Well I started this blog with the hope that it would help me keep a record of Steeler's training life. I haven't been doing a very good job - that is for sure! I am not sure we have really been up to much since the National's other than our regular obedience class and a Control Unleashed Class that I have been taking up at Nevin's Farm. We are on round two of the Introduction class because there weren't enough dogs to run the Advanced class. As I am sure that many people know - The Control Unleashed class is based on Leslie McDevitt's book of the same name. I was lucky enough to attend one of her early seminar's in the Pittsburgh area a few years ago. I absolutely loved the concept - but had a lot of trouble trying to implement things on my own. So when I moved and there was a class starting near me I decided that I wanted to give it a try. I love our instructor! M is great at setting all of the dogs up for success.
Our first session was before the national and in that class there was one Golden Retriever and 3 small dogs. So Steeler did really well in that class - there wasn't much there that pushed his threshold. This time around we have another golden, a large yellow lab, a large barky sheltie, a pug, and an Aussie that seems a bit timid. The Aussie is being handled by a very experienced handler - so I am sure I don't see the issues that led to her joining the CU class. All things considered - it is a good mix of dogs for Steeler. He is doing really well with the GR - which previously would have been a huge trigger for him. He is a bit bothered by the lab, but getting better, and the barking sheltie has been great practice for us - because barking dogs while he is working have sometimes been a problem. I am sure the sheltie's owner would like him not to bark, motion is a big trigger for this dog - he wants to control all the movement!
So we just finished week five! This week we played some new games - There's a dog in your face and Mat racing. For "There's a Dog in your Face" we had some ring gates set up with dogs behind them - and then dogs on the other side with space to approach the gate. Steeler was paired with the GR - and we were the approaching dog first. Steeler did AWESOME! No reaction to the GR even when we were running towards him. We even approached at a run and stopped at the gate with no issues for either dog. Then it was Steeler's turn to be the stationary dog. His new cue for there is a dog approaching is ..... "INCOMING" We worked up to the same type of things, the GR running towards us, stopping at the gate .... No reaction what so ever other than to look at me! Now I just need to work on translating that to "the real world". Steeler also got to work with the Sheltie - again with no issues at all. I was very very pleased!
As far as Mat Racing goes - this game makes me a little bit nervous because all the dogs are racing to their mats from across the room - and there is lots more motion, dogs moving ahead of us and chance for leashes to slip. But all the dogs did really well. We started all on the same side, then moved to every other on opposite sides of the room, and then some moving and some playing "look at that" on their mats. It was a very active class! But Steeler did really well as did all the dogs.
Now just for some fun - here is some video of Steeler trying to find a good place to hide his bone. At one point he actually jumps into the closet with it.