Thursday, March 4, 2010

Not What I Hoped

Kona failed her CGC test. She snapped at someone. Through all the scary things that have come her way, she's never snapped at anyone.

She was more stressed than usual from the get-go. We had a 20 minute time slot and were there without any other dogs. The dogs in class really help her.

I'm sad that I let her be pushed to that point. I wish it hadn't happened, but will take the reality check of what it means to be responsible for a fearful dog. I'm sorry, Kona Girl.

I'm going to take a break for a day or so from working with her.


Sam said...

Though I haven't blogged about it because of how upset I've been over it and how much I just want to move on from it, one of my recent stressors has been a similar reality check. Though it was "provoked" because someone tried to pet and kiss Marge while she slept, Marge had some human-aimed snark of her own lately. I contend that, like in your case, it was a fearful reaction, because she typically doesn't guard her sleeping area and I think that she felt threatened.

Just think of it this way - Kona had enough self control to not actually do anything, she just simply wanted to get her point across. That, I think, says something about her temperament.

I think you should definitely continue classes and maybe just skip the exercises where people have to pet her for a while. Maybe try a class that's less centered on her interacting with people directly. Rally, for example, might be a good choice.

It will be okay. I'm so sorry this happened, and can DEFINITELY empathize with you as I've shed some tears myself over our recent little bump in the road.

Sara said...

I'm so sorry. You must have have a tough ride home.

However, if Kona wanted to "bite", she would have. Clearly, she was just sending a warning signal that she was not comfortable, for whatever reason. Dogs snap at each other all the time. It is one of their ways of communicating with each other.

Oreo had his own freaky moment at the vet yesterday. He has been fine there the past few weeks. I couldn't get him to calm at all. He was in "flight" mode. Not sure what he would have done if the person, a young child in a cat costume of all things, who was scaring him had come close. He's never snapped at anyone, but I don't know for sure that he wouldn't.

Living with a fearful dog is a continous learning process. Don't be too discouraged.

Priscilla said...

I'm sorry to hear that. Please don't feel down. I'm sure that KOna has gone a long way and maybe she was just too stressed about it. You can always retake the test.

Kathy said...

You know with all the work you have done you have still progressed and Kona has been doing marvelous. It is not the CGC or her even just being able to pass the test I imagine that you would value the most, those things would be cool because it would be tangible evidence that she was doing so much better, but you know she has made so much progress and not getting a title can not take that away. It has to be frustrating that she got pushed a little past her limit, but with all your work/her work she snapped to warn and did not bite...and we always walk that fine line pushing a little bit to get progress, and hopefully not pushing too much, but no one is perfect and so I hope just keep plugging along and know how great you have done even if she is not all the way there yet, and maybe she will earn her CGC and maybe she wont be, but you sound like you have done an excellent job helping her to feel more comfortable and still enjoying the journey along the way. As long as you keep putting one foot in front of the other and earning Konas trust and doing what is right for her she will continue to keep making progress and in the end....seeing how marvelous she is becoming will be the biggest reward you can get. I myself have to say how proud of Kona and you I am that you guys have just kept working and making steady progress.

Gosh the test sounds like there would have been a lot of factors that would have been very hard to train for, maybe you being a little more nervous, maybe the ring crew feeling pressure like they want to move things along, not having the other dogs there, a different time of day, maybe it being a lot more quiet if it was just you and the testers then she normally trains in, so who knew how any of that would affect her if you had not tried.

I hope you take a few days and just enjoy each other and then keep doing what you have been doing! I really admire what you are doing so much-my Skyler is reactive and I know how much work and the highs and lows, and people who do not give up and just keep quietly working are AWESOME, Kona is very lucky to have you and it sounds like she is a special dog and you are lucky to have her, my Skyler taught me so many things that have helped in so many areas down the road.

KB said...

I can imagine how terrible you felt. I think that you're right to back off for a little bit. My K has much less fear than Kona but backing off training almost always helps. Then, just doing really short and fun sessions gets her back into it.

Please don't stay bummed out. Kona is a super sweet girl. She's so lucky that she found you, and that you're helping her navigate through this scary world. The two of you are a great team.