Last night was Belle’s first time at the current sessions of Canine Good Citizen test classes and she….had a total meltdown.
Belle is our alpha dog, she is the sturdy, “I’ll take care of it”, serious (well as serious as a Golden Retriever who is 2 -1/2 years old can be), and is second in command to Lucy kitty for the title of family Matriarch and the job of keeping this crew in line. So it broke my heart to have her be so scared. I was working with Bonnie and Greg is working with Belle, and Greg pretty much spent most of the class walking Belle outside where she would be fine only to come in the room where we were having class to try again.
We stayed after class to talk to Lora, our trainer, to do some brainstorming to try and figure out what is going on with our pup. We came to the conclusion that it might be anxiety over being with the other dogs as wonderful as they were and came up with several ways to help Belle. Next week we are going to try some of those suggestions and see if it makes a difference for Belle.
It’s amazing how quickly goals can change. We started these classes as you all know as a step towards the pups becoming therapy dogs. Now although it would be great if the pups pass the CGC test and we are still working towards that goal, the focus for Belle right now has become to help her through this anxiety so she feels comfortable and secure.