The weather was great again yesterday. The road was mostly dry, and the sidewalks were drier, too. Glimmer was happy to be outside, and she showed it by working much better than the day before.
Yesterday, we practiced loose-leash walking, distance sit-stay, distance down-stay, turnabout, recall, and off-leash heeling. All of the exercises were done with a lot of distractions – including intermittent traffic on our street and the presence of a police officer who unintentionally assisted us by walking in front of us twice on his way to and from a neighbor’s house.
Glimmer’s focus during the distance recall exercises was excellent. She came straight to me, looking neither left nor right, despite the distractions going on around her. She still needs work with the sit on recall position – as seen in the video below – but all things considered, she did an excellent job.
Nearing the end of our training session, Glimmer did something she’s never done before: Not only did she alert me to oncoming traffic, she also took initiative by moving in front of me and trying to pull me to the sidewalk. I didn’t see or hear the oncoming vehicle, so I was about to correct her for breaking her position. But when I looked up and saw it coming towards us, I followed her towards the sidewalk instead – and then rewarded her with lots of verbal and physical physical praise and affection. That she recognized and assessed potential danger and then took the initiative to move us out of harm’s way showed me that, along with our bond of mutual trust, her confidence has vastly improved.
All in all, Glimmer did an excellent job with her lessons yesterday. She does need work on her recall sit position as well as her resting heel, but she’s doing far better than I expected. We will be working outdoors more often, now, as long as the nice weather continues. And as we continue to move into more spring-like temperatures, Glimmer will be given greater challenges in focus and trust, as the appearance of animals and humans alike will become much more frequent.
Have a great day, everyone, and remember: Stay calm and lead on.