Nothing more than feelings -
Note to self: When asked to perform a certain skill in front of potential clients with lots of other dogs in the room listen to the little voice that's telling you - "WARNING", "WARNING", "WARNING". Remember, it's okay to sit out a few skills.
Last night, Belle and I attended a field trip and short demo at Courage Center. Belle was very excited to see all the new dogs, and in warm-ups, I struggled with getting her to focus. Not only were there Goldens from other Helping Paws classes, but there were Labs too. Exotic creatures with shiny black fur. Oh, how she wanted to greet and sniff and wriggle and play with each and every one of these gorgeous strangers that she was certain would be fast friends if I would just let her! But no, Mom made her walk at heel, drop, roll over and all the other staid cues that she can do in her sleep. But finally, her opportunity came. Eileen asked the foster homes to demonstrate how the dogs could "get their leash" - and Mom ignored the niggling voice in her head telling her "don't do it, she can't be successful right now". Big mistake on Mom's part.
She picked up her leash alright, but then bolted instead of giving it to me. Right over to the beautiful black lab behaving so well for Nancy, our Foster Home Coordinator. And I felt ashamed. Not because Belle misbehaved but because I didn't heed the advice repeatedly given to all of us over the last year of training - don't put your dog in a situation where they can't be successful.
As can be seen above, Belle is very good at getting her leash, but I knew when Eileen asked us to perform the leash cue that Belle had a very good chance of bolting. The signs were there but I decided to hope for the best instead of what was best for Belle. I still have so much to learn.
The Life of a Doting Grandmother
4 years ago