I have to share a couple things that happened Saturday and tonight. Saturday at liberty I played with asking Renegade to back by the tail. I got us situated next to a fence so we were set up for success. I did some friendly then worked my way back to his rump and played friendly with his tail and the up button. Then I gently asked him to back up by forming the picture in my mind, pulling my energy in through my belly button and with the cs ready to support on the side opposite the fence. I DIDN’T NEED THE CS - HE BACKED UP FROM MY ENERGY AND FOCUS!!! I rewarded the first try and then started again and he did it again. We ended up getting 4 steps in a row with NO opposition!! WHOOPEE!!!!!!!!!
Tonight we played at liberty starting with some friendly scratching/human curry comb style, then gently scratching in the groove under his jaws. He was lovin’ it AND HE’S NEVER LET ME DO THAT BEFORE! Did the friendly again back to his rump using the same process as Saturday except we weren’t against the fence. It didn’t matter - he backed up gently and straight!! DOUBLE WHOOPEE!! Then I went back to his shoulder and was playing with his face, chin, lips, ears, forehead. He was enjoying it and he usually doesn’t like his face being handled. We ended up with me massaging his chin gently and his mouth was quiet (he usually is moving his lips and trying to take his head away). He was really enjoying himself and he got so soft and relaxed, his eyes were soft and blinking, I thought he was going to fall asleep!! Then we did some liberty sidepassing over a log toward me and away trying to use focus and energy - he was soft and willing, I could see him thinking down to his feet and sorting it all out so his feet wouldn’t get tangled up. Very little cs support was needed, just a little suggestion to get him started then it was by energy and focus alone. FANTASTIC!!!