It was 98 degrees when were driving in for class. Because the site is in Maple Valley, it was probably only 93 during class, but humid and I was wilting. Jo moved class outside to the parking lot so we'd have some breeze to cool us down. She started with three individual exercises.
The first was to move around the area and find a dozen things we could practice 2-on "hands". One thing I will have to work on is getting true stimulus control between "hands" and "table". If its something she could get all four feet on, Gimme stops listening and assumes it is "table". Still this was easy for Gimme, she thinks she invented it.
The second was to plan and execute a creativity course for ourselves, with 5 different behaviors, using at least 4 props (and we couldn't use the same prop twice in a row). This was a little harder for me to think it up. I planned "hands", "below", "g'won" (go between two close props), "table" and "walkies". Gimme found it easy.
The third exercise was in the shady courtyard, we each had a chair and were to work on as many different things as we could. First I had Gimme do "hands", "below" and "table". Then I took advantage of the opportunity to refresh her brain on "cane" and "orbit" (move around a prop). This presented the challenge of making sure I positioned us so she was starting her circle on the back side of the chair, otherwise she'd get on the chair. So once we get "cane" and "orbit" back, I'll have to put them on the list of cues to get true stimulus control on. One classmate with a small dog turned her chair over and had her dog jump it. Not willing to be outdone, I had Gimme get up in the seat and then jump over the chair-back to the ground. She wasn't entirely sure she could do this, but with some encouragement she did it and did well. Since this jumping was from a sit, it was not physically an easy thing to do. I made it worth her while.
For the rest of class we did short sequences...
Sequence 1 video The first was "walkies", "sit" on platform, "walkies", turn around on
platform, "walkies, "sit" and "walkies". Kisses were free.
Sequence 2 video This is the somewhat narrower board, so Gimme has to be focused on it. (I really must get a board set up at home to practice on) "Walkies", pause on platform, "walkies", "g'won" between telephone pole and building, "below" (which someone substituted a table for), "below".
Sequence 3 video You don't see the beginning of this because I couldn't figure out a way to get it all on the camera. The beginning is "hands" on a split rail fence, "walkies" on a low board, then "cane" around a giant cone. "Cane" was the hardest because there were dogs nearby which were distracting. From there (on screen), "below", "below", "g'won", "table", "walkies" and "walkies".
Sequence 4 video The lady with the little dog had picked him up and he was wiggling, which Gimme found even more distracting. The exercise was to do some moving around the base of the ramp and teach the dog to wait for a cue before getting on. Control work is so important for safety and will be THE hardest thing for Gimme to master. After the dogs waited, they got rewarded with "walkies", pause, and "walkies".
Sequence 5 video This was more of the same and Jo complimented Gimme on what a well trained dog she is. As well trained as she is, she still thinks control work is a bunch of hooey. Her control efforts were rewarded with "walkies", pause-turn, and "walkies".
I was sad to think this would be our last class, but happy news was delivered. They are changing the class structure to a month-at-a-time basis for the advanced group. So we'll continue a little longer on Sundays. And... they hope to add another advanced group late on Wednesday night. I wouldn't get home until nearly 11p.m. only to turn around and drive back on Thursday morning for either tracking or RFE practice. Still I'm happy to go for this if we can continue in class and not throw away a bunch of money on classes I can't attend. Cross your fingers the Wednesday night class materializes.