Tuesday evening, Monte completed his intermediate class at The Dog Den, earning his certificate, large treat, and gift certificate for Mounds. He has performed reasonably well during the first five sessions. Tonight, we went outdoors to the play area to practice recalls and STAY. All puppies remained stationary until recalled, however, Monte found the new surroundings more interesting and failed to stop and HEEL at Lisa's side. He ran through the tunnel, sniffed around before completing the exercise.
Always optimistic, the trainers had them make another attempt. Unfortunately, the results were the same. They were surprised; we were not. Monte's brain returned as we re-entered the building to finish our class. He did very well greeting dog-to-dog which bodes well for a future CGC test, but only time will tell.
Tonight, we made a trip to Mounds to pick up a few supplies. We usually use the gift certificate for a new toy to celebrate, however, Monte didn't earn a reward. Instead we purchased a thirty foot long line/leash to work with our trainee from a distance and provide correction when he loses his mind. In the past, we have waited for him to return to HEEL (no chasing), which generally takes ten or twenty seconds, with no correction to encourage his return. No more mister nice guy.
Every night since the episode at class I have taken Monte out for our nightly potty break, testing him off leash. He has been glued to my side, actually heeling better than during our daytime walks on leash. I am more focused, giving him constant reminders/praise to HEEL, and projecting calm assertive energy. And many of the normal distractions are not visible in the darkness. Only time will tell.