We finished our private rally lessons and are back in a group OB class. Ringo has developed a serious preoccupation with other dogs. Our first class was a disaster, I will admit. It was outdoors and there were just so many smells and other dogs and CATS. Oh, the cats. They will be the death of us. We were pretty much off in our own little world, working at our own pace, away from the others. Lots of crying and impulsive lunging, which, he realized, doesn't earn him anything. At the end, we were able to do a focused heel around the cones with moving sits and downs but boy, I was sweating bullets the entire time.
Second class was SO much better. He realized we weren't there to play, but to work. We were able to participate in all of the exercises. He had some very nice long-distance sits and downs. I didn't put so much pressure on him, and gave him lots of breaks to sniff around. It's hard to figure out what motivates him, aside from food. He is very independent-minded, yet SO smart. It's a dangerous combination.
I remembered to jackpot when he thought about doing something, but made the right choice.
Today we had some extra practice around other dogs in a controlled setting. Taking turns staying on the wait table while the other dog ran through some agility equipment, and then vice versa. He wasn't very motivated - it was hot, he wasn't very hungry, and those darn cats were sulking about - but we were able to end on a good note. It's funny, because on leash he really wants to get to those cats, but off leash he leaves them alone - even runs away from them!
I was hoping to take the test for his CGC soon but he definitely needs more practice around other dogs. He's still a big crybaby, wanting to play and just being generally impulsive, but hopefully with time and maturity and exposure in these controlled settings he will settle down a bit.