I'm trying, really trying to break my old same old same old patterns when playing with Cici. Today's plan was to play stick to me, with a bit of liberty mixed in. I kept her halter on and looped the 12" around her neck and off we went to explore the indoor.
She started off with a bit of flared nostril which means she is not sure and thinking hard. I'd say this is her RBI mode. So I took it slow. We walked along with me in zones 1 & 2. She is comfortable keeping me there. Backing I'd wind up in Zone 3 and had to use the carrot stick gently up and down for her to stick to my backwards steps. If I didn't think to use the carrot stick I could walk backwards all the way to zone 5 and then gently lift her tail to ask for backing. Sometimes it was successful and sometimes not. Not yet consistent. Oh boy, something else to work on!
What is interesting is that I find when she is not sure what I am asking she will now offer sideways! The first time I lifted the carrot stick up she floated off sideways. I exhaled to stop her and then positioned myself carefully and tried again.
I did ask for sideways along the wall and she was amazing. I started to walk sideways with her and that was all I was doing as she continued along the wall.
With two cones set up for figure 8 we walked to the cones and then I stood still and pointed which way she needed to go and off she went! Draw at the end. Whoohoo!! This was the first figure 8 at liberty.
After we had been playing for a while I then asked her to slow down and speed up - matching my steps and when she was in sync we trotted off together. And she stayed with me trotting for an entire loop around the indoor. Another first! She felt very happy and relaxed, with lots of licking and chewing going on.
Slowly, oh so slowly I feel I am getting to her mind through her feet. What a wonderful concept. As I get more interesting she is getting more interested...in me.