Titles Achieved to date...

Monumental A to Z High On Liberty
23 and counting...

Friday, July 21, 2017

Parkour (4/8)

While her false pregnancy hasn't been as intense as in the past, it's slowly gearing up, so I wasn't sure what to expect from her in class. She did well, it just took a bit to get her brain into what we were doing. BTW the reason I think her f.p. is less intense has to do with the addition of Sabina (a homeopathic remedy). We added it last time, but she was already halfway through the false pregnancy - this time we started it much sooner and it seems to make a big difference. She's still not as focused and easily frustrated, but far better than the past.

2-on moving prop "hands" video - This was easy for Gimme. She spent time on the egg ball when she was a puppy of just a few weeks old (while still with the breeder) and she's been on mine, so this just doesn't bother her. Being paid for something so easy is a really great deal for her.

Scaffold work video - Again, easy for Gimme. So easy she just wants to go ahead and do without waiting for me. I add two control points to encourage her to listen/wait for me.

Going "thru" props video - Gimme cut the corner, which was a natural mistake. I tried repeatedly to get her to "wait" so I could get a little ahead and help her. She knows her stays very well, but was unable to focus enough to stay put. Maybe focus isn't the right word - it is more an issue of impulse control. I'm sure it's related to the false pregnancy. Anyway, once I got a tiny little stay, then she did it beautifully and was equally flawless on the way back.

Boardwalk video - This was a simple sequence and I just let Gimme do it without any control points. Sometimes my little girl just deserves to have a some fun.

Sequence 1 video - This was a nice little sequence putting together everything we'd done thus far. Gimme did a nice job.

Sequence 2 video - The was the same sequence, only in reverse. I still hadn't gotten Gimme's full attention, so I added a lot of control points this time. I know they aren't as fun for her as going-going-going, so I try to pay well for each "halt" to make it worth her while. After all, food is always fun for this girl.

Sequence 3 video - This sequence was a shortie - using the bench boardwalk and ending with an under-over. I sent Gimme "below" and then called her to come. I assumed she would jump over it, since she likes jumping. She assumed I meant to come back "below". Clearly I need to be more specific.

Sequence 4 video - Another simple sequence with a couple of obstacles added in. We did control points and you can see on the video she is really thinking and listening better.

Sequence 5 video - Again a reverse of the last sequence, with control points.

Sequence 6 video - Another sequence with a table send added in the middle. Gimme did a great job with this.

I love parkour for Gimme. She always wants to do-do-do and parkour gives her plenty of things to play with. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Nosework (3/26)

Dorothy wasn't there, so we only had the co-instructor.

Interior 1 video - The idea for this search was to start with the first two chairs and let the dog search without the handler crossing the line, except to reward. There was two hides on the chairs, and then 3 others on tables. Gimme did great with the chairs, not really caring whether I moved with her or not. After the chairs we were allowed to let them go off leash. The table hides were low (on the foot), medium (diagonal support) and high (under edge of table top). Gimme found the low hide really quickly. All the other dogs had a real difficulty with the high table hide and they were all really checking out the purple stepstool multiple times. Gimme found the high hide second, but seemed to find it a bit of a challenge. The third hide she found was easy to find, but first she had to move away from it, and then when she came back it was very clear. We never were able to figure out why all the dogs had difficulty with the high table hide. They've seen similar hides a thousand times, so why it was challenging this time is a real mystery.

Interior 2 video - This time there were 3 inaccessible hides, off leash. One of things you will see a lot with inaccessible hides is all the bracketing behavior as the dogs try to figure out how to get to odor. Gimme demonstrates this beautifully with the hide behind the expen panels. It's also common for them to go back and forth and then go really wide before coming back. Gimme has enough experience to make her own decisions, so I waited for it before rewarding her. Her look at me comes when she's decided. She decided much faster with the hide in the file cabinet, probably because it was enclosed, so there wasn't as much scent coming out to make it seem like she could get to it by bracketing. For the third hide under the red cart, all the dogs spent a lot of time before deciding. Gimme seemed to want odor to be on the top - she does love high hides. She leaves it and trots around the room, then when she comes back, she decides quickly.   A very nice job.

