We started a new type of exercises with Skye: the pattern games. They are games with a fixed pattern of multiple steps that gets repeated multiple times, so the dog can predict what's going to happen next. It allows her to calm down, focus on that routine, and feel in control. After being taught, it's used in stressful situations.
Peter got to practice the 1,2,3, pattern game:
1) count out loud the number 1,2,3 in tandem with taking 3 steps forward.
2) On number 3, grab a treat and deliver it to Skye.
Repeat this 2-3 times.
Isabelle got to practice the Triangle Stations Sessions game:
1. Start at station 1, lure to towel on a chair station, and perform 2 cycles of treats being placed onto the towel.
2. Move to station 2, the roll away station, and when Skye joins you, roll 1 treat away from you.
3. Move to station 3, and perform 2 target hand behaviors
Repeat one more time moving in the same pattern, and then end the training session.
It's quite fun both for Skye and us :)
After a couple sessions, our trainer was "super excited to see Skye start to shift into more enthusiastic postures within session with both exercises (strong focus on you, trotting along, eating readily and with confidence, high and slow tail wagging), and that Skye is starting to anticipate the ongoing interaction after the food reward is given... Power of the pattern!!"
Here are amazing podcasts that touch on the science and power behind the implementation of pattern games: