Friday, December 18, 2009

bi-polar dog

My agility class was interesting on Wednesday. We did a cool course, with an obstacle discrimination and lots of tunnels.

On Oreo's first run, he did awesome! He flew through the course, and even went thru the chute, which we do so seldomly.

After our run, I had him off leash, as I was expecting him to follow me right to his pen. However, I turned and found him running back to the course. He looked so happy, so I let him stay out there while I helped set bars. Oreo did a couple tunnels & jumps on his own, and I rewarded him for that. I was pleased to see him so at ease with other people in the ring.

Our second run was polar opposite. He was freak boy! Went around obstacles. Skittish. Nervous.

What the heck? What happened?

My teacher's husband had come in they building between the first & second run.

Hmmmm. This had happened before, and I hadn't believed the connection.

Now, I had to admit there was a correlation, even though Oreo has seen her husband countless times.

While waiting for our next turn, I sat down next to her husband, and fed Oreo treats. Then, her husband offered Oreo treats. Shockingly, Oreo took them and actually ate them! They weren't even MY treats. Usually, Oreo will only eat treats that have come from my treat bag. Guess that is how Oreo ensures they aren't poisonous.

Then, I put Oreo on the floor. My teacher's husband was kind enough to kneel down and offer Oreo some more treats. Oreo didn't eagerly walk up to him, but he shyly made his way to his hand and ate some treats. Then, quickly shirked back.

Certainly not Labrador friendliness, but I was happy Oreo was taking the food, all on his own.

Right before our next run, I brought Oreo out on the course. Teacher's husband was out setting bars. I fed Oreo more treats. Then, teacher's husband came over, knelt down and offered Oreo more treats. Oreo walked forward and took them with a tiny bit more confidence.

Off we went on our run.

No more freak boy. We did the whole course, and only missed the discrimination. Still working on those.

After that, I called it a night. I figured I had asked a lot from Oreo, and we had accomplished a lot.

Many thanks to my teacher's husband for being so kind and patient with Oreo. Maybe one day Oreo will even like you!

Now I have put Oreo to work studying the course maps for Saturday's league match!

I'm planning on "Eing" both runs this weekend. I didn't treat at all last weekend during our runs, and we have a trial coming up in two weeks. Therefore, I think giving him treats during his runs on Saturday would be a good surprise, and also soothe any nerves.

That's my plan anyway. Always subject to change!

8 comments:

Sam said...

Sounds like progress to me, at least within the span of the class! I sure know that feeling of bi-polar when it comes to Marge.. I've concluded it's just not possible to always be able to predict what small event will cascade into a huge fearful response.

madcobug said...

I am glad that you figured out what was wrong with Oreo. For some reason he didn't trust the man. Glad that he got better,
He looks so cue studying his courses. Helen

LauraK said...

sounds like a great plan for your match on Saturday, I'm sure he'll be excited about the treats! Good luck! It's funny how randomly they freak out- they always keep you on your toes don't they? crazy pups!

Dawn said...

Good luck Saturday! What does "Eing" mean?

Oreo looks like he concentrates very hard on his homework! Must have a teacher for a Mom or something!

Such a good boy!

Diana said...

Good job! I had to think of Oreo the other day. On Wednesday I took a lesson. There was a green tunnel under the a-frame and Miley just couldnt go in. Im not sure what the problem was. I was saying tunnel, so instead she turned around and took the tunnel that was 20 feet away and behind us. It just cracked me up. I thought "Whats up with the green tunnels and shelties?". Lol. Diana

Sara said...

Dawn,
"Eing" is my shorten version of elimination. Basically my team won't get any points for my run if I choose to use treats in the ring.

Diana,
That is too funny!

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Great job getting Oreo used to your teacher's husband! Amazing that he is so sensitive to changes in his environment. I thought I was bad! :)

Kathy said...

Sounds like a great plan for Saturday and putting Oreo to work on studying the maps ahead of time...great idea! LOL, it is so funny he really looks like he is studying and coming up with an excellent plan. Sounds like a really great agility class, some work on agility and some excellent work making a new friend. Good job Oreo being so brave!!!!