Wasn't sure where to put this since Leia isn't exactly a sport dog or a personal protection dog, but I am just so happy and so proud of my girl that I want to share it somewhere!
It's been almost a year now since Leia was first evaluated for doing bitework. She failed her instinct test, and since that point we've been working with her mostly in defense drive. She looks like she's out of control when we work with the helper, but the truth is that she is trustworthy in public situations. She is friendly to strangers, tolerant of children, ignores most other dogs. If people saw her working, or if they see her in a kennel or in my car, they wouldn't believe it. She will defend me and my other dogs, my car. I have no doubt in my mind. If they have my okay, she's cool. If they attempt to approach without an okay, she is not cool.
We have been trying to work on bringing her prey drive up to balance her out, getting her to calm down between bites. She has been doing pretty good, granted Miss Thing knows that if she's quiet for a few moments she gets to bite again, so she often tries to jump the gun if we are trying to give her a breather. But she totally took us by surprise not this past saturday but the one before (when I had no friend with a camera).
The first bite, when the sleeve was dropped, she kept a hold of it and started to shake it. She's never really done that. She may act like she is going to grab it when its down or give it one good bite, but it's never really something that she has tried to keep. The last bite that day, she actually held it by the very end for four strides before she dropped it. The helper and I were both super excited. It's a giant jump forward for her!
I am so insanely proud of my girl.
This past saturday, the 10th, she was at it again. She was holding the sleeve for a small touch longer every time, and not as willing to just drop it and jump over it. However, she somehow kind of figured out how to bark with it in her mouth... No idea how that is possible. She usually growls once she has the bite, but the barking was a new thing lol.
This next time that we go out, the decoy planned to bring out the baton. He can touch her with his hand now without her letting go, so he thinks we are ready to move a little more forward. ^^ I trust his judgment on that one.
And I have two different examples here of what she used to do and what she did this last weekend to show you guys. She can't be worked on a harness any longer since she literally hurt herself one day, but I leave a harness on so I have more areas to grab to try and keep control lol. My roommate fancied up the first video, which was back last July before she had to take 4 months off, and the other is from this past saturday.
I don't mind comments about me and my girl. She isn't a sport dog and I do promise she isn't as out of control as she seems. The helper and I were actually laughing about that the other day, since he knows she's not anything like this outside of the field. It's what makes it easy to have a bratty teenage dog is that my older kids are very well mannered and stay close.
Leia was almost five in the first video and she'll be six this coming year. I've had her since she was 3.5 years old.
Bitework July 2013
Bitework May 2014