Sunday, April 20, 2008

Keep on Ticking

It's been a while, but thought I'd update my blog so that I don't forget about the last couple of months. Syd continues to improve, with occasional steps backwards.

Because I'm showing Hawk frequently, Syd has been accompanying us on trips to the dog shows. I have not entered her *yet* but hope to get her out again soon. She has done very well at the shows. I try to be careful to get her out at times when I think it's not too overwhelming, and keep her feeling secure and safe at all times. She's done some snarking at strange dogs, but I am always cautious and careful about keeping Syd safe and under control and trying to be sure to distract her and keep her from stressing out in the first place.

In other venues, Syd has really improved. She finished her first session of beginning agility classes, and just finished the second level. She improves in her social skills every week. When we first started at agility, she liked being there, but was very nervous about other dogs. At the end of class, she's almost pull me to the door, ready to get outta there. I got to the point of giving her a short time out in her crate after about 20 minutes of class, so that she could settle down and have some private time. That worked really well for her, and I knew I had to try to work at a pace that was right for her.

Just in the last few weeks of class, I noticed that Syd could approach other dogs calmly, and without stress. Her confidence level in herself has really grown, and as we put together longer sequences of agility obstacles, I can see in her expression when she knows she's done something right. She loves toys and food, and she's a natural athlete with lots of drive, so she is an easy girl to motivate!