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this place is for the birds

Working on Focus

Working on Focus

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Matilda and I went to an AKC trial in Walnut, CA this last weekend.  Saturday was pretty bad. Both the T2B and JWW runs turned into zoomies. Matilda was pretty high to start and I didn't give her information soon enough and we got disconnected.  Our third run, the Standard run was better but no Q.

For Sunday I decided to try some different things. I had read that drinking a peppermint drink or chewing on peppermint candy could mask the scent of stress or fear.  So I had some peppermint candy and brought it along to the trial.  I ate a small piece before each run.

  Also I thought about the way Matilda always picks up a toy whenever someone comes to the house. I know she loves to have me throw  toys for her, but she doesn't really bring the toys to the people for a toss.  I thinks she picks up the toy just because she's excited.  Having a toy in her mouth also helps her deal with the stress in play situations. Running and barking dogs stress her out.  I decided to bring her to the ring as late as I could and bring a tug toy. I usually don't bring a toy. I bring only treats and work her through  a series of tricks. The tug toy seemed to do better keeping her busy (no time to look at the running barking dogs) and focused on me.

We did better. We had a good T2B run. We didn't Q.  She took the wrong tunnel ( the one dead ahead instead of the one off to the left) coming off the A-Frame, but otherwise it was a good run. In our Standard run she took the tunnel instead if the dogwalk.  In fact she did it three times before I got her onto the DW, but there was no zoomie. Our JWW run went well. She got her third leg for her Ex A JWW Preferred title.
Here's the JWW run.
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  • Hey good for you guys!

    Working with dogs that stress (and I think ALL dogs stress to some degree, much as humans do) is always a puzzle. You gotta try new things, and expect those things to change over time. Sarah up here was just saying that Pirate only works for toys in class, but then was totally focused on food in a high stress environment (show).
    I think many gun dog breeds, labs, goldens, etc... prefer to have something in their mouths to "hold" Great observation by you. Let us know how it goes next time.
    And my... what a lovely trial site!
  • You two look lovely!
  • so we should get a costco supply of peppermints? good for you for problem solving like this!!!!
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