Vito is continuing to progress, in some ways, with his obedience training. Still working extremely little on actual behaviors and focusing completely on engagement.
Progress is hilly with the first test. The ability for Vito to start training on the first attempt with 100% of the attitude I want is mostly getting better. But it can still take multiple exits and restarting on occasion.
The second aspect I just started working on with Vito is very short sessions of no food or toys. Success in this is HUGE in many ways. With Puppy Vito this was very easy to do but as his anxieties started to increase after his 2nd birthday I lost this ability. The pushing and shoving I would do suddenly became too much pressure and only served to shut him down. I've been slowly building it back up by trying very hard to insert myself into the use of food rewards, doing lots of relieving of pressure through backing up and/or running away, and creating high value for his hand touch and chest vault tricks.
Today I walked to the park with Vito to see how he would do with this game in a "new" place. Vito's been to the park a lot for some off leash sniffing and we used to practice disc there, but he hasn't really done much obedience work there. Here's me acting like an idiot:
I'm giving our session two thumbs up! Pushy Toller appeared and he happily engaged with me for a full 4 minutes of play/work! I did give him two treats in the last minute but I'm hoping they were the bonus cookies they felt like rather than bribe cookies to stay connected. Our play was definitely obnoxious and I will eventually work on toning it down so that it could actually be useful in the obedience ring. But for the now, the scratches on my arms and belly are a fun reminder.