(it took courage to write this so be gentle.
recent discussions make me a little gun-shy about sharing my journey but we all start somewhere.)
We have been working on tracking and obedience since we started training in late March.
For tracking, she has good and OK days. I wouldn't say she has had a bad track, cos she always finishes it. She is great with the turns; didn't think she could figure that on her own. She doesn't turn back, but if her nose swings out & can't find the track, she lifts her head and looks bored. My trainer is coaching me when to guide her back before she gets to that point. I had a problem with nannying her too much when her nose swung out instead of letting her figure it out, so I was trying to correct that only to be corrected again. Also, my tension on her lead is very uneven. I either have it loose (which makes her rush ahead so she isn't swinging her head enough) or I am pulling her back instead of remaining static (which makes her to throw her head up). It is a lot of handler errors, frustrating for me because when the trainer took over a couple of times, she did so much better.
[we don't track on our own. we track 1 - 2x a week w/ the group. we have tracked in dry, tilled dirt so far, and lately the fields have been quite hard & clumpy. i was told grass would actually be easier, so waiting for that opportunity.]
Obedience is fun. We are working on focus, both at home & on the field. At home, we do it in front of the mirror. We are working up to 30 secs. On the field, another member acts as my mirror - he clicks, I reward. Today she had to hold for 2 long seconds before the reward.
For protection... well, when he said, "OK go bring out your dog" I thought he was talking to another member.
He harnessed her to the tree, brought out the puppy sleeve and whip. I won't bore you with details, but we all
thought she would back down when he started shuffling towards her, making hissy sounds, raising and cracking the whip. My dog has never been exposed to that sort of behaviour before. She just looked more mad, to my inexperienced eyes. She kept barking, pulling, and lunging to the point where she would twist her body in the air.
It was unnerving. The trainer was in her face, with her hanging onto the sleeve and cracking that whip right next to her. Then I was instructed to stand next to her, encourage her as he approached and then, kick out the sleeve to start the game all over again.
On the last bite (another member held the leash to the harness, I was holding the one to her collar) I had to move with her while she hung on to the sleeve. Then when the trainer let go the sleeve, I had to jog a wide circle w/ her (can't remember the term) and put her back to the car. She jumped into the car with that sleeve! I didn't think she would hang on to that thing. She had never seen a puppy sleeve before, and I thought she would dislike the jute texture.
She surprised me a lot today; she surprised everyone... my little 6 y/o Showline female. Well 3/4 show, 1/4 working but I don't know if that even counts as a Working German Showline that I see in some discussions. She gets teased w/ her butt fluff & pretty colours by others all the time - in good fun - but she is definitely earning a dear spot in everyone's hearts.
I like the people I train with. They are very encouraging and helpful. We will continue under the guidance of our TD and see where that takes us after our BH. I don't want to push her too hard, but a tracking title would be nice.