Tonight at training class, I had an interesting experience.
We were practicing 'sit-stays' using one entire aisle. My boyfriend held Rocky's leash loosely and I was supposed to say "Sit. STay" then backpedal all the way to the end of the aisle. Once I reached the end, I was supposed to walk back to Rocky. If he got out of his sit, I stopped coming towards him. I was supposed to do this until I reached him, at which point I clicked and treated.
Well, in theory this sounded easy. Once we got out there, when I backed away from Rocky he went crazy and pulled on the leash, crying and whining and managed to knock over every shampoo bottle
off the first, second, and third shelf. After twenty minutes of this, our trainer said "Wait a second, I know a secret way to make him do it."
He got a head collar and told us that it would work perfectly.
I confidently said "SIT. STAY" then Rocky did the whole thing perfectly.
Did not break his sit ONCE. We did it three times successfully.
I told my trainer "Wow. That is a miracle worker"
He told me "I tricked you. The head collar did nothing. I didn't even attach his leash to it or tighten it. I just made you think it would work. When you spoke to Rocky, you spoke with confidence and "knew" he would do it. So he did."
We went to the track after class (the dreaded
track) and Rocky did every command. Perfectly. He did not bark at one person. All because I believed in him and wasn't so tense and wishy-washy with my commands.