Last night was challenging for Gimme. We took baby Rockette along and she was able to leave her in the car. However, she had some difficulty focusing. It got better toward the middle of class for a few exercises. Of course when the super barky dog showed up for agility on the other side of the wall, this made it again hard for her to concentrate.
Jo set up class to follow a progression of exercises... starting with an easy balance beam exercise and then adding one thing at a time. When she added something challenging, we did that independently before putting it into the sequence. Many of these were far too easy for Gimme, but she has the most experience in this class, so its often a bit simpler when the other dogs are there. Of course with Gimme's mommy-brain it worked out well.
Sequence 1 video - Easy balance board sequence. Gimme did the "flip" (180º turn) on the verbal. The box wasn't part of it, but this kid has never met a box she didn't feel the need to walk through.
Sequence 2 video - Again with walking through the box. This time we added an around of the cone. Gimme was a bit distracted there. Jo thought I gave her the cue too late and went too close to the cone, which normally might be true. This time I think it was mommy-brain.
Sequence 3 video - This time we added an around of the cone on the other side. Gimme is distracted at the end and can't focus to sit on the first cue.
Sequence 4 video - Here we put the balance board and both arounds all together. Gimme was a bit distracted by the younger dog before we started. He's an adolescent idjit boy and his owners aren't as careful as I'd like, so Gimme watches him. She pays a lot less attention to the other dog, who is calm, well-trained and with a careful owner.
Sequence 5 video - For this sequence, Jo added "below", "box", "below" on one side of the end and "hands" on the other side of the end. Gimme kept giving me "table" instead of listening to the "hands" cue. Stimulus control between "hands" and "table" continues to be a challenge and always shows up when she's distracted. What worked was to really slow her down so her thinking brain could catch up.
Sequence 6 video - You'll immediately see Jo added a whole new strip of multiple obstacles for the dogs to put their feet on. Gimme did excellently at this and I thought it was where she was the most focused. It may be this was the first time she actually needed to focus.
Sequence 7 video - Jo switched the low table for "hands" with the bigger scaffold, which made it easier for us, though I had to be careful, since Gimme would be perfectly happy to leap up there and use it for "table". This time included the side street strip of multiple surfaces. I thought Gimme did really nice with this.
Sequence 8 video - As a little break from what we were doing, we were given three obstacles: chair, box and oil pan. We were to create a sequence of 6 behaviors using them. We did "box", "table", "table", "below", "hands" and... naturally I had to show off, so we ended with "bacon" (she's the only one in class who can do it). Of course I didn't think it through when I positioned the camera, so you don't really get to see the "bacon". Sorry 'bout that butt-side view...
Sequence 9 video - This time was when the barky dog next door arrived, so I started off with a bunch of treats to get Gimme thinking about me. Much of the course was taken away, some was set up parallel to the first balance board, plus Jo added two dividers with poles running between them for the dogs to go under. Gimme did well, but was anxious to get back to her matt and I had to bring her back for the "box", which is usually her favorite. I think she was starting to tire of the hubbub.
Sequence 10 video - This is the same sequence - with a little embellishment added by Gimme. Jo points out, since I only told her "thru" she was perfectly correct to decide for herself and jump over on the way back. This would be my girl - the over achiever...
At the end of class we were to go outside and work on having the dog go around a tree. I wasn't about to drop the leash with her lack of focus, so tried to practice on a small stump. Sadly there was a woman from the next class watching, which was very distracting. Gimme couldn't even follow a lure. I concluded she was "used up" and took her through the building to head to the car. I decided to see if she could work in the building. I lured her around a cone a few times and then she was able to do it herself, until the woman showed up to watch again.
Despite the recurring distraction, Gimme made good effort. I know this can be really challenging for her, so I always appreciate how much she tries.