Tonight Pi and I had another installment on our road to certified glory.
We were the first ones there this week so I got to see how she reacted as all the other dogs came in instead of how it normally is. She was a perfect lady. We practiced the "greeting a friendly stranger" and she actually was not super good with it, I had to tell her repeatedly to stay because she wanted to go lick the instructor. I forgot the hotdogs this week and she was definitely less attentive. It's not so much that she ignores me, as that she doesn't look at me. I don't know how important that is. I guess it doesn't matter as long as she does what I say? Who knows.
Parts of the Test Introduced:
-Reaction to Distractions - person on crutches, weird baby toys that make noise, dolly with a chair on it, person running past, tambourine, and pompoms all had no impact on Pi whatsoever. She just kept trying to see if the distraction was edible or would pet her.
-Reaction to Another Dog - this is the one where you have to greet another dog/handler pair and have the dogs ignore each other. I was pretty nervous about this one due to some aggression Pi displayed last summer, but she was perfect. She sat when I told her and didn't try to go to the other dog at all.
-Supervised Separation - this is a piece of cake for us. We only did 30 seconds today and will be working up to the whole 3 minutes in the coming weeks.
And so the shockingly confident, outgoing, friendliness continues. Good Dog Pi!
I also think Pi is starting to get as bored as I am with all the heeling and staying from 2 feet away for 30 seconds. I understand that not every dog is at the same level and that training shouldn't be rushed but, come on, we got this. Pi will down stay for me at the dog park as long as I stay in her sight (my back is fine, she just wants to see any part of me and if she can't she moves just enough so that she can and then stops). So far I've been using these opportunities to work on Pi's sit stay since it isn't as solid as her down stay but even that is getting un-stimulating.
After the ignoring other dogs part I asked the instructor about reactions in the real world. I mean, being able to perform in class or on the test is well and good, but if she lunges at other dogs when we're out walking it's meaningless. So apparently Pi reacts like a lady to other well behaved dogs but if the other dog is riled up at all she will snap lunge, I've seen it happen.
In order to work on this the instructor suggested that I determine Pi's comfort distance (currently it's approximately across the street) and slowly work on getting her to focus on me whenever she sees another dog. The instructor suggests treats or a toy that Pi really likes to break her focus on the other dog.
I guess Pi, the squeaky duck, some hotdogs, and I will be taking our walks together in the future.