|Aise and Zala necklined together|
|Zala leads the group|
|Through the orchard and she's still lookin' good!|
If you recall, we had one heck of a time with Aise on our last Canicross Hike. She bucked and flailed and screamed and bit at anything that came into contact with her mouth and she did this for FOUR miles. I kid you not. These always make for challenging training moments for all. After the hike, we toyed with various training options and settled on our best stand by; allow the dogs to teach the dogs in their own language.
Since our new handler, Lisa said she wouldn't come if she had to handle Aise, (grin) I would take Aise and Lisa would take Zala. The plan would be to neckline the two together and Zala could help us teach Aise to focus in the canicross setting. Well, out of the gate it was a tangled mess as Aise, went over and under and around Zala with the neck line attached and Zala tried so hard to maintain her path while correcting Aise with nips and growls to her face. There were no doubt a few frustrating moments at the beginning. Once we made our way through the orchard, down the field and into the woods to the Luce Line Trail, she was fixed! Zala fixed Aise.
No longer was Aise the mindless bucking bronco. She actually calmed down and focused! It was like night and day without exaggeration. Those on this hike that attended our last hike could not believe the difference our change in training made. Thinking out of the box and going a different direction really made the difference and Zala was the very best of teachers.
After our coffee shop rest stop, we decided to test Aise by removing the neckline, knowing full well that we might need to quickly reattach her. Fixed! Aise pulled happily along next to the other dogs and people without so much as a jump, a flail or a scream. She also didn't leave the trail of destruction that was still fully embedded in my mind from last week's hike; slashed pants, bitten lines, bitten gloves, bitten dogs. We can't be so naive to think that she is truly "fixed". But we do know that the training method we chose worked for now and we've got a long training road ahead of us. Little Aise learned something today and she learned it quick. We all did.