Gracie is most definitely an adolescent dog. And like most adolescents, she has been working very hard at driving me crazy lately. Her favorite game is: “Don’t know that cue. Never learned that cue. No idea what you’re asking.” These are cues, of course, that she’s known for almost a year.
Gracie was, for so long, a little super star in her classes. She learned things very quickly and executed moves beautifully. But apparently she’s tired of being one of the smartest dogs in the room, and is working really hard on being the slowest in the class now.
A few weeks ago, it was “come” that she no longer recognized. If I put her in a stay and then asked her to come, she stayed….and stayed. Looked at me like she’d never heard the word “come” in her life, and certainly didn’t know what was being asked of her. How could she?
Last week, it was “sit” that fell by the wayside. She didn’t recognize the word or the hand signal. Nope, never been taught that. Don’t know what you’re talking about.
This week it is “down” that has been erased from the memory banks. “Sit” has magically reappeared.
Last evening at class, she decided to be completely crazy and disruptive – not horrible, but definitely noticeable. Our instructor (who has been her instructor for several classes) said she’d never seen Gracie act like this. She wouldn’t do a sit outside the door to practice coming through properly, because it was damp outside. So we had to do the exercise sitting inside and going out. Such a little diva. She was barking – her demanding bark – for bones and toys she wanted, and I had to take her to the the bathroom – our time out area — for many quick trips. We take barking dogs there for a minute until they stop barking, and then back to class. The dogs usually get the idea.
Hopefully she’ll do a full backup and get all the data back in her brain before the test in two weeks, but who knows?! The one thing she did well last night – not to dis her completely – was a very difficult exercise that she’d never done in class before, so a little extra credit for that. The exercise involves having her sit next to our instructor in a sit-stay, and then I walk 15 feet away and face her. The instructor lowers a treat (low value one for now!) to her nose, and then I call her to come to me. She’s failed that one three weeks in a row, but she did it perfectly last evening.
She’s an adolescent, like I said. Fabulous one minute, off in the ozone the next. We’re off to do some therapy visits in half an hour. Sure hope she’s in the fabulous zone and not the ozone for those!!
P.S. She did fine at the therapy visit. Sat on laps and next to laps and let everyone love on her. Thank you, Gracie, and PHEW!