We are getting ready to video for the West1 Regional. J'Anna has to do an off leash submission and her dog is highly reactive, so we needed the safety of the enclosed puppy room. I didn't enter West1 because I don't want to risk getting distracted from the focus work we are doing. We really have to get this foundation in place if we are going to make long term progress. We've only used this space once, a long time ago, so with the very noisy with dog and people sounds in the background, it was very distracting for Gimme.
Session 1 video I was trying to get Gimme to give me a reorientation as she came through the door, but she didn't really get it. I went ahead when she showed she remembered I was there. Because it was so different, I gave her one trip around the room, but far enough from the edges so she couldn't sniff. This floor is really slick, so I couldn't do some of the focus games we've worked on. When she was really distracted by the stuffed-kitty prop, we worked it until she got over it. What I saw was her trying to work with me, but also quite a bit of gandering. Better than in the past, but she wasn't as focused as the last practice here. I completely misjudged her level of focus (in the moment - its totally clear on video) so ended up putting her back on leash. She seemed almost relieved with the leash back on, possibly because she didn't have to work as hard to be right.
I also used her special bowl for the last 6 minutes. The bowl when I first bring it out is a distraction, but it seemed to distract her from the other distractions. This is the point when I started doing the next phase of our work - where I move away from her 45 degrees when she's distracted. Sometimes it turned into 90 degrees and often it was late as I was getting my rhythm for it. She started getting really focused toward the end.
Session 2 video Again I tried to get reorientation at the door. Clearly we need to practice this in a more familiar setting. The second time in I didn't give her any time to look about. When I got Gimme from the car she insisted on bringing her Mini-Skineez in with her, so I put it in special bowl as her reward. This is the first time we've done this, so it seemed she wasn't clear at first what she was supposed to do. She loves tugging, but doesn't like it when we stop to work some more - so we only used the tug a few times. She seemed to like it. The thru-side issue was timing on my part - I wasn't cuing "side" soon enough, when I did she got it right. It should come as no surprise how much better she did with "heel" and "side" when I started moving more purposefully. It was hard for Gimme to move past her special bowl without looking at it, so we worked on this for a bit. I thought the last four minutes were the best of this session.
Session 3 video My intention for the last session was to keep it short and repeat the best part of session 2. I think I should have started with some "setup" to get her in the game. She did pretty good with finding "heel", but had to be reminded about where "side" was.
One thing I really see in her is no matter how distracted she is, all of her sit-waits are rock solid. This is certainly a good thing.
I think we are making good progress. I'm sure it would go faster if obedience was a stronger skill for me. I do love how Gimme never stops trying.