One of my goals in today's 3 hour workshop was to get back into my self-compassion and calm state when I run Mickey. I thought about setting myself up right and getting back into t his practice. Unfortunately, I fell back into bad habits. To understand what I am trying to achieve with self compassion and getting to the calm, read my previous blog on "Getting the Right Focus".
The first run was a container search. I did collect myself and had it going right. We did good. Not perfect, but good. The exercise was designed to see how we can read a dog when they are sniffing distractors and odor. I did learn I need to be a little more patient before I call. I am calling too soon. Although normally I need to call it quickly. I think with my decreased vision, I need to call it later. This is just something Mickey is just going to have to learn during this time.
My second try with the distraction, odor in containers, I went into my panic mode. I didn't start off well, I just brazenly started. I didn't set myself up, I didn't get my head right or let Mickey look at the search area and think. And it showed to be frantic at the end. Mickey was bopping on things and getting a little confused a bit, bopping on distractors. Wanting to get paid, but bopping on anything. This behavior is common when I frantic, he turns frantic. A reality that I need to work much harder of getting my mental state together.
My confidence is shot with my less vision. It is harder to read, and I need more information, thus I wait longer. Just what Mickey and I have to deal with right now.
The next exercise were about 6 maybe 8 odors on chairs that were in a circular pattern. Simulates a vehicle. We started out using our non-dominant food hand. and leash in the hand we normally do not have the leash. This was awkward. My left hand had a hard time trying to get into the bait pouch. Then treat deliver was not that smooth. Being blind in my right eye, when I was working on that side, ti was difficult. We went counter clock-wise, then clock-wise. Then when we went around we did it in the hand we normally treat and hold the leash. Wow, this was much better. It is good to be put out of our comfort zone. This is what helps with practice and thinking on your feet when you trial.
Then we went outside and with a row of chairs on a wall, odor was placed on every chair. Went through, then back, then the last run, the last one we did not treat right away. Wanting to get that 'Hey pay me look". Mickey stayed by his odor.
Whew, I was tired at the end. Mickey's hinds are getting weaker. The race to get his Elite title.