Reply To: Shannon & Cricket (DRTDT)

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Alana McGee

Today we did 2 hides inside, both with three targets.

The first one went sideways – the film is 6 minutes long so I won’t post it. We were working on harness and leash inside. She seemed confused/stressed out to me. I watched the video and thought of things to make it better – I tried them in the next search, which you will see. I did manufacture a success in this search and I actually walked over to a hide with her and tried to get her to search in the area – ultimately I probably should have pulled the plug on the search- Bad human.

I did a second one. I am not sure if I should have or not, we waited about an hour. This time I left the leash off, and she had been wearing the harness the entire time. I think this one went much better. I can see her “building her maps” of the targets.

I don’t know what you guys see, but to me she seems to be losing confidence/zest for the game overall. In the last couple of weeks it doesn’t feel like she is having as much fun as before. As much as I’d like to keep moving forward, do you think we should go back to easy level 1 hides? I know we are behind the class, but I figure this isn’t a race – she is only 13 months old and I’m not a super experience handler – so I keep reminding myself this might take longer. I really want her to have fun and enjoy this activity and not be uncomfortable or stressed.

The alternative view is that she is just super serious when she works and I just am not reading her right – entirely possible. She is a sensitive soul where my first dog is bomb proof, so I have had to learn to take more care in ensuring she feels safe – perhaps I am overshooting a little (helicopter dog owner?).