Saturday, December 10, 2011

Quit While Your Ahead

Today was another one of those days for Laura where I pushed too hard.

We had a lovely house visit this morning at our house with a fellow trainer and Oscar did quite well.  As usual, he barked when the lady came in, but settled in and was let out and we did some work (LAT, U-turns).  He didn't have any reaction after he came out except for a couple barks trying to hurry up the treat machine.  No barking/lunging, etc. when the lady left.  GOOD DOG!

Aaron left shortly thereafter to do some errands and I baked some cookies.  After I was done, I thought that it would be a good idea to take both pups for a car ride to a local college that has a huge outdoor field that rarely is used in the fall/winter.  So, I packed up the dogs in my car with the long lines and headed over.

Per my usual routine, I made sure that the coast was clear where I parked my car and, then, let the dogs out.  Apparently I need some new glasses because there was a woman jogging that I did not see.  Well, Oscar saw her and let me know (i.e. he started barking).  Nothing crazy...more of a "Hey!  There's a person!  And I don't know them!" type of bark.

So, we walked around for about 1/2 hour (yes, it was rather cold - burr!!!), then, Oscar, again, sounded the horns "HEY!  There's another person! Wait, there's two of them!  Why are they walking towards us!?"  I gave him a nice, calm "Thank you, that's enough" and continued walking him and Fanny away from the stranger danger situation and he did a couple more pause and barks.   I wasn't upset with him (although I really would appreciate having a dog who isn't such a spaz about other people!), so just kept on walking.

I needed to get gas on my way home (the warning light was on the whole car trip), so I stopped and fueled up.  There were a couple people at the gas station and I simply C/T him for seeing the people.  No barking out of him except for a little "wuuuf!" at the very beginning.

The car ride home he was fine.  I saw a few of our neighborhood kids playing in their front yard and thought, "OH, I should go do a couple quick repetitions of C/T just for seeing them."  So, I proceeded to walk down the driveway.   Well, of course, that was the EXACT same time our immediate neighbor came out his front door with his beagle.  SO, that was a HUGE failure.  Oscar barked, lunged, barked some more.  HUGE failure on my part.  I smacked myself in the forehead multiple times when I got into the house...GAH!!

When will I learn that I just need to chill out and be happy with small victories?!?!  I should have quit while I was ahead.

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