Last night was our first Advanced Life Skills class in two weeks (thanks to Easter). I openly admit for some reason I was really nervous going to class last night. I kept having visions in my mind of Kobi reverting and going right back to being a barking and distracted nightmare. I took him for a run around two blocks before leaving for class to try to calm myself and him down. I'm not sure if that did the trick or what but last night was amazing!!
We walked into the building last night while the basic life skills class was still going on and Kobi was silent! He was calm and laid down on his bed right away and I started just trying to relax with him and start practicing some TTouches with him. Once the dogs for our class started coming in he did have a barking fit but with the advice of the trainer we moved him into a different area of the building where he can't see the dogs coming in. She also recommended trying to turn his barking fits into a game. When he's about to bark shove a treat in his nose then toss it aside and tell him to "go find it" getting him to break his focus. This seemed to settle him down.
Once everyone was in we moved back to our area and started working.
We worked on lots of stuff last night. We did a lot of stay work getting progressively harder. We did stays where the trainer walked around with a stroller, stays where we had to leave and be out of sight, stays where we played with toys and tossed them around, stays where we had to sprint away from out dogs, stays where we tossed food in their face. Kobi aced all of them, and only broke his stay once during all the exercises.
We also did some loose leash walking, Kobi was a little distracted but did pretty well, we did loose leash downs while walking, we've been slack on practicing these so he wasn't as good at them as he normally is.
We also did some recall games by tossing food out then getting them to come to us, Kobi was a pro! He never missed a cue once and came bounding to me every time! We worked on getting them to stay moving at least 10 feet away and psyching them out but using words that sounds similar to their release, come and name commands. I like to say Release as my release cue so I was yelling out words like Rummage, Red, Read, Recoil. He did break once but then was perfect for every other cue, even remaining in his stay once getting his Release command and waiting for me to ask him to come.
We worked on getting them to sit or stand from strange positions, standing on one foot, hoping up and down, sitting, lying down. Kobi preformed every command.
Kobi is happy when he's working, he likes to move, he's very uncomfortable when he has to stay still and that's what we're working on. Making staying still and quiet a happy and confident thing. We're also hoping starting him in agility next month will help settle him down as well, giving him focused work may be exactly what he needs right now.