I am still brimming with pride after today. Cloud 9 is a beautiful place to be.
Now, I have to keep in mind, Dolce is not cured. Not by a long shot. He still gets upset by strange dogs, and will bark, growl, and lunge with the best of them. But we're so close...
Rick and I went to Summerfest in Fountain Valley, California this afternoon. They had a fantastic Disc 2 Dog demo/clinic. I have to say, that was by far my favorite event to be a spectator of. (It has also cured my curiosity for the breed of dog I'd like next, border collie or Aussie shepherd... Definitely border collie FTW! No question.) I got some great ideas for getting Dolce into frisbee, and it's totally on our agenda! Intelligent Agility had a course all set up, and allowed visitors to give it all a go, regardless of their training, for FREE.
So, FINALLY, Dolce had an intro to the obstacles of agility! We did some jumps (which were a piece of cake, especially for how low they were), conquered the tunnel with some coaxing via hotdogs, and climbed the A-Frame no problem! Erin (founder of Intelligent Agility) said Dolce's natural jumping style was very pretty, we were welcome in her classes as soon as we finished his rehab. :) I informed her that she hadn't seen the last of us. It's nice to know where we'll be taking classes and getting to know the wonderful trainer in advance.
The best part, there were hundreds of strange dogs of all shapes and sizes there for this event. He only had a few minor outbursts, nothing major, and in general, was easily redirected with chicken, treats, and especially hotdogs. He even had excellent, border collie-like focus on-course for our hotdogs, and ignored the dozens of human and canine spectators. He remembered all of his obedience commands, performed them immediately, and didn't go looking elsewhere for mischief. I couldn't be happier with his attitude for this kind of work.
Afterward, Dolce was even social with several of the guys who were part of the tear-down crew. He approached them, readily accepted pets, and only showed mild forms of apprehension when the men initially leaned down to pet him.
Sigh. He's so talented. I'm so excited. I'm impatient for this dog-reactivity thing to be history so we can get on with the fun stuff!