I think Maulkin’s finally hit his “adult dog” developmental stage. He’s been showing more confidence lately (especially with other dogs and strangers!), which is absolutely fantastic, but he’s also been much less compliant with my requests. Mostly he’s just been breaking his stays, but yesterday he also refused two recalls in the training hall.* For safety and training, that means he’s back on leash unless we’re inside the apartment. I’ve been meaning to go back to basics and reteach some foundation work, anyway, so now I have no excuses to put it off.
We have another CARO trial at the end of next month, but I’m not sure if Maulkin will be ready to participate. We’ve been taking the Fenzi Academy foundation heeling class, and our heeling seemed to be improving until just recently when it all fell apart. I’m sure it’s just that Maulkin is showing much more interest in the environment than he did even a month ago, but I don’t want to bring him into a situation he’s likely to fail. Anyway, there’s about six weeks before I have to decide, so we’ll see how Maulkin’s remedial training goes.
*Not like didn’t hear or didn’t understand. He had his back to me and was sitting watching our co-op student, I recalled him (once with his name and casual recall cue, and one with his super-reinforcing recall cue), and his ears pulled back in recognition but he stayed put. Our co-op student gives out cookies, pets, and toys very liberally; so Maulkin finds her really reinforcing. She’ll be a great distraction and reward to work around.