Session 1 video - I decided this time to try more use of backing up to indicate when she is well out of position. She reads this as information that she's doing it wrong and always does better right afterward - there's no sign that she finds it aversive. It used to deflate her, but I think she now has a much better understanding of what I want, so its just information. I started out with a little warm-up heeling and then got to doing 180º turns. We spent much of the session doing these. I don't think I did a good enough job breaking down the task for the turn at the distracting end of the training area. I was also far too late to respond when she started to distract. We do a short bit of "side" and then switch gears. When she jumps up on me, I just gently help her down and then go right to work - since this has become something she does unnecessarily (i.e. not because she's uncertain). We practice finding "center" and then doing "spin" and "turn" in center position - something we've been working on at home. She still has trouble with "turn" in center position, so I have to lure a couple times to remind her. She showed she thinks its icky when I grab her to interrupt her, so I tried to do the same thing, but slower and less grabby and then she was okay with it. The idea was to get her more comfortable with my hands "grabbing" her. She did well with doing "spin" and "turn" strictly on a verbal in center position, but then offered another when I asked for "around", so I had to interrupt her again. Her distraction at 8:30 is because of hearing the phone alarm, which I hadn't used in that setting before. She hears it at home and isn't distracted by it, but in my little living room its louder with an obvious source. I was aiming for a shorter, but 9:15 wasn't too bad.
Session 2 video - Started with some "side" warm up. I don't know what J'Anna was doing with the camera - something to do with the new monopod I guess. We did a little bit of rewarding for being still and waiting for cues - a hard concept for Gimme. Then we did a little work on side passes, something really new to us. I should have been using the clicker to isolate rear end movement. When I tried to work on it in side position, she was doing a weird pivoting thing I didn't want, so I got out a barrier to help her stay at my side. It went much better with the barrier to limit her options. A clicker would have helped here too. Even without it, she still picked up what I wanted really fast. She's so darn smart. We did a little more heeling and then switched to "back". This was her first time without a foot target here. I don't know why she turned and wanted to back over to one side, unless she was thinking to target the barrier. When she got a really nice one, she got multiple treats and we ended.
Session 3 video - Gimme really likes backing onto things, "bacon". So this session was a lot about it. We ended up with an impressive audience of observers. She makes it look really easy. We did some "out" alternating chairs to form a figure 8, working on distance. She did a nice job with these. We ended with some "bacon" to the chair. Its really hard because the chair is so high and a small footprint with the chair back in the way, so she really has to work to get her front feet up there. I was really impressed to see her work out how to do it, which requires quite a bit of core strength. You have to appreciate her thinking and trying getting on frontward, just to see if I might be willing to pay for this too. We switched to a bit of heeling and it was interesting to see what a big distraction the chairs became then. Gimme just couldn't believe I really wanted to only walk around them when she knows she can do much more impressive stuff. At 6:15 she is again distracted by the phone alarm. We ended with a sidepass with her in center position.
Overall I thought these were really nice sessions. She sure has come a long way. We have 4-5 weeks before she goes into Mommy-brain, but she's making such nice headway, so I'm not as worried as before.
BTW she is entered in a barn hunt this Saturday and Sunday. This is the first barn hunt we've done this year, since I've been so focused on tracking. Gimme needs 10 masters level legs to get a RATCH (barn hunt championship).
Also, as it turns out they are sharing the site with a UKC group, so we are going to try weight pull at the same time. She's entered in three pulls and since she needs three legs to get a title, its possible she could come home with a new title. Otherwise there is another weight pull the following weekend. It'll be a fun weekend. I know Gimme will be thrilled to hunt for rats and I expect she'll like weight pulling, since she's shown such an affinity for it in the past.
Do cross any body parts you can spare for us...