Teeter question is answered, but now I need a solution!

rue teeter refusal

For those who read my last trial report, you know that Rue refused both the dogwalk and the teeter in her last Standard run of the weekend.  At the time I was wondering if it was a specific teeter issue or if it was just a baby dog issue.  I’ve been doing my teeter at home for her breakfast this week and she’s been super drivey and really slamming the end down, so I wasn’t convinced that there was going to be a real problem.

Well, last night I brought her and Miles to a drop in class that we’ve been to before and lo and behold, she refused the teeter.  This was after running the first half of the course twice at a blazingly fast speed (I think her fastest yet), so she was certainly motivated.  However, when we ran the second half of the course she took one look at the teeter and quickly diverted to go “say hi” to the instructor and the rest of the students.  I got her back with me, she got on the teeter and then bailed off before the pivot.  So I got her back again, she refused, but then decided to get on and did the teeter slowly.  I immediately rewarded her with tugging and then sent her back to the tunnel to approach the teeter again.  This time she diverted to the instructor, but then fairly quickly came back to execute it with no problem and we went on to finish the course.  Unfortunately she must have still been stressed because she went around the middle jump of a serp.  We finished and I rewarded her and then took her back to try again.  Same thing the second time, but this time she just left and went into a major sniff fest in the sand.  It took what felt like eternity to get her re-engaged with me and then I just tugged and played with her before putting her back.

For our last turn in class we got to run the whole course.  I was a bit leery if she’d do the dogwalk at all, but she did and had a beautiful performance!  I rewarded her after the weaves and then it was just a few obstacles to the teeter.  Again she refused, but this time it was less dramatic.  She only went close to the instructor and wagged for a second before coming back to me and doing the teeter.  Again I rewarded the teeter alone and then sent her back into the tunnel, over the teeter and this time we completed the course including the serp!

After class I put her back on it a few times using a food reward and jackpotted the drivier attempts.  I think she left feeling good about the obstacle, but I’m certainly concerned about this weekend.  I’m going to try to squeeze in as many other teeter opportunities that I can before we head out of town, but with all of the rain we’re getting that might not happen 😦

So I am going to be visualizing a lot of  fast drivey teeters this weekend at the trial!  Hopefully that and what she worked through last night will be the end of it, but if not I have a plan.  Obviously, I don’t care about the Q at this point with her so if she’s at all skeptical about the teeter, but decides to perform it, we’re leaving for a major party!!  I will not have another teeter phobic dog 😉

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