Lexi has had a teeter issue for several trials now. Sometimes she does it, sometimes she doesn't. She's had this issue since as far back as I can remember. We've retrained the teeter probably 3 times (basically just starting over and rebuilding confidence) and we're still not progressing. It seems like 1 step forward 2 steps back.
It's clearly a confidence issue. She knows the end criteria and I don't even remember EVER having to correct her for coming off the teeter, or flying off, or somehow or other not making her criteria (which is 4-on). But, when a teeter doesn't do what she expects (typically it's when she finds a really heavy teeter that doesn't drop when she immediately gets to the end, or even vice versa), she freaks out and avoids it for the next who knows how long.
We've been teaching her the teeter using Wendy Pape's method (breaking it down into its components, bang, height, position, release, etc...) I'm not sure if that was a contributing factor or not because the issue didn't show up until she was spooked for a reason, or even no reason.
I think I knew all along what needed to be done, but it doesn't sound like much fun. Stuart confirmed my suspicions, and we were off to teeter boot camp. We borrowed a teeter from a friend and it now resides in our living room (oh if my non-dog friends could see me now!) and Lexi is going to learn to get into position at different tipping points using weights.
I thought it would be easy. But on the first attempt, she was weirded out by equipment in the house, and we had to start with just the bang and getting into position just on the down side. Well, we moved on past that pretty quickly (I should also note it is not at full height) and went on to doing the whole thing. When we originally retrained Stuart told us to not encourage her, but to allow her to find the tipping point on her own. That is VERY hard to do as she'll go halfway up, decide it's not doing what she wants, and come back and get into position on the side that's already on the ground. I'm trying not to lure her as I want her to think about it, but I keep thinking that if I lure her, maybe she'll realize it's not so scary.
She did it fine last night, and so this morning I decided to up the criteria and sometimes hold the teeter so she would have to run to the end before it moved. SETBACK! After I did that once, she didn't want to do it again. I resorted to luring, and she still wasn't interested. If my girl isn't interested in squeeze cheese, then I know I've pushed her too far (bad mom!) so we took a break and did something fun for cheese. When Jonathan gets home we're going to have to lower the teeter even more and work on going to the end.
I guess I'm just not sure how to fix this if she's going to get worried every time she gets to the end and it doesn't move and we have to start over...any advice?
|Inconspicuous, isn't it? :)|