Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tiptoe Through the Gilda

Gilda is a funny dog. At Dog Daycare she is timid and is often seen giving odd signals of submission to the more dominant dogs. With Pico, she is a tormentor, rolling him over rocks, grass, and gravel with equal gusto. During hospital visits, she is friendly and interested in new people. At home, she guards the house as though she is a highly trained attack dog.

{Gilda cautiously explores
her new fenced area}

She is a tough dog to figure out and that's part of what I struggle with in Agility. It's hard to find the right tone of voice for fear of stressing her out. Sometimes I'm too excited, other times I'm too stern.
Today in class, I was too timid which is my normal response with her so as not to stress her out. Somehow though, even timidity can make dogs like Gilda nervous!
At one point after a short sequence, I asked Linda, "Okay. So how do we get her to do it with more speed?" Linda said, "You stop tiptoeing around and run it like you mean it". As usual, her advice worked like a charm! I ran the sequence with enthusiasm and Gilda followed suit!
Our progress may slow but it is steady... Gilda is happy and wags her tail at Linda during class and she is staying with me for an entire class even when the next class enters the building!! This is huge for our little team.