Well, I just studied for the last six hours, so I think I can fool around a little now.
Last night I took Violet to agility class for the first time after an eight or nine month hiatus.
When I adopted her, I immediately started working her on wobble boards and tippy boards, and shaping a lot of agility-specific behaviors: contacts, targeting, wrapping the jump poles. I really wanted her to be a great agility dog. We worked hard a few times a week for most of 2010, had made pretty good progress, but we got to a point where I wanted more, and I was really stressing her out. She is * super* soft, and if I lost my patience she would run into her crate and hide. Which of course, made me even more frustrated. It is one of those times when you are quite literally your own worst enemy. You know you should relax, but you just CAN’T. It was a cycle of despair. So I stopped, before she really started to hate the whole game.
So I took a break, and poured all that perfectionism into obedience, which went great and we’ve had a lot of fun doing that.
Last night went really well, she was very happy to be there, and whined with excitement when we pulled into the training barn parking lot. She knew where she was! She was really happy and fast, and seemed to remember everything we worked on last year. I was really proud of her.
Now I just have to learn to keep my happy face on, no matter what. Good Girl, Violet!