NOTE: I actually prepared this blog entry a couple months ago, but it seems I forgot to "publish" it. Just noticed it and published it today. Our Wednesday night parkour class resumes on the 18th. Gimme will be very happy, as will I.
Sadly we've just learned our Parkour class is cancelled for the time being - since I'm the only person who wanted to continue. I was going to have to skip a session after the one that would have started tonight, because of how busy I'll get for Christmas, so its okay. Hopefully classes will start up again after the first of the year. Do picture Gimme pouting...
"Thru" practice video - Gimme really did fine with this. She likes active stuff. As we went through in reverse direction, her leash caught on the framework, so I had her do it again.
"Thru-out-thru" video - This was just the same thing, go "thru", then "out" around the cone and back "thru" again. Easy peasy.
"Thru" video - Another "thru" obstacle. Gimme enjoys this sort of stuff.
"Below" bench video - This one presented a little challenge for us. I should say it presented a challenge for ME. I was so slow on my cue timing, so Gimme wasn't getting the information in time to respond. When I got it right, magically, so did she.
"Walkies-flip-walkies" video - This is the first time Jo added the barrel to the board walk. I'm not sure Gimme even noticed.
Sequence 1 video - This first sequence basically puts together all the things we'd already done. Gimme loves it when we get to the sequences because they are more active.
Sequence 2 video - This is the same sequence, but trying to do it more controlled. It improved mostly right after the first "thru" where I had to take her over to the board walk.
Creative sequence video - We were given the task of using a chair, a box and a cone and creating our own flowing sequence of 5 behaviors. We did "out" (around the cone), "box", "below" and "table" (with the chair), and "hands" on the cone. Gimme had already done "hands" correctly several times on the cone. Naturally, being Gimme, she thought a little embellishment was in order, so she turned and did "bacon" (back-on). Since it was technically two paws on, I chose to accept her variation. After all, I surely don't want to suppress her creative endeavors.
Positions on board walk video - This is kinda hard. The dogs have to organize their feet up under them, so its not something they'd choose to do. Gimme did it, but was a little uncomfortable with it, so I chose to put a lot of money in the down-on-board-walk bank account. The second time was on the narrower board, but she was still much quicker about it. She got paid well.
Sequence 3 video - Here we put the positions on the board walk into the same sequence we'd been doing before. Gimme did very well.
Sequence 4 video - This is the same sequence with just 3 changes. 1) as we get on the little table before the board walk, Gimme is supposed to do a 10 second "sit-wait", 2) the box is moved beside the second part of the board walk requiring a dismount, "box" and then get back on the board walk, and 3) at the end, instead of "table" she is supposed to do "hands" on the can, with a "pivot". Gimme did really well at all of it, but couldn't remember what to do with the "pivot" cue. I reminded her by making the can the pivot point for a center-front-pivot and then let her finish it on her own.
Sequence 5 video -This is a repeat, to smooth out the lumps. Gimme completely remembered her "pivot". Really its kinda neat that she was able to do it, since she learned it on a much smaller prop we call the brick, so transferring it to this much higher can is really smart of her.
"Box-out-box" training video - At the time I had the hardest time grasping why this was difficult for her. Thank God for video, since I can now see the relative location of me to the cone made my hand signal look exactly like a lure for the "spin", which is exactly what she was giving me in the "box". I was also using the wrong cue, "around" instead of "out". Naturally a hand signal takes precedent over a verbal, so she was trying so hard to do what she thought I wanted - I was the one who wasn't getting it. Then I got started using the wrong hand to motion with and other training errors on my part.
There is a reason dog trainers often say "dogs learn in spite of us, not because of us." Fortunately I am blessed with a brilliant dog who never gives up and is willing to do what it takes to figure out what I want even if it doesn't coincide with what I ask for.