I'm a bit behind, so this practice was actually 9 days ago. I left the tripod in the car so my "videographer" would do more than just sit behind the camera. She's doing a much nicer job. But she said her shoulders are bothering her from holding the camera and trying to work the zoom, so I'm going to see about getting a handheld "tripod" or "monopod".
This was not our best day - mostly because of me. I had a slight migraine and was impatient and not thinking as well as I could have. Gimme still managed good stuff, even if I wasn't at my best.
Session 1 video - Gimme was a little snoopy as I was getting my jacket off, but was trying to work with me. My stay signal was unclear, hence her moving with me. We haven't done many stays of late, so she took it upon herself to break from it as I was returning. She did well with the reset through my return. We worked on focusing and rewarding with some play. She loves the play and I want to use more of it. The trouble I see is how she tends to spiral up until she has no self-control. This is something I'm sure we need to work through (i.e. not avoid), so I'll have to get an explanation of how to approach this. Gimme is such a great dog I'm sure she'd be doing much better with someone with more experience. Thank God we have Kathy to coach me and the progress since we started has been huge. I continue to see Gimme heeling wide and I want to focus on this to bring her closer. I'm not sure why she's doing this, but suspect its something I allowed to develop while we were going through the false pregnancy, preferring to maintain attitude and attention. The 180º turns at the camera-end of the room are worse than elsewhere, because that is where all the distraction occurs. I think I need to increment this better - maybe by making the turn in that direction at the desk, and then repeating it just a couple feet closer at a time until she is able to maintain focus. Its a distraction issue and I'm sure I could do a better job helping her understand how to win in that situation. And of course, I see the one time she did it brilliantly, I failed to reward it enough to show how much I liked it. <sigh> After we tighten up heel position, I also want to work on Gimme noticing when I change pace as she is tending to keep going at the same pace whether I am or not. You'll see after our first play explosion entering the "ring", she can't listen and so misses when I cue her to go to "side" position. This is all part of the impulse control and over excitement issue. She can learn it, I just need clarification on how to teach it to her. We ended with a series of "thru" and she did them beautifully. I did a good job stopping the session at a shorter time (8:30).
Session 2 video - You'll see Gimme starts well, but then starts anticipating what I'm going to ask for and does what she thinks I'll say instead of what I asked for. Such as "around" instead of "side". Then she offers "turn" before I cue it. I was going to cue it, but she doesn't wait. Sure looks like I've developed a pattern which she's correctly figured out. In watching the video, I think the first couple times I try to steady her in position with my hand, she thinks its rewarding (like petting). But then she decides it isn't a reward and finds it deflating. She's right, I shouldn't have used my hands on her to stop the offering. We've been down this road before. I wish I were better at analyzing on the fly and switching gears. She starts getting it, in spite of me, not because of what I was doing. I do want to set up platforms at home and work on her switching between "heel", "side" and "center". "Center" is the weakest one and I think I just need to put a lot in the position bank accounts. Gimme really likes backing up, but has developed a chain of her own - back a few steps then run forward to get a treat. I was trying to toss the treats to her to get her to stay back until I called her to "center" again. She started getting it once I got my treat tossing timely and accurate. I am a treat-dropping-master, a real challenge. You'll see she again has difficulty actually listening to the "side" cue, just assuming its "back" because that's what we've been doing. There was about another minute to this video, but J'Anna had to answer a call she'd been waiting for and didn't catch it. Again a nice length session (7:00).
Session 3 video - This video misses a minute because of difficulty getting the camera to record. The display got changed and I haven't figured out how to get it back to "normal". Gimme does a nice job on the 180º turn closer to the distracting end of the room, where I wasn't so far down. On our first play reward in the "ring", Gimme enjoys it but then has to shake it off after its done. So its clearly arousing for her. Her 180º turns at the distraction end are still good, though a tad wide. She stays excited and can't just-be-still... This is hard for her when she isn't excited by play reward or a lot of food reward, so its something we need to work through. Again, I should have been keeping my hands off her, since it only adds frustration to her challenge. Part of the problem was that I was also wanting her to remain standing in "heel" and "side", which is what we do for RFE. Next week I'll put a lot more reward into still-in-position. I know tossing treats is rewarding her for being away from me, but it also helps to bleed off frustration (which, in this case, I caused). In the backing, I notice a tendency as we add more distance, for her to curl clockwise. I'm not sure how to fix this, so have to think about it. I tried adding extra rewards when she ended up on the carpet square, to encourage her toward it and thus to backing straight. I'm not sure it worked. I may need to slow down in adding distance. She was adding the down on the matt on her own - not sure why - so I just made sure she didn't get any rewards while down. This session lasted too long (10:00).
I talk too much about what needs work, so I want to say, I know Gimme works really hard and has improved a lot this year...