Week 5 didn't go so well. I mean, it wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great either. We were positioned in a part of the room across from the door, so anytime I told Casey to Stay, and walked away, he'd see the door, get up, and follow me, as if he thought I was going to leave without him (or he was going to be able to beat me to getting out the door!) For the full 5-minute stay that he was supposed to be doing, that all the other dogs sat patiently for, for us, it was "No, No, Stay. [start to walk away] No, No, Stay! [repeat]" The. Whole. Time. The people next to me thought it was comical. I wasn't as amused, but I kept my composure.
Week 6 (last Tuesday) went a little better. Casey didn't stay perfectly, but he seemed to be doing as well as any of the other dogs in the room. I managed to get to the other side of the room from him. This is huge. My clingy sheepdog let me be more than 8 feet from him, even in a stressful situation. This is progress. At home, I'll put him in a Down-Stay, and he'll even let me get out of sight for a few seconds while holding position. Again, progress. i still have doubts he'll let me get out of an outside door (More than once. I could probably trick him into it once, but never again.), but I'll take what I can get.
In other dog news, I was sent a sign from a company that makes Dog In Yard signs, meant to be attached to a fence. We have plans to build a chain-link fence in our backyard to give Casey some more freedom. I particularly looking forward to it for days like yesterday, when I had to walk him twice in the wet grass & the rain - no fun. It will also be nice when we have guests over- if he's too much for the guests, he can be in the backyard while they visit.
Anyway, the Dog In Yard sign will alert visitors to be careful when opening the gate to the fence, to avoid letting the dog out (just in case they didn't see the huge blue-merle fluffball running to greet them...). I think it's a great idea- and the company seems pretty neat. They have a "good karma" policy- they ship your order for free and fast and ask that your check be sent fast- and they don't accept credit cards! We all know how I feel about credit cards.
Picture of Casey with the very nifty sign forthcoming.