Even though our score improvement was only 12 points (I was aiming for 25-30, which would put us into the kind of performance I know she is capable of), I've been comparing the score sheets from our first effort (Dec 2014 World Wide) and the second effort (June 2015 West1). It provided some interesting insights. The most noticeable difference is an increase in higher scores for stations and a corresponding decrease in some of the lower scores, with the exception of the 2 point for failure to bow. So, while we increased our score in the stations by only 6 points, the overall trend is for a much better end result. Kind of reminds me how your GPA in college creeps up so slowly with good grades, and yet one "C" and it takes a huge hit.
The numbers don't exactly add up. There is a difference between my first score sheet and the final number on the overall listing, so maybe we only improved our score by 11 points. In any case, we got a nice 5 point bump up in our score for overall scores in the category of heelwork, attention and teamwork. Certainly nice to see.
And last, I did a side-by-side comparison of the stations/free choice between the two events. There are some interesting trends. One thing which is a frequent issue is my moving forward before Gimme establishes an end position. Once I saw it in print, it became very obvious in the videos. Partly its because I'm trying to use my movement to hold her attention. Its certainly a handling thing I need to work on, and it likely will take more work to consistently improve my handling than to improve Gimme's attention, doncha know.
I didn't notice the judge’s comments on the first (WW) score sheet. And I certainly can’t disagree with them, though I do think she misread Gimme’s non-stop wagging tail – as most everyone does. I certainly always enjoy working with Gimme, but she was clearly (to me) stressed during the first video.
“Work toward eliminating hand cues. Inconsistency in heelwork between stations and at start and end positions. Be sure to allow Gimme to finish behavior and come into position before moving forward. Some losses of attention. You both seem to enjoy working together!”I was glad to have noticed these comments (which is why I went back to check for the WW score sheet comments – I really must learn to read everything and not just skip around). I did not understand fully her comment in the individual scoring about the bow and not finishing the course, but its explained here. I can’t disagree with anything she said and you see the same handler issue about me moving forward before the end position. Here are her comments:
“What a fun dog, and clearly you have the sense of humor to enjoy her. Handler tendency to rush forward before the dog had clearly established an end position affected scores at many stations and also teamwork score. Whether or not the dog performs the bow, you need to cross past the sign in order to complete the course. In several places it looked like you were trying to maintain heel position rather than the dog making the effort to do so.”I really love the score sheet for RallyFrEe – there is a wealth of information there and every one is a learning experience. I know we’ll do even better next time.