One of our things to do at graduation was demonstrate our newfound skills. Out in the store. With people watching and everything.
Not being one to perform well under the microscope, I was a bit nervous, but Ella just always surprises me and does so well.
Of course, it was another retarded worry to have because, of course, Ella performed her sits, sit-stays, downs and down-stays perfectly. During her sit-stay, Kait saw I was moving about 6 feet from Ella and said, very quietly, “Can you drop the leash and move away from her?” Well, I hadn’t ever tried that, so I did, very casually drop the leash while reinforcing with “good girl” for maintaining the sit and moving further away. So far, so good.
Then, Kait had to up the ante again. “Can you walk behind there? Out of sight?” What the heck – might as well try, right?
I back away, turn and duck behind a column in the store and move around it, coming around into Ella’s line of sight again.
There she was – still sitting.
JACKPOT!!! Treats abound! Praise resonates from everyone!
I’m not sure that Ella understood what happened that first time, because when I tried the same thing again – she knew it was coming and moved towards me, breaking her sit-stay. Rut-row.
Because we always try to end each session with a success, I freed her up, played with her, did a few basic sit-stays and then attempted it again.
Success was ours on the third attempt and we ended on a high note, deciding not to press our luck again.
It’s a work in progress.