Well, I’m taking it easy this weekend. I have no dog sport competitions. I wanted to have today be dog-training free, but I ended up having a private lesson with Tatum and my obedience instructor. We took her to a local dog park and walked outside the fence to start to train her to pay more attention to me, instead of other dogs. Both for comfort and for training.
She got very stressed. Enough to come home and go after Angel.. which Tatum does when she’s stressed. But Tatum needs to learn how to be pushed a little bit, and that it won’t hurt her, she won’t die. She needs to learn to deal with pressure and then come back from it quickly, and preferably, with me. Currently when she gets stressed she will recover faster, and better, with the other dogs. And I want her to trust me so that she will recover with me.
I have read a ton of dog behavior books and they have helped me tremendously to understand dogs. Though I have more to read… but I’m kinda tired of them now, and just want the practical application. So me and Tatum get to work together on this. It will be a challenge, but I’m confident we can work through it.
An example of Tatum’s stress is.. this morning after breakfast the dogs played, like they always do. And Tatum was playing with a toy and I want to encourage this. Well, Chase is a toy hog so I put all the other dogs in the kitchen and take Tatum outside and play toy with her. Tug and chase and fun stuff. She ran around, ran by me, and hit me in the arm. It didn’t hurt me at all, but I don’t know how much it hurt her. She immediately shut down. Her tail dropped a notch, she did her nervous trot, and no longer wanted to play.
In order to bring her back to her happy self, I could have brought the other dogs out. But I want her to understand that she is not going to be hurt. She doesn’t have to be afraid, and she can trust me. I think this will come. And I’m willing to work through it.
It’s like having a child who was abused, or suffered some awful thing when younger. Tatum was abused as a puppy, and did suffer some awful things. Coming from a hoarder/collector who had 50 collies running amok, she has issues we need to work through and overcome. And she is smart and spunky and has already come so far, I know she can come even further!
Anyway… after that my husband went and saw a movie, Iron Man, it was good! And now I’m relaxing. Tomorrow I’m going to my parents for a late Mother’s Day, and then flyball practice. Then Monday is hectic with agility practice, getting my nails done, taking Lucy and Levi to the vet, and then going to see a tax guy. Whew. Then Memorial day weekend I have a 3 day agility trial.
Lucy will get re-xrayed to see if she has cancer, or calcification of the lungs. Let’s hope for calcification.
So this weekend isn’t is activity free as I would like, but hey, it’s nice to not do a dog sport!