Ok, so taking all three out, to just 'hang out' didn't really work – but for the time being I only have two to worry about, as Logan is confined to barracks while he mends.
Decided to work one at a time, while the other was tied up. I started with Jack tied up and working Archie – takes a bit to wind Jack up so thought this would be the best approach. Jack tied up to a tree branch. He howled a bit because he was getting left out, but settled down. Archie pushing like mad for food, 'speaking', some tug and some heel work, more attentive towards me and not charging around the field like a wild thing.
Then I switched dogs so Archie was tied up while I worked Jack. I decided to work Jack further down the field, where he was attracted to scents the other day. I wanted to work with whatever was drawing his attention and get him grounding his energy on me. Archie sat at the end of the field watching us. As we started moving further and further away he started getting quite vocal. I carried on walking, feeling from the heart, not letting guilt for Archie get in the way or worry that people passing might think I was torturing one of my dogs. I kept going with my original plan, to pick up the scent with Jack and do some pushing. Jack started sniffing strongly and then turned to me and came running back – that's just what I was looking for. Keep going – and Archie has stopped barking – it was all going according to plan.
Then I looked back and saw this little golden bullet, about 100 yards away, heading for me like his life depended on it.
Archie had slipped his lead and was covering that 5 acre field at top speed. He was NOT being left out.
So plan aborted – needs further development ! Thoughts
- Be aware, in the moment and be prepared to adjust plans according to what is going on around you instead of doggedly(?!) sticking to the original.
- Maybe go back to working one dog at a time
- Don't work so far away from Archie so he doesn't panic (tried that subsequently and it worked – kept going back to treat while he was sitting)
And recognise it when your wishes come true. I did get what I wanted in the bigger scheme of things - a dog that wants to be with me, no matter what! That's Labradors for you!