Now that we're home and our summer classes have ended, I'm trying to get us back into our regular routine. During the summer with so many activities on our plate, I tend to let obedience/rally training slide. So we're getting back to that.
First though... During the seminar I was "subjected" (and I use that word with full understanding of its meaning) to multiple daily videos of myself working. While we were supposed to be analyzing the video for good things we did, as well as things that need improvement, it was very hard for me to concentrate. I realize the camera is known to add ten pounds, still I think ours was adding a lot more than that. Or else, I have to conclude I've become a bit of a porker. So I am freshly determined to work diligently to trim off the excess me.
I've known I need to - the video just gave me fresh motivation. I will have to lose and get in shape if I'm ever going to be able to run agility with Gimme. And, its likely that my plantar fasciitis will not go away as long as I'm carrying the extra weight. So I'm making a concentrated effort.
Gimme thinks its not the best idea, or I need to do it differently. We have a system. Since I eat most of my meals on the couch, Gimme has learned she will get her share in tidbits, provided she is well behaved laying next to me. Well behaved is defined as no drooling, no begging, no whining and no pestering. She totally gets the system. What she does not get is why she has to eat lettuce too. Seriously, who thought up that plan?
So tonight we started a training session by having her do her nails. I need to do that more often. BTW the strips I put on the front steps don't appear to have any affect on her nails. Too bad - it seemed like a great idea. Maybe next summer when she is coming and going much more frequently. After all I did put them in just a couple of weeks before I closed off the dog door for the winter.
Then we practiced a dozen "fronts". I'm still working on getting Gimme to come in closer. She is close enough that I wouldn't lose points for it, but figuring on some drift in ring performance, I wouldn't want her farther away. Thus I want her closer to start with. Besides I like the look.
We also did some heeling. Man-oh-man she does love to heel. Tonight I introduced her to the idea of scooting back into position if I move a step back. I stopped and treated her for a sit, then took a step back and repeated the cue "heel". You could literally see the wheels turning as she tried to figure out what it meant in that context. The first try she just kept her butt planted and turned her front 45 degrees toward me. That got her nothing. So I heeled off and stopped to set her up again. The second time she scooted back a couple of inches and got a click/treat. The third time she scooted back almost into perfect position - again click/treat. Two clicks was all it took and after that she was literally hopping back.
Then we had to do some repetitions to get rid of the pop up for a treat, but overall I was really pleased with how quickly she picked it up. I don't have any specific plan/need for this behavior. I just want to teach it to further her understanding of what and where "heel" is.
I just love how quickly a clicker trained dog picks things up. Never having experienced any compulsion, she is free to experiment, knowing with confidence that she won't be punished. What's not to love, eh?