Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Stella Bear There or Not There

So... I don't know why the week before last week Stella had me in tears and feeling exhausted and hopeless after class. She started out great and then something stressed her. It might have been the moment she came out of the tunnel and saw Soshana and for a split second thought she was me and then realized she wasn't and it took another second or two for her to find me---and then the next dog to run was getting out of his crate and he's a little reActive, barks at anyone near his crate and we were crated next to him (new in class we didn't know this) and she saw him on the other side of the ring gates and in this moment of stress she charged off and barked her head off at the ring gates and when I got her back she was all molasses and could not be motivated at all and I tried all kinds of things. But I think once we lose connection she worries and then I just don't know how to make her feel safe enough again to play with me... I have tried to keep seeing it as a training challenge and keep trying different things. I'll think I have it figured out but then I don't. Over and over.

At one point going through the weaves she was so slow that to stay in motion I was running backwRds and forwards and backwards and forwards until slow and steady she finished the poles and someone remarked at how remarkable this was that even when I was going backwards and moving behind her she never broke her dauntless pace steady to the end and Soshana commented that yes HER SKILLS are exceptional. And they are. She can nail hard poles entries and her turns over jumps can be squeaky tight. And she can haul ass too. When we are tight we are so tight. Which makes me so sad I can't figure this out.

She's seven. yes. Im not ready to give up on her.

Then last week she was all there and running WITH GUSTO and even broke her startline stay (I didn't put her back I was thrilled!!!!) and she was just fabulous for the whole class---it was one of those really relentlessly hard and fun 30 obstacle course Soshana sets for us---and I have no idea why.

I consider that Razzle had a little private lesson time before the class. I consider that we crated farther from the reactive dog. I consider I skimped on warm up and just took her out running into the ring ran her around with her current tug of choice for as long as it took to change the jump heights and put her at the start. (No warning that it was our turn next so default not our usual warmup with PT stretches) so there was no time for her to worry... I consider that I decided I had nothing to lose and lead out three obstacles and while I have been consistently starting WITH her every single time because this was one thing that seems to help her confidence, so the lead out this time actually built some drivyness, she couldn't wait to catch up. When I screwed up I didn't stop, kept her going to repeat that part without her knowing it was a repeat, treated her once, the tiniest pause when I screwed up, and caressed her and kept going. I consider that I have been stepping in for her more when Razz pushes her out of the water bowl or knocks her toy out of her mouth and takes it or when it really seems he is not listening to her when she says I really do not want to play now. I consider that I have been running with her when she charges barking at the gate in CT and cheering and having her to do the yay! jump with me and this is changing this experience for her--I think. I don't remember what she ate specifically those days or how the weather was different... I did bring lunch this time and ate during class so my energy wouldn't crash. I think the week before I got exhausted trying to get her back... I just didn't have the extra resources for her and was saying I MISS MY OLD DOG... And then the next week there she was.



Oct. 26th, 2014 09:22 pm (UTC)
I think those are some very good considerations. I am glad you aren't giving up on her.
Oct. 26th, 2014 09:55 pm (UTC)
Ah and I remembered something else. I groomed her the night before. No little tangles anywhere...