Interior 3 video - The last search was 3 accessible hides, off leash. It's always best to follow inaccessible hides with accessible hides. A couple of dogs had difficulty with the hide on the bottom of the red cart. Gimme was awesome fast with this search. Three hides in 1 minute - what's not to love...

A funny thing, I was still so far away when Gimme made her decision on the hide at the front of the room, so she looked at the closest people - just in case one of them wanted to pay her. Funny girl...

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Urban Tracking (42)

I asked Nadine to lay a fairly simple track, with just a few narrow crossings. I thought Gimme was due for an easy motivational track after all the hard work she's done lately. When I got there I laid a track for Cricket, which we ran right away. I should have run Gimme first, but since I saw Nadine coming back as we got there, it didn't seem like the track would be very old.

The track started out well. As we crossed an intersection of paved paths, a woman came at us with her dog. I started moving us out of range and naturally the idiot owner is telling me her dog is friendly and ignoring what I'm telling her, whilst turning to come straight toward us. They got far too close for comfort. It really messed with Gimme and it was hard to get her back into tracking mode. Fortunately Nadine knew exactly where the track was and when Gimme was ready, we were able to guide her to a known spot for a restart. The next article was about 50 yards, so she got rewarded amply for finding it - a good reward for restarting despite the idiot owner and the dog-intruder.

From there we crossed another paved path and headed out into a large open field. Gimme got another article while we were still close to the trees. As we moved out into the middle of the field the grass was very dry and Gimme missed the turn. She repeatedly tried to lead me to the right, the exact opposite of where the track was. We did a spiral search and Gimme wasn't having any success finding the track, even when we were crossing over a place we'd been and where she'd seemed to be certain. By this time the track was nearly 2 hours old and it was at least 80º. Nadine didn't make a map, so she wasn't certain where the corner was and we never did find the corner (or the golf tee marker). I "organized" Gimme's search until she got into a shady area under a group of trees where Nadine knew the track passed through. Gimme was able to pick up the track there and follow it through to the end with two more articles as reward points.

This certainly wasn't the easy track I wanted. Since Gimme is in false pregnancy she is not as focused as usual, is easily frustrated and inclined to give up and ask me for help. Fortunately there were lots of articles, so with subtle helps from me she was able to find them and be rewarded for her efforts.

Clearly Nadine and I both need to get back to drawing maps.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

RFE practice (49)

We continued recording baselines of intermediate behaviors and then some work with Gimme with me in costume. I also did some work in the counseling room, getting ideas for the MDSA workshop backdrop.

Baseline C video - We started with some heeling warm-up. Due to her condition, it took a little bit to get focus, but when focus arrived, we went right to work. I started off with some work on the props J'Anna had gotten out. Gimme enjoyed playing with the paw pods. You can see she isn't entirely focused as she starts getting inventive, instead of sticking with what I'm clicking. Then again, maybe she was offering because the rate of reinforcement was falling off as I was trying to refine the behavior.
#53 Back Up in Center 4x ("back") - We haven't done this in a very long time, so it takes awhile for Gimme to understand what I want. Since her special power is backing up, this should come quickly.
#39 CCW Spin Simultaneous ("spin") - Done flawlessly.
#38 CW Spin Simultaneous ("turn") - Not recorded. I'm sure it's good.
#49 Through to Front 3x ("thru") - This is more challenging for me than for Gimme. I  have to remember to start by stepping back with the leg nearest Gimme. 
#52 Back Up in Right Heel 4x ("side") - Gimme doesn't yet understand I want her to maintain "side" and keeps trying to back behind me.
#54 Back Around Handler (from right "side" - "izzy") - We just started learning this for the recent entry. Gimme still makes it into a two part behavior.
#54 Back Around Handler (from left "heel" - "otto") - We haven't done this for awhile as we were learning "izzy", she's apparently forgotten it.
#51 Back Up in Left Heel 4x ("heel") - We were just working on this for the video entry, so she gets it much quicker than #52.
#50 Cross in Front Alternating 3x - Gimme can do this much better than what you see, but we'd already been working a long time and I didn't want to belabor it when we still had behaviors to do.
#41 Pivot Left 360 (dog outside) - Beautiful job, all she has to do is "side".
#41 Pivot Left 360 (dog inside) - This is much harder because Gimme's front feet now become the pivot point and all this time we've been doing back around in "heel". I need to review my notes from when we were taking class with KathyW - I think she recommended some footwork to make this clearer to the dog, to distinguish it from other behaviors.
#40 Pivot Right 360 (dog inside) - We have the same issues here as we did for #41.
I didn't record the right and left 180 pivots - if she can do the 360 she can do the 180.

