I was going to post this in agility section, but this carries over to our home life as well. My bc is 17 mos old and has been in classes since she was a puppy and very socialized. She's gone through the CGC and all the foundation classes at my club. She had and can have very good handler focus. Almost too good at times as one trainer i've recently started working with thought both my dogs had too much handler focus.
Fast forward to the handling classes. Lots of other dogs around running while we are working. I've started to encounter my BC running off after other dogs or even in big circles to sniff. I've been working with engagement and have tried a multitude of things. Recently one of my trainers took toys and treats away and we worked on me being way more exciting than anything else... once I got her attention again, she actually ran much better than before.
At home in the fenced yard, she tries to herd one of the cats who runs. I can often train around the cat coming into the yard and work hard at it, but the newest behavior is when its time to go inside the house. The other dogs will come in, my BC will think about it and then act like she's herding the cat. If I walk towards her, she takes off. I used to just ignore her and go in the house and do my thing. Later she'd be at the door or near it and if she saw me walking to the door, she'd take off so I didn't open it. At some point, she would come in or bark. Then I think she may have been rewarded because she barked and got to come in.
Trainers have been working with me and have suggested mini bootcamp. put her on a long line and work recalls and get her to earn off leash in the yard. I do that, however, when I test the waters and take her offleash, she's fine for awhile but then upped the ante. Now instead of rewarding by bringing her in, I get her lead and wait while she's running around. I will ask for a sit and when she's done, I get her put on lead and put her in the house and sometimes the crate... but I'm feeling like I'm punishing her sit and not her running away. Am I? Or are the BC's smart enough to know that what Im' doing is taking away the freedom?
Any other suggestions? Keeping her on lead all the time at home is hard on me..i've injured myself so negotiating the stairs on the deck with dogs is tough. Especially if I have to do it multiple times a day....
Currently she is working agility classes 2x a week for an hour (not working the whole time as we are in shifts or turns), then we do a private for an hour but that is often shared with my other dog. I try to work in small short increments at home and since I can't walk far now, I play fetch with her in the yard as well. We do not work every day.
Need to get through this... I've been told its not uncommon to have some issues... and I work extremely hard at keeping her focus... but I'm not always successful and its not only embarrassing but its disruptive to the classes. I need to fix this. Ideas?