09 May 2012
An exercise in patience.
When you have animals, it helps to be a very patient person.
I work with animals all day long. All day long, they try my patience. I was using power tools today, and that tried my patience. And a hammer. Using a hammer tries my patience. Ruby is deaf as a post these days. I use much patience. Take a deep breath, and apply my brain.
Gustavo doesn't want to try my patience, he is who he is. My sweetest little buddy. He has definitely been on the 1 step forward, 19 steps back plan lately. We had an agility class last night that was very old skool feral dog. Vintage mayhem of no listening. It's weird when that happens, behavior that I had thought was extinguished, and requires either extreme patience to work through or just quitting. I was patient. Gustavo wanted to eat meat and to do nothing else but eat meat.
I stayed patient, and found a tuggy and put in some liver crack and worked to get him engaged and tugging. Nancy's idea is that maybe he could learn that just tasting and smelling some meat through a tuggy could become reward enough when he goes into meat seeking missile mode. It did fix him enough to knock out a couple of killer runs. We will work on this, but unless I stay really patient, it's just going to be another patch. I think I have a very patched together dog, training-wise. I have tried a lot of things, and given up when I couldn't make them happen. So maybe in some ways I'm a quitter, and Gustavo's work ethic reflects this.
I am going to work to be even more patient, more patient that I even knew I could be, and see if it helps us move forward and get back the last 19 steps of backslide. That's what I'm going to do.
by team small dog at 5:32 AM