This is most likely our last training challenge for a little while. School starts Tuesday. That is going to be my challenge!
Oreo and I have been working on "u-turns". An easy thing to teach. Basically, while walking, I say "u-turn" and we walk in the opposite direction.
We started in the backyard, and then this week we have been doing spontaneous u-turns on our morning walks.
My goal is to keep it fun, light hearted and very rewarding.
Ultimately, I would like to use u-turns when Oreo is in situations he finds highly stressful, particularly where desensitization/counter conditioning methods have failed. I feel like, at times, I have been feeding his fears. With the u-turn, I can reward him for following my cue, plus Oreo will have the added reward of moving away from what is scaring him. Then maybe we'll be able to move gradually closer, using u-turns as needed.
That's my thinking anyway! We'll see how it works in real life later. For now, I want u-turn to become an automated response. We are pretty close to reaching that goal. Here is a snippet of our training:
Next, we'll practice it at our agility class, where he feels relatively comfortable, with a manageable amount of stress.