Cay’s Second Week of School

Tonight Cay and I went to our second week of Beginner 1 obedience school. Actually, it was her second week. I have been many times, with many different dogs. :-)

Cay pays good attention to me, probably because she would be scared in that situation without me, her known entity. She walks well on leash, heels well with me and sits well at my side (when I strategically hold a treat there). She is amazingly calm, although I think that’s because she is taking it all in. She is very observant of everything around her, and doesn’t pull on the leash, lunge at other dogs or otherwise try to cause trouble. One of the men in class disturbed her tonight. When he was working next to us, she didn’t want to turn her back on him. Perhaps he reminded her of a bad guy from her past.

Like a true cattle dog, Cay is aware of anyone entering her space. She does best at moving exercises and can get distracted by other dogs’ and people’s movements. She doesn’t like other dogs coming up her butt when we’re heeling around the ring and she is tempted by the movement of the dog ahead of her. She wants to watch the dogs off to her side as they’re heeling around the ring, so it’s more of a challenge to pay attention to me as we’re moving. But she knows her name and responds when I say it to get her attention. 

Tonight we found her biggest challenge: sitting still! Ok, so she’s an adolescent cattle dog mix, we don’t expect her to want to sit still. I also think that she doesn’t want me to leave her there, so she tried to follow me whenever I turned to face her, even if I stood right in front of her. So my big challenge is to work more with her on a wait and a stay at home, where she’s comfortable, then maybe try to sneak some time in at school when it isn’t busy to try in that environment, then work our way to doing these stationary exercises in a class full of dogs and other people. At home she follows Bandit’s and Chase’s examples a lot and probably hasn’t learned the words for most behaviors yet. She just watches the other two and imitates them. That’s why I needed to get her to school for more socialization and one-on-one attention from me and to me.

She slept all the way home in the car. That’s a good girl! A tired cattle dog is a good cattle dog, I always say. But a tired cattle dog can be hard to come by. That’l do.

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