Cay’s 6th Week of Class

This week Cay did an awesome job in class. At home, Bandit and Chase kenneled up and Cay ran out the door to the garage ahead of me. A few weeks ago, she was afraid to go without the boys, but now she’s excited to go along with me to class!

Cay is getting better at sitting still while the instructor is talking, although she still tried to offer me different behaviors sometimes–a sit at my side, a down at my side, a sit in front, a down in front, etc. She has calmed down a lot though. She heels like a champ, doesn’t pull on the leash, and most often sits at my side when I halt. She backs up like a pro. She sat fine for petting from a friendly stranger. However, she doesn’t like to be left with a “stranger” as I walk across the room to do the recall exercise. She comes nicely when called, in a wide clockwise arc, similar to Bandit’s counterclockwise arc on his recall. Our instructor Deb says that’s a herding dog thing and I agree with her that they tend to move in circles more than in straight lines. The better to fetch the livestock you see. At the end of the recall, Cay does a prompt sit right in front of me!

Cay’s biggest challenge is the sit stays and down stays. She doesn’t like to sit still much or for long. This week I also learned that she doesn’t want to lie down at all when another dog is too close or a dog that she is wary of is next to her. She had been making progress at home on the down stays, but didn’t want to lie down at all with another dog next to her. Then, during the break when the other dogs were outside, I asked her to do a down stay and she did one just fine. We need to practice our stays more during this week in preparation for the final class “test” next week.

At the end of class, we got to try a jump and an agility tunnel. I couldn’t help but think about how Cay sounded like a train wreck when she first went up and down the stairs at our house. She didn’t know where her back end was. When her back foot slipped off the grooming table, she didn’t even pick it up, but left it hanging there. Now she can clear the fallen log out in the field with inches to spare and her back end has muscled out nicely. Cay was hesitant about the jump at first. I tossed a treat over and she still wasn’t sure. Then I got behind the jump and called her over. That worked, and she took the jump the next two times around. She was very afraid of the tunnel. Deb put her in one end and I peeked through the other and called her through. The first time through, she came streaking out. Remember, this is the girl who was afraid of the dark! The second time through she still had to be pushed in, but she must have thought that at least she survived it the first time! The third time around I was able to put her in and talk her through it as I ran alongside. What a girl! I think she developed more confidence in herself and even had fun that time! She is becoming more and more confident each week and seeks me out more often for attention.

Good dog Cay!

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