WildAbout Echo of Windwalker and WildAbout Fayde from Black
Echo and I entered Beginner Novice A obedience at the whippet National specialty. It was the first time for either of us in the ring. I was worried about the sit for exam and the long sit while you walk around the ring, she nailed them both! She not only got a Q she scored a 193.5 and got second place in the class.
Another great session with no shutting down at all. She stayed engaged and was able to listen to cues right next to the car and I opened the front door without losing her.
The progress is slow and sometimes we go backwards, but I am seeing improvements in her attitude around the car. Today she was wagging her tail as we left the house, normally she’s concerned because we might go in the car. She spent less time sniffing and was able to not only take treats near the car, she was able to sit and do hand touches right next to the back hatch. The only time she balked at taking food was when I fully opened the front door, I’ll spend more time reinforcing her while I touch the handle and then just pulling the handle. I am very happy with her attitude today and hope she’s starting to feel less trepidation about the car. I think the fact that we’ve stopped all car trips help too.
Tonight we seemed to go backwards. I put her leash and collar on and checked her emotional state at the door. Already nervous, wouldn’t take treats. I backed up and asked her for some behaviors until she was responding and taking treats, then we went outside. She was barely there, very worried about every little noise in the environment, worried about getting close to the car and doing tons of displacement sniffing. Maybe because we trained at night? Night time is when we would normally go to nosework class – so that may have added extra stress. Poor Fayde, we’ll keep working at it!
Last night we moved along to approaching the car with the back hatch open. Normally the back is where the dogs ride, so I knew it was going to be harder. She did fine, and I gave her treats for looking at or approaching the car. She only stopped taking treats when we stood so close that I was leaning inside the back. I backed up and gave her a ton of treats just for looking at it. She did quite a bit of displacement sniffing, so we will probably stay at the step for a few days.