Early this morning, I let the dogs out to run in a fenced area behind the agility field. Behind this section of the yard is two acres fenced. Melissa took of running. Her intent was clear, she was chasing something. Through the leaves on the far side of the fence I saw a buck. Melissa was in hot pursuit. My heart skipped a beat as I realized I had not checked the fence line after we had some heavy rain and wind. I was stumbling over fallen limbs to get to Melissa. Was the fence down? Would she run into it? Obviously the perimeter fence was down to permit the deer to enter the back two acres.
Without thinking I called out 'Lissa'. She had been trained to come when she hears her name, but not with this level of distraction. I didn't want her crashing into the fence, nor did I want her to get into the back area with the buck if the fence was down where Melissa was running. Upon hearing her name, 13 month old Melissa turned instantly ....and came running back to me!! Melissa got lots of praise and all the treats in my pocket! The many months of practicing Leslie Nelson's Really Reliable Recall with Melissa worked!
I will not slack off training after this one perfectly wonderful response. I will maintain name response by practicing and rewarding generously, I will continue to make deposits into the 'come when called' bank account. There may be another time in Melissa's future that I need to call her away from something very enticing, I want the same response as I had early this morning. Good girl Melissa, you did well!!