Sophie is getting really good at this and I’m happy to report that we made it all the way to the neighbor’s driveway today. That’s perhaps 100 feet from the end of my driveway. We didn’t have to do figure eights at all, but we did do two loops down to the neighbor’s driveway, back to mine, back to the neighbor’s, and then home.
At the very beginning I did have to lure her back into position as she’d gotten ahead of me, but that was only once. She’s now mostly at my leg and I can keep walking while I click and treat, at least going down the driveway. I lower the criteria while on the street. And coming back home, she tends to lag behind. I’m sure she doesn’t want the walk to end just yet! That’s okay; we’ll get there eventually.
While walking down the street to the neighbor’s driveway, Sophie was much more relaxed (there was nothing going on to distract her) and she was able to keep her attention on me much better. She would look away briefly, but then come back almost immediately. I am now clicking and treating for her head swinging back in my direction and not necessarily for her looking at me. But if she looks at me, all the better.
The session ended just right – I ran out of treats as we got back behind my own gate. 🙂
Afterward, we went out on the power line trail for about 45-60 minutes completely off leash. Sophie does, however, have her own paths that she follows out that and doesn’t always stay with me. She does always come back eventually. Obviously, I’ll have to make sure I have treats with me from now on even out on trail.
She gets several opportunities to go “swimming” in the creek on the this trail and she obviously loves it. “Swimming” is in quotes because the creek, even full of water, isn’t deep enough to really swim and it’s not wide enough either. But she’s definitely chest deep in the water.
All in all, a great day. 🙂