I've been busy preparing handouts for the Parkour class I'll be teaching. I have 12 pages so far. I really like this and I think it has a lot to offer the average person and their dog, many of whom would not be interested in a competitive dog sport. Still, this gives them a structure to measure progress against and those who want to can submit for titles.
Parkour class this last Wednesday was interesting. Traffic was a complete mess, so even though I left home on time, we were 20 minutes late (a 2:20 drive). Gimme started out okay, but was very stressy for the last half hour of the drive. I thought maybe it was the false pregnancy, but when we got there, she dumped a big one... For the first part of class, an exercise outside, she couldn't get her focus into it - which may be false pregnancy, maybe just keyed up from the late arrival and my own tension of trying to get there on time through traffic which repeatedly failed to cooperate.
In any case, the exercise was about teaching the dog to send to a box or table. She had a lot of difficulty doing it and when she did, couldn't focus enough to stay there. I didn't get video of this. I did get some success toward the end by tossing treats to her in position. Of course I'm an awful treat-tosser, so it wasn't as effective as it could be. I can always practice those things at home.
Balance board sequence video - This was a very simple balance board exercise, really similar to what we did last week. Gimme did very well with it and I think this easy success went a long way to helping her get focused. If you look at the ladder trainer laying against the backdrop - pay attention to the proportions of the parts to step on and the parts which are holes. You'll see Gimme do something in another video and knowing how big the spaces versus steps will make what she does all the more impressive.
Raised ladder trainer sequence video - For this sequence, Jo put the ladder in place of the cross board. I thought Gimme might be concerned about how high it was, since she's never done it more than a foot off the ground. She showed no sign of caring about the height.
Send training 1 video - At the very beginning of this video, Gimme doesn't understand what I wanted her to do, so she just guesses and jumps straight up to land on the ladder trainer. I was scared to death about what she'd done, but also impressed at how well she adjusted her footfalls in an instant, so she landed safely. We were all a bit awestruck, after we got past the shock. By the third time, even though she anticipated and started coming to me before I got into position, she then corrected herself, finishing well. I was amazed she did this well, given the yappy dog next door in agility, which started up just as her turn started.
Send training 2 & ladder trainer sequence video - This time I threw treats ahead of her a couple of times and it worked well to clarify what I wanted. The final time I threw the treat to her after she did the behavior. Up until then it was acting as a lure, but she understands the "lure a little" sequence (max 3 times) and usually offers what I want the next time. Then we did the ladder trainer again. This time she decided to hop across, and while it showed great style, its not really safe and it won't work when she starts working on an actual ladder, so I turned her around to do it again.
Sequence 2 video - This time we put the send into a sequence. There is another small platform at the end which is out of the camera p.o.v. Gimme enjoys sequences, so she did well. She was momentarily distracted by a speck on the floor near the chair, but then she got back in gear.
Sequence 3 video - This was the same sequence and Gimme did well with it.
Since we arrived so late in the class, this is all there was. We have one more class in the series before starting another round. The other Border Collie won't be back right away due to complications in his neutering. SAC has a 4 dog minimum for classes, but Jo convinced them to go with this class even though there are only 3 of us. She hopes they'll agree to keep it open since the other dog plans to come back after he's recovered. Cross your fingers...