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The expected and the unexpected

This weekend, Lilly added a new caveat to her pantheon of peccadilloes. The rule – she won’t run agility at the training field unless no one else is there – morphed into she won’t run agility unless no one is there when we arrive AND the entire time we’re there. I thought if we just waited until everyone left she would be fine. I was wrong.

She watched the final two dogs leave. I even walked her around the field on leash to prove we were alone, but it did not matter. There were dogs there when we arrived, and she refused to work.

As you can see from this photo, her body and face seem relaxed. Her ears are up. Her head is up. When I looked closely, however, I could see that she was shaking a little sometimes. Like shivering, through her smiles.

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It could have been worse. She could have reacted badly to the dogs. Instead, she just retreated. She even stayed calm with another dog came over to hang out and share her shade. He was laying right there with her, playing with his rubber chicken, and she was totally fine.

Maybe this had something to do with it.

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Champion of My Heart - November 4, 2009

Agility Fears Revisited

While we’re revisiting our behavior modification and training plan for Lilly, it seems like a good time to revisit some of what got us here in terms of our long absence from formal agility training — group, private, or otherwise. I made many mistakes because I didn’t fully understand how fearful Lilly was and how many things contributed to her negative reaction to an agility course (and the monsters she thinks live there). …

Champion of My Heart - November 3, 2009

Agility Fears Revisited

While we’re revisiting our behavior modification and training plan for Lilly, it seems like a good time to revisit some of what got us here in terms of our long absence from formal agility training — group, private, or otherwise. I made many mistakes because I didn’t fully understand how fearful Lilly was and how many things contributed to her negative reaction to an agility course (and the monsters she thinks live there). In response to Friday’s Training Update, Sam from over at MargeBlog asked: BTW, I know Lilly is too scared still to even do private agilitylessons. Why is …

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