Session 2 video - Our second session was focused on working Gimme while I was wearing my cape for the MDSA workshop. She wasn't bothered by the cape before, but this day she decided it was creepy. We were able to work through it, though I can't say she likes the cape. I tried some different variations on the routine. The best one was the one Gimme offered at the end, but I haven't been able to get her to do it as nicely since.

Since we'd already worked quite a bit, I didn't bring Gimme in for a third session. She'd already done quite a bit and given her condition, I didn't want to push her. She's a good girl for tolerating all this craziness.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Parkour (3/8)

Gimme is in her false pregnancy, so I wasn't expecting a lot from her. It took a little bit to get her brain focused, but then she did nicely. About a half hour from home, she had a meltdown. The first thing she did when she got home was run to her new blue bear toy. Later she got big bunny out of the bottom of her toy basket and laid down with it for awhile. So I'll make sure to take both whenever we go anywhere until this passes. There were five dogs in class, including Gimme.

"Below" video - This was an easy "below" to do, just with a different prop. Of course, I did have to remind Gimme to actually listen to me.

"Walkies" video - This was easy enough, but again Gimme needed a reminder to listen to me, not just assume what I wanted.

Sequence 1 video - Gimme was getting better focus at this point. It was a little challenging for me to think ahead of where to put my front crosses in so I could direct her efficiently. I missed one.

Sequence 2 video - She did a really nice job with this, staying well focused the whole time. Good work for such a large class of five dogs.

Sequence 3 video - This was a repeat of the same sequence and Gimme got distracted by me having food when she was on the boardwalk, so we went back and started at the beginning of the boardwalk. She tends to easily get food obsessed when she is in a false pregnancy, so I put in a control point to help her remember to think about what she's doing. We had to do this again when she forgot to think about where her feet were and what they were doing.

Sequence with gap jump video - Here we go back to the original "walkies" sequence with a little gap jump added. Gimme does it nicely.

Sequence with bigger gap video - Same sequence with a bigger gap to get to the tub. Gimme did well with this.

Gap jumping video - Gimme was kinda hit and miss with this. She seemed to do better going toward the tree planter - probably because the landing was so much larger. Going the other way to the tub didn't leave any room for an additional step or two on landing, so it was more challenging. Plus I really don't think she saw the point to it. Of course, once I decided to bring out the PB gotoob for a reward, she no longer cared whether there was a point to the exercise. As far as Gimme is concerned, peanut butter is all the point she needs.

Between peanut butter and chicken nuggets, Gimme will do anything she can physically accomplish to be certain she gets her share. Ya gotta love working with a dog who is so easy to motivate, eh.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Nosework (2/26)

I thought it was going to be really hot, but it was only 78º in the shade. Gimme was eager to get back to class. From the moment she realized where we were going until I took her out of the car for her first search, she "yelled" at me nonstop. I forgot my camera, so no videos this time. Too bad because the searches were interesting, to include Gimme finding her "baby" during the interior search.

