Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Treibball & Training Tuesday!

It's Treibball Tuesday! Phoenix had her 3rd Treibball class last night and I'm so happy. It went so much better than last week. I got there super early as usual to walk Phoenix around the neighborhood and so she could get a chance to play in the building before everyone else arrived. This is working out so well. Phoenix is starting to think going to work is fun. She even started pulling me towards the gate to get in. I don't really want her pulling so I didn't encourage it too much and I did work on it immediately as it was happening. 

I took this while we were on our walk before going into my work.

Last night before class, Phoenix met Adam who works at my work and she actually let him pet her. He is only the 3rd man she's ever let touch her. Vince (my husband), a Petco Worker and now Adam. She also did some of her tricks for him and got lots of snacks for being so brave. He's a really nice guy and I appreciate that he's so gentle and patient with my nervous dog.

After meeting Adam, Phoenix and I went into the play room (where all the classes are taught) to set up class and I played frisbee with Phoenix until it was time for me to actually work. She had a lot of fun and she was pretty happy the whole time.

The way Monday works is that I help with the first class then after that class is our Treibball class that we participate in. So Phoenix generally hangs out in the office during our first class. This week we got about half way through the class and Phoenix got to come out to do a quick demonstration on what a finished "heel" looks like. After her demo, I didn't really have time to stick her back in the office she I ended up sticking her in the lockout area, which is basically just a fenced in area that they have between the doors to the boarding area. I was pretty proud of Phoenix for how well behaved she was in the lockout. She couldn't see any dogs but she could definitely hear them all. She didn't whine or bark or anything. Every once in a while, I would drop treats down for her to reward her for being so good and quiet. 

Our Treibball class went really well. We are still learning the foundation for this game and I'm not allowing Phoenix to do any pushing of the ball. Right now we are learning how to get into position behind the ball and directions. We also did some nose targeting on the ball, too and we had the dogs learning to unroll a yoga mat because it helps teach the dogs to push things with their nose. Phoenix got to demo the yoga mat for the class and she did a great job. I'm proud of her for being able to do demos!

I'm starting to come down with a cold and I wasn't really feeling that well so we didn't participate a whole lot during class. We practiced the exercises a few times, then I worked on reactive dog stuff. We played a lot of "look at that" with the other dogs in class. Every time the other dogs moved, Phoenix got cream cheese for watching them and then looking back at me. She didn't freeze or fixate on any dogs at all during this class and I was really proud of her for how well she did. We even had one of the more enthusiastic dogs try to run over and say hi (he didn't make it, his mom called him back) and she handled that really well. It just goes to show you how much being trigger stacked really matters. 

Last week was a tough week, bad things happened and I set her up to fail. This week good things happened and we set her up to win. Having a bandanna on her that says "NO DOGS" has been very helpful, too. People see the bandanna and keep their dogs away. It also helps to remind me to set her up to be successful. 

I was really happy with last night's progress and I am excited to see what next week brings! 

Do you participate in any classes or sports with your dogs?


  1. That's great she is making so much progress. Bailie loves school too, but for some reason, at our first nose work class with a new instructor, she was scared to death. We figured out the next week it was a couple of the dogs in the class before ours that are big, loud Shepherds. After that class we started only bringing her in the building when the others were gone, lots of praise and reassurance and after about a month, she was fine again. Things really can change at the drop of a hat.

  2. I'm glad you're having a great week, well except for the cold.

    Have a fabulous day. Scritches to the girls. ☺

  3. What a good report Phoenix! You are being a bit more trusting of men and showing off your skills!

    Keep Calm & Bark On!

    Murphy & Stanley

  4. Thanks for the update! I'm glad that this week went so much better. And yay for Phoenix--doing polished heeling in front of new dogs and people is hard, and impossible if you're worried! You and Phoenix are rockstars--and I really want to teach Nala to unroll a yoga mat and to try Treiball. It seems really cool.

  5. Glad it went better than the last time! I really wish we had a place to learn Treibball here. I think Nola would love it.

  6. I love this update. It sounds like both of you are flourishing in your new classes!!! The "no dogs" bandana really is helpful - it saves you from managing every single dog that approaches.

    I looked up Treibball and it sounds really fun.

    BTW, I am very far behind due to work and our trip. I find myself repeatedly forgetting to make it down to the "Z's" in Feedly so I have been absent for too long. Sorry!

  7. I'm so glad you had a better week than last week. Dealing with a reactive dog is hard and it is easy to become discouraged. Hang in there, she's doing great and it's because of you and all your hard work.


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