The videoing did not go as well as I'd hoped. We did better than last time, but not stellar. I'm fairly certain it'll be a passing run - last time I didn't think we had any hope and only submitted it because I'd already paid for it and thought I'd at least get to see what the score sheet was like..
I thought Gimme would be comfortable and ready to work at Pawsabilities, since we'd been taking classes there for seven months; however, she wasn't ready to jump back in. We haven't had classes there since mid-April, so our perimeter walk took a long time. It didn't help she came in season on Thursday.
Gimme just seemed unfocused to me and at times asked for reassurance. The other dog is also reactive, but more stressy than Gimme. So it occurs to me she may have been affected by him, even though they didn't interact. Diane moved him outside to wait in the car when she was videoing me and Gimme. I'd done the same (had Gimme wait in the car) while videoing Diane and Valor.
We each started with individual warm-up and training and Gimme did pretty good at this, once she was done with the perimeter walk. She did need more reminders than she had when we last practiced at home. Then we each worked through the course a couple of times. I got Gimme's special bowl out and released her to it every 3-4-5 stations. She does love her special bowl and I think the activity of the mad dash to the special bowl makes the reward more fun.
After taping Diane and Valor, we switched and I brought Gimme in. I still didn't have the focus I know she is can have. I think the anticonvulsant screws with her focus (I'll know for sure in 6 weeks when I start reducing the dose). I'd hoped to be able to use "can" (pivot with rear feet on can) for one of our free choice behaviors, but Gimme just couldn't do it. I shouldn't have expected it - we need to take it on the road. So we did "love me" instead (paws up on my arm to give me kisses).
For the videoing, I set the bowl up well off the course and did a few stations and released her to it, to make sure she knew where it was. Then we did an entire course. She was really distracted, looking over to the bowl a few times. I know she thought she could/should be released to it any moment now. Once we got through a third of the stations, then she stopped looking over there, but seemed a bit frustrated. When I released her to the special bowl at the end, she found I'd put about thirty treats in there, plus I kept adding more as fast as she could gobble them up.
So with the knowledge of how good the payoff would be, she seemed to put a special effort into focusing for our second video. I chose the second video because she had better focus overall, despite a few bobbles here and there. I couldn't help but laugh when I cued "salute" at
the end and she gave me "grape", not once, but twice. It is possible to get a qualifying score, despite messing up a station, and I weighed my options figuring the better heeling and focus would be more valuable than failing the last station.
Gimme loves to "grape" (roll over) and
I think she just thought it needed to be in there somewhere. I'd love to use it
as free choice behavior, but she likes doing it so much, if I ask for it, then
she has a tendency to keep doing it no matter what else I cue. Obviously
something I need to work on, eh.
I do see in reviewing the course and comparing it to the prior video and scoring, I'm still making the same handling mistakes. A big one is not pausing at the end of each station to show her getting back into "heel" or "side". This will cost us a lot of points. However, I had less lure-like hand motions.
Diane and I have plans for how to do it differently this November when the world wide video event happens. We hope to get to Pawsabilities for an extra practice session, separate from the videoing. Gimme and I will be back in class well before then, so she should be back into her working mindset. Diane is going to take a few of Kathy's classes with us, which will help her boy. Plus by then, I will have reduced Gimme's medication to the lowest amount and hopefully her laser beam focus will be back.
Well, time for bed...