Zen, one small step at a time
Patience has always been a killer thing for me to try to attain, but I think this is helping me get there. I'm realizing that sometimes when I take him out for a work, he is still a puppy and he just needs some time to settle down and get tuned in. I don't need to get freaked out or flustered or think the lesson is going badly -- just give him some time and he usually settles in.
The other thing that Nina has taught me is that sometimes, when it's not working, you just may as well crate him, give us both a break and try later. Better than a lesson where I get frustrated and he gets frustrated/anxious because he doesn't know what to do.
The final lesson: I try to focus on what he can do, not what I think he "ought" to be able to do. So maybe we don't walk the length of Main Street in Gorham. If we have a great work in a parking lot, that's another bit of progress.
It will be fun to see what he's like in another 6 months.