Perhaps to make up for her antics yesterday, Miss Hailey Bug was a complete show off this morning at the dog park. When we arrived, there were no other dogs (people tend to use the park around 9 in the morning, not 7:25 as the sun is rising). I thought we could be brave and try the paths. Now, she has only been off leash 2 times on the paths and both times we were with other dogs. I was nervous, especially given that I am working out of town this morning (fear is she takes off and I am very late) but I decide to give her the benefit of the doubt and try it. Besides, I was armed with reinforcers and as a behaviour analyst I know how to use them!
We started off with about every 15 feet, calling her back and rewarding her. Then I worked on expanding how long before I would reinforce her for coming back. She was amazing! She even came back when there were other dogs to go see. If I waited too long to give the treat, she would come and sit beside me (so she is checking in). This is such an amazing improvement from head down, bum up and go!
My baby is growing up!