Sunday, March 13, 2011

rally class

Oreo and I had a good rally class yesterday. 

When we got there I did lots of treating just to get him comfortable.  Then, we went out in the ring to "warm up".  There were a few other dogs/people there too.  I gave Oreo treats again. He wasn't able to focus on me too much, but wasn't freaking out.  Then, he started sniffing in the dirt. 

I know sniffing is a stress signal for many dogs, but for Oreo it is a sign of being relatively comfortable.  If he's able to turn his back on everyone and sniff, he's doing good!

That's when I upped the ante a bit, and started only treating for eye contact.

Our class started with a course.  Oreo gave me some eye contact on our way in the ring.  Plus, he gave me some when we were heeling too.  Although, he wasn't able to do it consistently.  We are still struggling with "fronts".  Overall though, Oreo did excellent, way better than last time, and I had so many opportunities to reward him on course.  We'll keep working on keeping his attention while heeling.

After everyone tried the course, we worked on some new moves, with everyone in the ring. 

The fact that Oreo could do anything with all those people/dogs around made me really proud. 

He had to stop every once in a while to stare at some people, but quickly returned to me.

Here is Oreo practicing his contacts at home:
Oh yea, there was a man taking the class this week.  We see this man at trials a lot, and the sight/sound of him usually makes Oreo freeze/freak out.  I did lots of treating whenever he was nearby, and Oreo seemed OK.  I didn't push it though, and kept a good distance.


LauraK said...

Sounds like a great class! Go OREO!! He's going to be such an awesome rally dog- he sure has a proud mama for being so brave :)

houndstooth said...

I love the days when you get to tell success stories! Way to go both of you!

Diana said...

Thats so wonderful to hear!!!! Way to go Oreo!

Reilly / Bree said...

Sounds like you are on the right track - just lots of patience, love and TREATS :)

Ricky the Sheltie said...

So happy to hear that Oreo and you had a good class today!! He is making significant progress and it's wonderful!

Kathy said...

ALL RIGHT OREO, sounds like you two did fantastic, you guys are truly a great team and work so well together-I think it is neat it sounds like you were able to keep Oreo under threshold but still push the boundries a little without going too far. Very cocol he could work AND lEARN new things in an environment like that!

Dawn said...

I wish Katie and I could go back to our Rally class, it's less stressful for us than obedience. Darn job. But congratulations to Oreo for being able to focus at least some of the time. He will get better and better as you go.

Marie said...

I'm always so happy to read about Oreo's progress. This class sounds like it was great. Way to go you too!

Priscilla said...

It's so great to hear that both of you had a wonderful class. Oreo is amazing, he learns fast and he is making an excellent progress. What a wonderful team you are!
Go Sara, Go Oreo!!!

Amy Wood said...

Glad to hear Oreo had a good class! Way to go!