The brain; a funny thing
Tilley shown here making it look easy.
Funny how the brain works; psychology is fascinating and it relates to many actions reactions exhibited by a dog. Today I had an excellent example of this and it was of course the inspiration for my blog this morning. I took the girls to a High School to have a walk; we typically walk the perimeter of the parking lots and then make our way around the school; so many new smells. It was beautiful out this morning; a cool breeze, the birds were chirping making it sound very much like spring had sprung and it was quiet; there was no one around.
We finished two parking lots and made our way to the steps; I hadn't thought about the steps. As we approached them my brain went into overdrive; Tilley did not have a negative association with these stairs, she had tripped down the ones at home and now was apprehensive about even trying. I knew that if there was any way that Tilley was going down these stairs it had to be before she had a chance to think about it. I picked up my speed; slipped a my hand gently into her collar and we did it. It was as simple as that; although I was astonished I didn't display that until the very bottom. It was a little difficult as Tilley goes left; and if her head is down she goes left even more. So with a gentle right guidance she just did it.
Once we hit the bottom we had a celebration; she loves it. With each obstacle conquered her confidence grows. We finished our walk around the school and made our way to the steps again; it was up this time. She baulked a bit and I just told her "let's go," and she did. I again gave her the right side support she needed and up we went and made our way to the car. One small step for k9s; one monumental step for Tilley.
Once home we tackled the steps there; she has a problem with the steps at home, they have a negative association. So I figured we'd hit them immediately to keep the positive momentum going. It worked; she made her way downstairs which she had yet to even attempt. It wasn't pretty; she basically slid down the wall on the left side, luckily there is a wall on the left side for her. We will be working on stairs alot this week building up the muscles that she needs to do the stairs, these muscles have atrofied over the past weeks so we have work to do.