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One Treat at a Time

At obedience class last night, I learned something very important. It's not HOW you give the treat, it's the actual TREAT YOU GIVE.

I'd been frustrated with Zada's lack of focus lately - ever since returning from vacation, I'd noticed that she was not paying attention to me very well. Our first class back from our hiatus was horrible - she was the worst dog in class!

Well, last night we got off to a rocky start, the instructor could make her do anything and she wouldn't even LOOK at me! I was beginning to think I had somehow ruined my dog. Then, the trainer gave me a handful of her treats - mini, cheddar Goldfish.

Instant focus. I mean, Zada was an entirely different dog. All of a sudden, she was the teacher's "pet" again - she was used as the demo dog throughout the class because she was doing every exercise beautifully. It was great.

Definitely MUCH easier and a lot less frustration to get your dog to do what you want when there is a high motivator. Granted, at some point we'll be weaning the dogs off the treats, but for right now, she's doing everything and is quick and enthusiastic about it. I guess it's going to be Goldfish from now on - until she gets sick of them, that is. (Another couple in class buys freeze-dried liver treats for their bulldog and they gave me some - another VERY good treat that she likes.)

On to other topics - my tan is fading. Alas, no one cares but me, but it's still disheartening to think that a couple weeks ago, at this time I was probably sitting on the balcony sipping coffee and watching people walk/run on the beach while listening to the waves. *Sigh*

Speaking of waves, here's my cousin, Drea, taking a break from shell-hunting to check them out:

Hasta la later - - -