Well, looks like life got hectic for awhile and I neglected the blog.
A few updates.... Sagan has done 2 rally obedience fun runs since I last posted...one at the end of November at Family Dog Center in Kent, and one at Argus Ranch in January. The first went really well. It was small, and his nervousness was easily managed.... minus a teeny bit of pulling the beginning of each run, he was really with me. Here are those 2 videos.
The one at Argus Ranch was a bigger challenge. LOTS of dogs and people, LOTS of time waiting in lines with many dogs. Given that, he didn't flip his lid, even when dogs were sniffing him. Nice. I'm not totally sure if this was the effect I had observed before where more stimulation is better (not able to hyper focus on one thing...SEC), or it was shutdown over so long in line. The other challenge was that Sagan LOVES Scott and Nancy Burke, and Scott was filming. You can see this on both videos. :-) I was pleased with him though, insomuch as he was able to work for me, even given lots of stimulation he finds scary. Good work!
We have also been in agility foundation classes since I think September. We are started to string together obstacles, and Sagan is working more nicely for me off leash (I don't have to lead him around by leash or his collar, and he will come when called most of the time. He is still more snarky with other dogs off leash in class than I would like, but we're working on that. Here's a video from this past Wednesday of us stringing together 7 obstacles. A little sloppy, but he was cued into my body language on the tight wrap, and discriminated between the tunnel and the A-frame well. I have some cueing problems, but well.....
As far as the reactivity goes....it is better in many ways, and stalled in others. Given the situations described above, I would say he is doing better in familiar environments with familiar tasks in not having ridiculous reactions to other dogs. The main issue now is the off-leash dog that bombs up to him, or not being able to get far enough away from new dogs in situations that I can't control. I purchased and read Control Unleashed and Behavior Adjustment Training. My current plan is to try to do multiple set-ups with him using BAT. I made a list the other day of people with dogs who might be willing to help me, and plan to use that list over the next few months to get some repetition in. The first one of those meetings is this Sunday (tomorrow) with some friends from our agility class and their dogs.