Friday, February 26, 2010

Do What Works...

As those of you have been following the blog have seen, I have attempted to train a running dogwalk with Lynn.

I got to about 28" full dogwalk and then there was a fall, a small fall. And things went downhill from there. I thought she as just acting sensitive about the dogwalk, but in reality...that was causing issues in other parts of life for her.

She was not willing to offer behaviors, she was not willing to TRY. And that is HUGE. That told me so much about what was going on in her head. She was not happy.
I am not sure if the method isn't concrete enough...more abstract for her, or what is going on, but I don't think this method is a good match for her :( Or maybe I haven't been clear enough, honestly I can't say. I am sure it is a combination of both. Either way, I am not ready to let this make her into a different dog. It isn't worth it.

We haven't worked on a dogwalk in more than a week and I am getting my baby girl back :) She is happy again, wanting to run hard and wanting to TRY again! Which I am so very happy to see!

Currently, I am talking to many people about running dogwalks and looking at possible options...many of these people have been VERY great about answering my questions...while others have been VERY :) I find that funny, but to each his own :)

I still need some more info on several things, but once I get that, I will make a final decision about what I want to do with Lynn. For now the dogwalk is off the list of things we will be working on. I even thought of doing 2 on 2 off until she gets a few years of trialing under her belt, then retraining to a running. But it is up in the air on what I want to do. For now the plan is doing anything OTHER than the dogwalk!

Sometimes you just have to see that something isn't working for you, the dog, or both and do what works. If you see your dog struggling, just stop and regroup.

So that is what we are doing, just a bit of regrouping.

And now...for just fun, Even getting her FIX on a toy...she is the only Border Collie I own that does this. But apparently there are many dogs that do cute!


Sarah said...

wow great honest post Loretta.

I enjoy following the girls progress. and i have soft spot for miss lynn as i understand some of what you are going through.

I haven't taught a running contact, but I know that with the 20/20 for me and gyp it was clear, she sounds similar to lynn in her overthinking abilities. for instance i can't even do toy throwing past the dogwalk with her for proofing breaking her position, she thinks it is a trick - she hates being tricked and lied too, i think she is like "i know my job, why are you messing with me you silly woman, you're freakin me out" I had to stop doing it as she would start creeping farther and farther back on the DW. So i stopped with that, and quit worrying about her breaking, and things got better, and FAST again.

when i was teaching her weave poles i once tossed the ball past the last pole and beaned her in the head, she wouldn't weave for 2 days ... then i started using a soft toy ... sigh ... yes the visual is funny.

something i learned from Scott when I started herding with her to boost her confidence, and that I have applied for Agility too is "let her be bad, to be good"

they are complicated creatures. i know great things will come for her!!!!!

sorry for rambling :)

Debra Kay said...

You confirmed something I've felt for a long time-there is no one size fits all method. My three BC's are so different and training them has been an adventure in learning how to motivate.

I've done such a good job of calming Moon down I've broke his ON switch training an off switch.

Molly is working well these days. Solo has his moments, but I haven't found (other than food) the one thing that is his "thing" and it drives me nuts.

fulltiltbcs said...

Thanks ladies! Sometimes it is really hard admitting that something isn't going to work. But that is life :)

achieve1dream said...

Puppy pacifier! How cute!

I agree about putting things aside for a while. Why ruin things when you can take a break and come back to it refreshed and possibly with a different perspective. I have to do this a lot as I learn with my dog. Good call!