Wow, hello week 9! How has this happened??
So I signed up for this CPE trial months ago. I only signed Gypsy up for 2 standard runs because I really wanted it to be a test. The trial was 2 ring, which is more noisy and active. It was our first 2-ring trial too. I wanted to focus on her runs and behavior in the crating area.
She did fantastic! She was very calm in her crate. I gave her some melatonin and calming spray in her crate. I think it really did help. Last weekend at the TDAA trial she was really nervous. She wouldn’t even eat her bully stick. Yesterday she was very happy munching on it in her crate. It was also very hot yesterday (I know! Hot is 75 in Seattle!!). It really was warm though in the arena. I know dogs get a little cranky when it’s warm. There is also not a lot of crating space. The dogs were very close to each other. Going in and out of her crate was awesome! She didn’t make a peep, didn’t really look at any of the other dogs, and was just awesome!!! The only reactivity she had was with one particular dog in a pretty pink crate who made a large commotion when any dog walked by. Because it was a small dog in a pink crate I think it startled Gypsy more than anything. So she barked at it while we walked by BUT only if it barked first. When the owner got fed up with its reactivity, they turned the crate around and it was more quiet. When that dog was quiet, we walked by a few times and Gypsy had no reaction!!!
At the ring gates, I didn’t hold her like I had in the past. I had my treats and we played hand touch games and ran in little circles. Inside the ring waiting to run (we were first dog in both runs) we did more hand touches and circles. She was very disconnected from me in the first run, ran over a few obstacles, ran around the back and then we finished the course. It was 11 seconds!! I still gave her treats afterwards but not high value ones.
On her second standard run, again we played more games at the start line. I asked for a sit and she did. I tried to get a lead out but she didn’t let me. Still, we were more connected. She made it almost to the end until my handling got in the way and she went to the gate, then came back, then thought about what to do, then came back, then back jumped a jump where I got her moving again and we finished and Q’d!! It wasn’t a pretty run but it was very successful. She came back and didn’t react or get too stressed out. She looked stressed but then found me for leadership and we finished. She got HUGE praise at the end of the run!!
A friend of mine sells treats and toys during trials. She’s also the only one I know who gets raw freeze-dried tripe treats. It’s magic treats. I had already gotten a few bags of tripe before that last run so she got a few pieces of tripe after that.
I was so proud of her. She did so good and looked relatively relaxed. We won’t do another trial for about 2 months to work more on L2E and everything else. As Dr. Yin said, you want to keep them under threshold while you do L2E. Trials are the closest to threshold you can do and the most arousal you can do so it’s not optimal for L2E training.
So improvements: 2 months ago, she couldn’t wait outside the ring gates ready to get in the ring. I had to hold her or run to the gate when they called is. Yesterday she was happy doing our warm up exercises. 2 months ago she was more reactive walking by all the crates in small, close proximity. Yesterday, she was focused on me as we walked by. 2 months ago, she ran out of the ring (well into the chute at least) totally stressed out and not knowing what to do. Yesterday, she didn’t do that. She did her own course out of stress, but then the 2nd run she looked to me to guide her and didn’t react to her stress and we finished with good success!!! I’m so proud of all our hard work. Baby, corgi steps!!!
And today I found out the CT scan is definitely negative for a kidney stone. The doc goes off that more than the x-ray. So no stone. So what’s causing my pain? Not sure yet but doc said everything else on my CT was normal so that’s good news. I’ll find an internist this week and get checked out and have them review the CT film just to make sure they don’t see anything someone else missed. In the meantime the pain isn’t as bad. It hurt a little yesterday but overall was manageable.
Today I am thankful I can play agility with my reactive dog because we’re working so hard on our teamwork!
Gyspy’s ribbons CPE Level 1. 5/13/12 – One 2nd place for the run she made up on her own (because there were only 2 dogs in her category!!). And then there’s a Q ribbon, a 2nd place ribbon and a new title ribbon for her 2nd standard run and finishing her Level 1 Standard title. 🙂