Last night’s session with Lacey was pretty fantastic. She’s still getting distracted by smells, sights, and sounds, but she did a great job of trying to pay more attention to the handler.
We went to Pisces Pet Emporium for the session. The store is full of all kinds of distractions – including live animals for sale and for adoption – the isles are narrow, and the staff are wonderful about respecting space and not petting Lacey when she’s working. Tanya is pregnant and is currently in a position where she can’t stand for long periods of time. Lacey has become quite protective of Tanya and doesn’t like to leave her side. When Tanya needed to sit down and I had to take over the session, Lacey was very hesitant about coming with me. She kept looking back at Tanya instead of focusing on me. To put her mind at ease, I made a point of working Lacey in one isle so that she would always be able to see Tanya. It was the right decision, because once she realized Tanya was okay, Lacey fell into step without any further resistance.
We practiced sit-stay, down-stay, recall, and heel. The heel position revealed that Lacey is still going in front, so I put her on the hands-free leash to help her learn the correct walking position. She figured it out very quickly and did an awesome job of staying beside me.
Overall, Lacey did a great job. She does need work on her heel and sit-stay positions, and she needs more distraction work. But considering that she’s only 18 months old and her training has been intermittent due to circumstances out of anyone’s control, she’s doing awesome. Tanya has worked very hard with her, and it definitely shows.
The next CGN (Canine Good Neighbor) trial is being held in June. I’m going to be working with Tanya and Lacey as often as possible to ensure they are ready for the test.
Have a great day, and remember to stay calm and lead on…