Titles Achieved to date...

Monumental A to Z High On Liberty
NW1, NW2, L1I, L1E, L1C, RATI, RATN, RATO, RATS, L1V, L2C, L2I, L2E, RATM,
R-FE/N, PKD-TL, PKD-N, ADP-L1, ADP-L2, TD, UWP, ADP-L3 and NTD...
23 and counting...

Friday, December 18, 2015

RallyFrEe Practice (4)

On November 23rd we practiced (which I've already blogged about), then again on the 30th - followed by taping for the competition.  I asked J'Anna, my practice partner, to tape our warm-up sessions.  To be clear - this is not intended to be a training session.  This is video day, so if she doesn't know it by then, its too late.  Mostly I was just trying to warm her up on the sequences and get myself flowing on my part of the job.

This first clip is a two-part station, CW-circle, followed by figure-8 twice.  You'll see Gimme was distracted here and there, then she gets up in my face for kisses.  She seems to have "performance anxiety" - which is always worse on video day.  I've learned this kissy-face is how she asks for reassurance.  I find if I don't give her the reassurance then, her performance goes downhill from there.  The next try was better, though still a little distracted.  The next station was a switchback, which she did well, with a bit more airs above the ground than it called for.  The next station was free choice, which I intended to be a center front pivot around me.  She was into major offering.  At times she seems impatient with my choices.  The second try at this she did much better, though threw in a CCW-circle at the start.  The next part is a little sequence I made up - this time she did it flawlessly.  The 270 right turn and bow were very good too.  I have to make a pretty big circle on those 270's when she is on the inside, otherwise she turns it into a pivot and that is points off.

On this second practice clip, she again starts out with offering.  I think this is often a product of a life long issue - poor listening skills.  Too often Gimme hears me speak and then just does what she thought I was going to say, instead of waiting and listening to hear what I actually said.  I need to revisit my earlier training notes and see what was recommended to work on this.  Of course, suggestions are welcome.  In her defense, we just started seriously training the paw lift behavior ten days ago, so she could have been confused.  On the pivot on her "brick", I intended have her do it twice... in our final video for submission she throws in an extra and I just let it ride.  She likes this behavior.  The next station is supposed to be a CCW spin followed by sit-stand.  Gimme has taken to moving a lot with the stand part of this, so its something we'll have to revisit.  She gets distracted here and at the next station, causing her to get out of position.  After she got in heel and offered me a nice bit of attention, I said "bowl", which is her cue to run to her special bowl for her reward.  The first couple of times we do a sequence using the bowl, its actually a distraction, but once she wins that reward a few times, then it serves as motivation to keep trying.

On this third practice session, you'll see she does the two behavior station very cleanly.  I noticed in this clip I was saying, "and thru" each time.  So I'm going to be watching to see if "and" serves as a pre-cue and helps her stay focused.  I'm thinking it could be like the military's use of pre-cues, such as "parade rest" and "atten shun", where the action comes on the second part of the cue.  She bobbles on the switchback but does it nicely with the repeat.  You'll see here I'm playing with having my hands on the front of my thighs to get her to hold center front for the pivot.  I don't intend to keep this, but tried it as a band-aid for the video.  She bobbled on the multi-part sequence, but got into the correct end position, so I sent her to her bowl as a reward for effort.

For our fourth practice session, we went much through the whole course.  Her heeling to start was really nice.  Still not clear on the paw lift, but gets it with the hand cue.  We ended up with four pivots on the brick.  You'll notice her embellishment on this stand was different than the time before.  We had a bobble there on the right-turn-thru-trx - this is a good place for a pre-cue to tell her something is coming.  Next is a free choice, she loves this backing around me in heel.  In fact I've had to clean up my handling because at one point she thought the cue was a twitch of my shoulder and I'm still working to make shoulder twitches meaningless. ☺  She does the circle and thrus nicely and then is distracted in the switchback by a surprise appearance of a person and dog nearby.  I chose not to repeat this station, because I wanted to reward and encourage her being able to move away.  You can see she is unable to focus at the center-front-pivot and goes into kissy face.  I wasn't surprised.  Dogs are a very hard distraction for her and even when she does well, she often needs reassurance afterward - needing confirmation of how well she did.  I chose to move her on to give her more distance.  She did well on the remaining exercises through to the end. She self-released to the bowl, but came back when I called her.  The video cut it off, but I had her do two more behaviors and then released her to the bowl.  I try to never release her to the bowl after a "take-a" (bow).

Just in case you missed it, Gimme did qualify with the video we submitted this day.  She improved on her prior score by 12 points.  This was her third qualifying entry, earning her FIFTEENTH title!  My next blog entry will show the final video we submitted and an analysis of her score sheet, with a comparison against the two prior score sheets. 

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