Friday, December 23, 2016

Blogmas Day 23 - Miley's Distraction Tree

Now it's Miley's turn!

Miley had a very different environment than Dominic did while working around the tree.  From the beginning of the video, you can see the sort of second story landing area that the kids on skateboards were dorking around on.  And as you can also see, the kids are all gone.  We didn't start working in front of the tree because there was a couple there taking pictures initially.

As with Dominic, since we were on better footing, it was safer to play with Miley.  And she definitely wanted to play!

I don't remember what she got initially distracted by when she started to bark, but I was able to get her back.  Her hand touches are really reliable and she enjoys doing them, so I will sometimes use that to help get her focus back on me and get her in a better frame of mind.  Once I've got that, I then try a bit of heeling and she's happy to get to it!

You can see where she is starting to show how ready she is to work when she swings around into heel position from the front.  I love this!  Undoubtedly she can tell that it makes me happy and I am more than happy to continue rewarding that behavior.

We then go into more heeling and I'm asking her to do some sitting now.  She's not a super fan of sitting on the cold pavement, but there are some venues that we will show in that have the rings on pavement during months when it definitely is a little chilly in the building.  Getting her more comfortable offering sits on surfaces that aren't perfectly ideal (excepting slick surfaces like most of those found in stores) is something that we do need to work on.

Once the couple taking pictures left, I readjusted where the camera was angled so as to get the tree in the shot. :) Since it's a slightly new area, I gave Miley a little bit of time to check things out.  After a quick sniff, she was ready to give me her attention again.  More heeling (have I mentioned how much I LOVE heeling with her?!) and then some checking out the Christmas tree.

In between bouts of working, there were odd noises and people that caught her attention.  Her distracted moments are when we've stopped working though.  We aren't in the middle of a heeling "pattern" when she suddenly checks out on a distraction.  THAT I'm happy with.  I don't use the leash to get her attention back.  I want her comfortable enough handling distractions to come back to me voluntarily and feel safe that I will watch out for her.  We're getting there. :)

Happy December 23rd!  And everyone have a wonderful Christmas!!

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