was very pleased with Steeler's behavior today - both in the ring and out of it. And he is a tired boy now! Spotty dogs are especially cute when they are tired!