Friday, August 20, 2010

Training Challenge #3

We have a trial this weekend so I am going to go ahead and post about this week's training challenge today. It was a doozy!

Facing my car chasing mania is probably the hardest challenge we have and mom hates to work on it and prefers to live in our little bubble world where we go only to places far from moving vehicles. But when mom envisioned having a dog, she assumed she would be able to walk anywhere with her dog. Then she got me and realized it wouldn't be that easy.

So in the spirit of the training challenge, she took me out to a nearby park that we go to from time to time but we always stay on paths on the interior and well away from the neighborhood streets (which are surprisingly busy - cars at least every 30 seconds and often in clumps). We got out of our car and walked towards the street. We took the path all the way to the sidewalk. So far, so good - I sat and watched a little:

This was the path that lead to my street-side spot:

Then we walked on the sidewalk along the street. Mom had me do my usual sit where I can quietly watch as the car goes by then I reorient to her and look at her and get a treat.

I was doing pretty well so mom upped the ante and decided to see if I could keep walking when a car went by (since there were so many) and then as I was walking, look up to her and then get my treat. Well, I lost it! I quickly escalated over my threshold and spun and barked like a lunatic! Mom had me sit and then moved me farther from the road. I did calm down quite a bit but was not able to keep from wanting to pull ahead. Mom felt really bad that she had pushed me too far but she wanted to know what would happen. Even when we got farther from the road, I was still on the alert:

My tongue was hanging out and I was tired from the mental work-out:

We took a break and ran together in the grass a little and played some games. I started taking treats again (I would barely take one when I flipped out). We casually strolled around and got our act together and then mom headed down a path towards the street again. In the end, we had to stay about this far away:

I was super tired when we got back to our car. Mom was super discouraged and mad at herself for putting me through all that. But we know I will never learn that I can walk quietly while cars pass by if we never work on it. We need to try again and the next time make it a shorter trip and keep me below my threshold and try to end on a good note and build on that. I have gotten much better about watching cars pass by when I walk in my own neighborhood so we think I am capable of doing it! Getting out there to confront this problem is way out of our comfort zone and we thank all of you fellow training challengers for motivating us to do it!

Looking forward to hearing what everyone else did this week! Wish me luck at my trial - it's at the soccer venue very close to my house - the one where people play basketball right next to the rings. Our goals for this weekend - run happy and connected (and do the chute)!

Gotta zoom!



Sara said...

You did a great job challenging yourselves this week! That was tough work. Tell your mom not to be too discouraged. Some days always go better than others, and it seems like you ended on a good note to me. You went back to a place where Ricky could still be successful.

Ricky looks handsome in those photos :)

Good luck at your trial. Don't worry to much about the chute, if it happens great, if it doesn't, maybe next time.

Sagira said...

Sounds like your mom did a great job with you this week. Hopefully one day you will see that cars are not really that bad. :)

See ya tomorrow...

Priscilla said...

Hi Chris

Knowing that Eva would continually have this problem, we decided it was best to face it ourselves too.
You see, we've protected her so much we felt that she had to learn how to live for herself too. I think sometimes we humans can be over protective of our dogs.

Ricky did a good job. We know it's not easy. It'll take going to the park many many times but in the end, it'll be worth it!
Good luck to both of you :)

Diana said...

I hope you have fun this weekend. We look forward to hearing about it. Keeping my fingers crossed for the chute. But dont feel bad if it doesnt happen.
I dont think Ill ever get Miley to stop wanting to chase cars. We make progress and then everything falls apart again. ugh! Good challenge. Diana

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Happy AND khonnekhted!


We wish woo lukhk this weekend!

Khyra and Khousin Merdie

Dawn said...

I don't think you can work on something this hard without testing the limits. If we always make it so our dogs never respond negatively then we probably aren't working on anything. We have to have the bad times to fix them. You did end on a positive note when you played. Yes it might have been a bit too long and too stressful (for mom of course!) but she figured out where your limits were and now she can work on advancing those limits!

Good luck at the trial. For sure have fun! We can't wait to read all about it!

Marie said...

It's so hard to get yourself out there and working on something that hasn't gone really well in the past. It's like you not only have the training challenge itself to deal have your own negative thoughts and feelings to overcome with it.

I think you deserve extra credit for taking on something that has been so hard for you.