So I am rebuilding Laev's bitework a bit. She's doing very well in many aspects -- clean hold and barks, clean fast outs, good control -- but she's working almost entirely in predatory motivation. While that's good for much of modern competition, a really good Schutzhund dog works in a balance of predation and aggression. There should be both the desire to catch the helper and the desire to fight the helper.
Not that Laev is sleeve-fixated. Oh, no, she's not just about equipment. She'll work a helper without a sleeve just as loudly and closely (but obviously without the bite). But she is still thinking of it only as a game, without bringing a level of seriousness to the game. I want her in less pick-up football mode and more Superbowl mode.
Laev can work herself up in aggression under threat, of course, but as soon as the threat ends, she's neutral again. She doesn't hold that fighting mindset. This makes her great for everyday bounceback, but I'd like to see her hold a bit of rage as she looks for the helper. It's not just a shell game, it's a shell game for a fight! So we're working on capping her aggression.
This is kind of like me. I can get worked up pretty easily, I even enjoy it, but it's really hard for me to stay angry or hold a grudge. I can't understand people who brood for months or years -- I don't even get how someone can be angry for hours. So I can kind of sympathize with Laev's attitude of, "What? I already ran him off, so what's the big deal?"
I have been told by several people that Laev and I are very alike. I am not sure this is a good thing. I mean, I really, really like Laev,but she can be a bit over the top. But then, people have said the same about me. Hmm.