Thursday, December 6, 2012

21 Weeks - Fears

We went to an agility trial in Tennessee last weekend and Maddie had some interesting fears pop up.  I knew she was not currently in love with stairs, but any work we do does not seem to carry over to the next flight we encounter. We seem to have to start over.
I was really surprised Maddie had issues with these as they are solid, each step is very wide, and they are not nearly as steep as the ones we had been practicing.  We practiced these stairs a lot and she would improve and handle them with no problems.  And then we would mostly start over the next day.
Maddie did not like these stairs either (above), but quickly got over it and maintained it the next day.
The other weird thing is that Maddie did not like walking between the rows of seats.  Her head was down and tail was tucked as she cautiously walked.  She improved much faster on the last day, but still kind of an oddity I was not expecting.
So with those issues, I set out to find all sorts of things for Maddie to walk between and to climb on.  I used her meals and treats to encourage her to try the new things along with practicing stairs and walking between the rows.
I made sure we crossed over things that I normally would walk around just to expose Maddie to different textures.
I will continue to expose Maddie to new things and try to create things at home that might challenge her.  Thank you for all of the offers of a kiddie pool.  We have one now thanks to one of our friends (thanks, Kim and Guy).
One thing that Maddie is great at is just chilling in her crate.  She is relaxed and quiet.  I still crate her next to Riley and put Seven somewhere else.  I probably always will unless Seven learns to chill out one of these days... but I doubt it.
At times, it was cold enough for Maddie to wear her fleece coat that our friend, Amy, made.  She was fairly grown up about wearing it, but eventually started to open up the front.  
And we started to play around with a flexi-lead.  As a rule, I hate them.  But from the puppy obedience seminar a couple of weeks ago, there seemed to be some useful ways to use them for training when you need a long line, but do not need something dragging or getting tangled.  I am not sold so far.  I think I still prefer a regular long line.
I am very happy with Miss Maddie's recalls.  They have been very sharp.  I need to set up some safe distractions (people and other dogs) to test her on.  She has become less anamored with other dogs.  She, of course, likes them and will usually play, but I notice her choosing me over other dogs now which I love.

Maddie spent this week at 38.5 pounds.  And here are some random photos for the week.