Every day these two get just a little bit better. Sure there are minor set backs and some quirks that we are still smoothing over but big picture is that they are getting it.
Kimber is now without a physical leash just like Dexter. She does still sometimes get overwhelmed but instead of trying to run she comes to me when she is confused and gets a hug instead. She is a good example of a dog who likes the leash simply because she feels more secure with it. However, she is not an overly timid dog by nature. I think most of this flightiness I have been dealing with has been a combination of her being in a strange place, with a strange person, and her brother was rarely around when we were working. Now that we are buddies and they are working together, she enjoys bossing him around and is more comfortable.
Dexter was a stinker today. This happens sometimes around the middle of a board and train. A dog whose work has been going very smoothly suddenly gets a little rocky. They start pushing boundaries and crossing lines. But when I say he was a stinker I mean he would lay down when he was supposed to sit or he would come on command but he would then bounce away and try to play. So nothing major. He just wanted to see what he could get away with. He also was far too wiggly on Placemat. We had both dogs on their rugs at the same time today for an hour and a half and while Kimber was the teacher's pet and did very well, Dexter needed a few corrections at the very start and then whenever someone entered or left the room he would want to get up and walk off his place. More work on this tomorrow.
I was very pleased to finally get a tandem Heel command. Getting two young pack members to walk side by side in a heel without physical leashes can be a challenge and they finally got it today. At first Dexter only wanted to walk on the right while Kimber was on the left (ideally they would both be on the left) because Kimber would bite his face (dog version of a "wet willy" or other such annoyance). But after she settled into a walk he scooted over to the left and pushed her out of the way so he could walk next to me. So if you give them around 10 paces to figure out where they want to walk they settle into a nice, polite heel that is very manageable.
Tomorrow and Monday are my weekend. This is nice because I can focus on their training without being interrupted by weekly lessons but it is also a time that I spend time with my family and get errands run so they will still have some down time. But they are at a perfect place in their training to set a good practice and proofing pace. It is more difficult when my weekend falls on the first few days of a board and train.
There will not be a blog tomorrow so look to Monday for their next update. It is almost time to start working on their go-home video!