Our first search was the interior. They'd set up 7 tables with lots of chairs scattered near them. There were two hides. One on the bottom of a table, the corner nearest the door (start line), about 5 feet. The other hide was on the bottom of a chair, which was on top of a table at the other end of the room.

Gimme blasted into the room and went midway down the room where she found the baby (a bright blue bear toy), which she proceeded to squeak excitedly. I told her to "bring" it to me and then "release" it, which she did. Then I cued her "wherezit". As she went back to work, I dropped it behind me. After she found the threshold hide, she headed to the other end of the room, finding the toy again. Again I cued her to "bring" it and "release" it, reminding her to "find another one". Dorothy thought I was crazy for dropping it again, but my thinking is she needs to learn she has to work when it's time to work. While working the second chair-on-table hide, Gimme saw the toy and headed for it. I did a little body block to remind her not now. So she went back to work and found the hide. As soon as she'd finished her nuggies (chicken nuggets), she ran over and grabbed the toy and carried it to the door. Clearly she knew there were no more hides and evidently thought the toy was her reward. She was pouty when I took it and left it on the shelf.

Our second search was a very large exterior with three hides. We were given 3 minutes. Gimme had the first hide in 11 seconds, Dorothy said I had it at 20 seconds. From there she got over to the far end of the search area and found hide two in the end of a long pipe. She wasted no time getting from there up the other side and finding hide three at the bottom of a drain spout. Gimme had all three hides in 1:20 - she was easily the fastest. Dorothy said I got faster in calling them after the first one.

The third search was an exterior with heavy equipment in it. There were two hides and we were given 2½ minutes. Gimme really took her time with this one and used almost the whole time. She finally found a hide in the end of another pipe. I had noticed her giving the opposite end a good long sniff, so it was likely channeling. Then when the instructor called 2 minutes, I moved her back near the startline where she had shown some interest. She found the second hide on the front corner of one of the pieces of heavy equipment. From the way she went off the startline, she never really went by the front, so only caught a drift of it.

This was a complicated messy search area. She's searched on big equipment many times, but there was a big muddy mess and other strange things, so I think it was just a lot of new smells. It's also possible she was annoyed at me. After the other exterior search, she'd headed to the door to the building, clearly wanting to go in. Maybe she thought she was getting the toy again. I did offer to buy it for her, but Dorothy said she could have it. She was very happy to have it, carried it in the house and slept with it all evening.  She even took it to bed. Maybe the reason she hadn't selected a baby was because she needed some new toys to choose from. Or else she's messing with my mind (because she can).

Friday, July 14, 2017

Urban Tracking (41)

Last Saturday, July 8th, we did two tracks at Medline. The drops were all 15 yards apart, track aged 50 minutes and it was 68 degrees with a light breeze.

Track 1 - A straight track of 90 yards - starting with a sock, goes 50, crosses a curbed landscaped island, then on to the end article. The food drops were 15 yards apart. What little breeze there was blew right into her face. Gimme did a really nice job with this; her nose never came up.

Track 2 - This track was a 160 yard L-shape. It starts with a sock, goes 52 yards and turns left, with an article 15 yards after the turn. This leg continues until it crosses the curbed landscaped island. There was a drop 15 yards after the island, then straight ahead to the final article. At the corner Gimme circled a two and a half times before she picked up the outgoing leg. At the curbed island she went up and down the curb using almost the whole 25' line, started across the beauty bark, came back to go up and down the curb a couple more times and then finally took the line and got to her article. From there to the end article was easy peasy.

I was actually pleased to see her working out the corner and even the extensive effort to work out the transition to cross the curbed island (this "island" is really a landscaping detail which is 40 parking spaces long). It tells me the drops are now far enough apart so they aren't doing the work for her, rather rewarding her own efforts. Also, I clearly selected articles which blended in, so she wasn't solving the track visually. This is all really great stuff.  I'm very proud of her and how she is coming along.