Sundays are agility days. In the hopes of helping Bella focus I took her and baby out for a bike ride today. We did get some nice sprinting done and Bella had a lot of fun.
Then comes agility in the evening and it took her 50 minutes of the entire 60 to start getting semi-calm. She was absolutely insane to begin with and I had at most 1% of her attention. I am almost at my wits end with her and at the same time trying staying calm and working through this systematically.
I think one problem of ours is the fact that I am so worried about losing her from me that I tend to get into a hunched position which ruins the communication. When I straighten up and take the lead it does give better results but before I know it Bella has run off, so I get hunched again. With all this craziness going on I have cut back to doing one item or a sequence of two, three at most. I try to stop and praise her like there's no tomorrow. Sometimes it works but sometimes she's run off before I get the chance to or if I stop and plan to reward, she takes that as a sign it's the perfect opportunity for her to run off.
This week I am going to try to find time to take her somewhere I can turn her loose and work on sit/lie-stay when she's off-leash and with plenty of distractions but not the intense '10 other dogs' distraction. I have to crack this! My sweet and eager dog has to be able to function in agility class so that we can both enjoy it.