Sunday, August 22, 2010

training challenge #3~ field day

On Thursday, Jeff and I took the dogs to a big park, where Jeff was going to fly his RC airplanes.

It was a new place for the dogs. We actually parked behind the tree line in far distance.
Misty had no problem adjusting to the new environment, and proceeded to mark her territory about every 6 inches.
While Jeff was flying, I walked the dogs around the perimeter of the park. No one was there except us, one other flyer and some man with a metal detector on the soccer field.

You would think it would be an easy environment for Oreo.

You'd be wrong. He was nervous, especially on our walk back to the truck and the scary man talking with Jeff. Oreo was visibily skittish, either pulling on his leash, or stopping dead in his tracks.

I kept walking in arcs, because that usually helps.
After we'd been there an hour or so, being fed treats/cheese sticks Oreo finally calmed. He could listen to the strange man talk, and even be in close proximity (15 feet or so) without freaking out.

Once he was in a more relaxed state, I tried to get Oreo to play a bit with his rabbit fur toy. I clicked for contact and any slight pull. A big pull, got him the jackpot inside.

We also played race to the softball.
Then, figuring he was tired, I sat on a bench and read my book. Eventually, both dogs laid down. Misty took a snooze, and Oreo zoned while Jeff flew his planes.
Hopefully, the next time we go there, Oreo's adjustment time won't be so long.
It would be a great place to bring some agility equipment! Nice, flat grassy area.


Diana said...

I have to laugh about the agility equipment comment. Lots of times when I ride by a field or someones yard, I think "man, that would be a great agility field". LOL Diana

Dawn said...

Interesting. It generally takes Katie about an hour to settle into a new place, particularly a new training building. I used to have to arrive an hour before class and walk around with her. Made for a long evening!

I think this is a good challenge for Oreo. He learns that not all new places are bad places. Bring agility stuff next time and see if he will respond positively.

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Great job Sara, Oreo and Misty! That was a real challenge for Oreo and it sounds like he did very well. I think you should try to go back there often and when he is visibly more comfortable there, try new places like this one. I love big open grassy areas - hopefully Oreo will too some day!

It would be a perfect place for some agility equipment! :)

Priscilla said...

Great job Oreo!!
I think he did a great job. I'm sure it's not easy for you too to go through this with Oreo but you both are doing great together!

Hey, I never knew Misty was a 'male marker dog' at heart! LOL!

LauraK said...

What a beautiful park! How cool that Jeff has planes to fly around, that's awesome. Sounds like a fun day!

AC said...

Nice work with another challenge! I tend to leave any new environment that makes Kona nervous because she usually just gets more scared as time goes by. Does this ever happen with Oreo, or does his stress level normally go down the longer you stay somewhere? (Assuming it's not a high-stress place.)

Sara said...

Oreo usually gets better with time, as long as I don't push him. There is one park he just cannot adapt to though, and I've given up. Too many people.

No matter where we go he is always really happy when we arrive back home, where he can truly relax.

Kathy said...

Now that sounds like the perfect level of challenge, great work.

Rob said...

Poor Oreo, its a shame he can't enjoy such a nice big place to run around in although it sounds like he did have some fun time.

Marie said...

That park looks awesome. I think it's definitely a good idea to go there again and see if Oreo is more comfortable. It has potential to be a great "on the road" training place. :-)