matildasmom (matildasmom) wrote,

Control Unleashed: Class Seven

We started with massage again. Kienan commented that the dogs didn't seen to be settling down to a relaxed state very quickly.  She wondered if we had been working on massage at home enough.  She said it was important to work on massage when the dogs were not already lying down and relaxed.  After a while she asked us to do focused attention exercises with our dogs.  Then we went back to the mat to massage.   Kienan had a couple of teams take turns working in the box playing any of the games they chose to do while those of us outside the box moved our mats near the box and she directed  us to send our dogs to their mats and stay there while we did jumping jacks, clapped, walked around them  walked around our neighbor's dogs, and in other ways tried to distract them.

Next we learned the Off-Switch Game. Kienan asked if any of us could get our dogs really excited playing with them.  It needed to be a close contact game like tug or a sort of tag where you would push your dog.  Throwing a ball wouldn't work. After another team worked, Matilda and I went in the box.  I used my Kong on a rope. I dragged it around on the ground and got Matilda into an exciting  game of tug. After a while Kienan said I should tell her to drop the toy. The game would stop until she produced some predetermined, calm behavior such as a sit that I wanted from her.  After a few moments Matilda did sit.  I clicked and the game resumed. We did this several times with Matilda getting herself under control and into a sit to restart the game. Then Matilda's excitement went over the top and she wasn't able to get herself under control. I'll need to keep the excitement level  down a notch until she learns to keep self control.  We played the game some more outside the box.  Once when I asked Matilda to drop her toy, she wouldn't give it up.  Kienan said I should use the toy for Doggie Zen. I should dangle the toy in front of her and click and treat if she doesnt grab at the toy.

Last we worked on Leave It. We dropped food on the ground and said leave it.  Matilda was doing fine with that.  She was sitting and leaving the food around her. Kienan said, "Good, now walk her past the food."  I said, " Ichibon" and Matilda ate a piece of the food.  I should have said, "Let's go."  Kienan also said that Leave It should mean now and later, too.  Next week they should be able to have food thrown in their faces.

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