Katie and I went to our Rally class this afternoon. It’s 1/2 an hour of obedience and 1/2 an hour of working through a rally course the instructor has set up. Generally not too stressful.
We got there a bit early, and I put Katie in the honor spot on the course (the spot where in Advanced your dog sits or lays down while another dog does the course.) I told her to stay and I walked the course a couple of times. Then we did some figure 8’s with the instructor before class because that’s our hardest thing. We even did some heeling for her, and Katie was, as the instructor said, “GORGEOUS!”
So I had high hopes for the class today. Katie was so focused. We were about 15 minutes into the group class when the instructor called for us to do a 90 degree pivot to the right. Apparently Katie’s tail was lying behind me big feet, and as I stepped back I stepped on it. She screamed, I screamed and jumped, next thing I know she’s trying to jump into my arms.
I got her sort of calmed down and we continued in our heeling patterns with the group. Katie was “heeling” at the far end of her leash even with me encouraging her back to my side. When we stopped and she is supposed to sit..well…she sits at a 90 degree angle, looking up at me as if to say, “SEE? I’m keeping my tail as far away from your big fat feet as possible!” It was sort of amusing…but not really.
THEN we got over to the Rally ring and she basically wouldn’t get near me at all and refused to do most of the stuff. Stuff she knows and normally would do no problem. SIGH SIGH SIGH SIGH. Part of it was that it was HOT and by the time we got to the rally ring she was totally stressed out and so was I. We probably should have just gone home…but I tried to do the course.
Anyone with advice on how to get her over her fear, let me know. We have a lot of work to do now! Luckily (I guess) there’s no agility this week because they are doing an agility trial at another location and have to move all the equipment over there. I’m hoping to go see some of that…without Katie! LOL!
May 27, 2010 at 5:29 pm
Well, I’m no expert, but I would say…don’t panic. I know that’s easy for me to say and hard to apply when you’re in the middle of the situation. I don’t think I’d work on anything the rest of today. Just give you both time to calm down.
Then, I think what I would do if you’re worried that she won’t sit next to you, is test it in informal situations. Away from the context of “training”. For example, you might ask her to come in a sit next to your legs (and feet), while you’re sitting in a chair. If she does…big rewards and praise for sitting in heel position. If you’re successful, go onto standing and then from there, maybe one step in heel position, then two, etc.
I really think that things will probably be better though in a day or so. 🙂
Keep us posted.
May 27, 2010 at 5:33 pm
Thanks Marie. Tonight she’s just looking at me..though she DID bring me her favorite toy…
May 27, 2010 at 6:24 pm
Oh boy, what a bummer. I know Oreo can hold a grudge for what seems like FOREVER!
Keep doling out the treats, and I’m sure Katie will warm back up to you. Plus, use the toys to your advantage. I always find that Oreo responds best with toys/play.
I bet by tomorrow morning things will be better at home. But, you may need to be prepared with lots of treats when you go back to your rally class.
Keep us posted.
May 27, 2010 at 7:45 pm
Sara, I know…grudges for Katie last forever too. Though right now she’s sleeping at my feet, so maybe she’s getting better…I feel so BAD. One of the other students told me: “Mom, she’s over it…YOU have to get over it.” Course she doesn’t know Katie..and I knew darn well she wasn’t over it! 😦
May 28, 2010 at 6:33 am
Well, is Katie better today? Mom has stepped on my tail or feet a gazillion times and I always scream blood murder and then go on not hurt at all. The scream is just to make mom feel as bad as I possibly can – LOL! I hope Katie has let it go and doesn’t punish you forever about an accident!
May 28, 2010 at 6:33 am
It was probably more your reaction to her scream then really just stepping on the tail that has bothered her. If that happens again, make it a happy fun time. Using a fun happy voice.
I think the things Marie suggested are good. Diana
April 15, 2011 at 12:20 am
After Marie read my post from Magnus’ class tonight and kindly listened to me whine for our whole conversation she found this link for me and I just wanted to tell you THANKS!! This brought me a chuckle, just cause it’s exactly how I was feeling tonight. I can sympathize with you so much! From what I’m hearing though, most people have been there and their dogs survived and look how well Katie is doing now, so I guess there is hope. . . honestly it’s a good thing dogs keep loving us in spite of ourselves! Thanks for sharing this Dawn, it did me a lot of good tonight!