Monday, December 28, 2009

Distractions and Focus

We enjoyed a great weekend. Had wonderful visits with all of my kids and Coco got a chance to meet my son's Chihuahua. At first he was pretty scared of Coco. Before the kids came over I made sure all of Coco's bones and toys were in my room and closed the door. And in the beginning the water and the food bowls were in the kitchen sink.

Coco gave very little eye contact to the 2 year old pup. She let him run around wherever he wanted without bothering him. Every now and then he would dart around and she would make herself small by bowing and greeting him. By the end of day two they had smelled each other, played, napped and were totally relaxed with each other in the room. And the water bowl was down on the floor. We fed them separately in the morning.

At one point I was talking with the kids about how Coco was coming along in her training. And how she had finally gone from a down stay to a sit stay, which had been quite a breakthrough. So I gave the kids a demonstration and with the Chihuahua free to run around I put Coco at a heel. Then I put her on sit stays, down stays from across the room and back up to a sit stay. The pup was running around her. Smelling her legs. And her eyes never left mine. While she was at a down stay I left the room and she kept her focus on where I went. Talk about distractions and focus!!

I could never have imagined how far both of us have come in our training. We are getting ready for her AKC Good Citizen tests. So I was tremendously encouraged at seeing how welcoming Coco was with the pup and to have the kids see how amazingly Coco is doing with keeping her focus no matter what the distractions are around her.

All that being said, when it is around 11:30 Coco tells me its time to go to bed. She gets her favorite bone of the day and comes over to me and looks at me in the eye and squeaks a little bit and then starts to walk into the other room. If I don't come she will do this again. I get such a kick out of it that I listen and it has become our little ritual. If I don't want to go to bed I'll tell her I'm not going to bed, you go on ahead, and she does. No problem. But with the heathen in the house she was quite sure she couldn't sleep unless I was safe and sound with her in the other room. It was hysterical. She stood up with her paws on the arm of the chair, something she had never done before. And did this several times until it was clear, it was bedtime. The kids and I talked about it because her focus on my face and getting my attention and the cute way she put her head when I asked her if it was time to go to bed. And they said she probably didn't trust leaving me with that rowdy pup on the loose.

Later when we did go to bed she was quite content to be in our room where it was peaceful and quiet. The cool thing was that I put her on a down stay and left the room for a few minutes and when I came back she was still on her stay. This is so fantastic.

We had lots of snow and warmth and love this last weekend. I'm so grateful.

No comments:

Post a Comment