Today we went to our favorite dog supply shop to buy some things and take Rocket out into the world. I had spent all week being in no-dog zones with her, working on her games, and really getting her ready, so I thought we might be ready to try a place with a couple dogs around.
It went okay, but then again, it was not a good day for me. Rocket never went over threshold into full blown reaction, but she was chomping down on her treats like jaws to the point where it got painful and we had to work on just that, and things in general just weren't working. I get so focused on her body language and where she is at, I just know when she is just barely riding the line between okay and reactive. It was a rough, rough trip, and we cut it short and got the heck out of dodge.
I knew I made mistakes, which frustrates me. I should not have taken her there, which also frustrates me. I think I had confidence because our trainer was able to take her so many places. We spent so much work on focus and I felt like I had set everything up correctly, but it just didn't work out.
Working with a reactive dog is an emotional roller coaster. Some days are good, and some are bad. Its frustrating and it hurts to see the dog that you originally had big plans for unable to simply leave the house. It is extremely frustrating to just not have the skill level as a trainer to handle such an advanced dog.
We will dial back the criteria and try again, in a better situation.