We had a very nice and fun morning walk last Thursday. The weather was perfect: about 12 degrees and a bit foggy. We practiced our new skills on our way to the forest. Una is making good progress, offering contact when she sees someone. When we walk, I click for any kind of contact where Una is on my side. If I want eye contact, I stop and wait for that.
In the forest, I wanted to try something I have thought about. Una is very calm. I have thought that she could learn to wait calmly for a short while, tied on a tree while I prepare a track for her. I gave it a try: tied Una’s leash to a tree and clicked her for standing calmly for a few times, standing right next to her. Then went a few steps further, and did the same. And a few more steps, and so forth. Una remained very calm, so I decided to make her a short track. She waited very nicely, sitting and alert but calm! And she got her reward: a track with a small pile of her kibble in the end. She tracked very nicely, eating maybe half of the kibble in my footsteps. I think she has gotten the idea of tracking now, since she goes only forward now, not trying to find kibble behind her.
Since Thursday, we have done the same every time we go into the forest. Una waits patiently and tracks nicely, every time 🙂 Now she knows what to expect when I go to her and untie her. She pulls in her leash, nose close to the ground: where is my track, let me go find it! All the tracks have been very fresh. At some point I will start running a track on my way home from work, and let Una track it on our evening walk.