Later during our free walk (3 miles on the pipeline), I added some heeling training into our walk. We also did some "side" training (short for "other side", the opposite of heel). We've done a lot of recalls: lifestyle recalls, obedience fronts and agility recalls... so she is used to training breaks in the middle of our fun. Gimme did very well at heeling. Not as well at "side", but honestly I haven't trained it as much.
After I finished my obligatory yard work and a bunch of equipment painting (having to rebuild my baby training aframe), we did a session of Obility. Funny to have that name for it... and all this time I thought it was just something I do because of Adult ADD... Obility is a combination of obedience, with or without agility thrown in, but with lots of fast, fun flow.
I got interesting results. Because we've had such a horrifically wet spring, I haven't done much obedience training outside. And since my living room is only 12x20 feet without furniture, leaving me about 8x12 with everything pushed back, it has certainly limited what we could do.
Having all the room in my front yard to work with... the results were interesting, with several very pleasant surprises.
- Heeling was actually really nice. She didn't blast past me ever, which has been a recurring problem. She was wide a couple times and crabbing now and then, but she stayed right with me. Her sits at heel were prompt and pretty accurate.
- Other side heeling was not quite as good, but as I said before, more than I should have expected given our limited practice.
- Stays - woohoo... with just one reminder, she was able to hold her stay with all that background distraction (cars going by 20 feet away, kids playing ball on our side street, barbecue smells, lawnmower noises nearby), at a distance of 30 feet!!!
- Stationary drop from a distance - one at 6 feet, then the same 10 feet that we've been able to do in the living room.
- Sit-stay-walk-around and Down-stay-walk-around - flawless.
- Recalls to front from 30 feet... very nice, a little off center on her front, but fast and sure.
- Finish to the right - a little slow and wide, but she got it and the second time very good.
- Her dogwalk contact accuracy fell of a bit... In her defense, we haven't worked them with her that pumped before, and haven't worked them at all in the last 3 weeks.
Today is Gimme's 9 month birthday and she's doing so well - much better than I deserve. She's a canine genius and if she had a better trainer I've no doubt she'd be halfway to utility by now. I adore this girl.
BTW one other thing I did... her treats were in a small container set up on a platform. She could get to them and could have beat me to them any time. Only one reminder that she couldn't self-serve and some high rate of reinforcement heeling practice near the container was all it took. She was content with the understanding that she had to work to earn them. I was very pleased with that - I've never had a Dalmatian that I've been able to get this level of self-control around food.
Have I ever mentioned how much I adore this girl?