We had another substitute instructor and he wasn't nearly as good as who we had last week, who is nowhere near as good as Jo (she'll be back next week). He's the person who teaches agility for this facility and now I know why his students don't do well and why the facility isn't well thought of in agility circles. So, we didn't really learn anything new tonight; the sequences were pretty simple. Its just as well, because the dog Gimme took a dislike to 3 weeks ago was back and she struggled to focus.
The owner had moved them to a Sunday night class and was just here for a make-up class. The dog is a very shrill barker and disrupts the focus of all the dogs, not to mention frustrating the heck out of her owner. On a positive note, I was able to talk to the owner after class and she was very receptive to my suggestions. I knew class was about to end, so I quickly took Gimme out to the car so I could talk to her. I pointed her toward Control Unleashed and especially the Look-at-That game. She said someone else told her to get the new BAT book. So, as a graduate of their instructor course, I was able to tell her what was good and not so good about the program. CU is really much better for her needs and the problems the dog is exhibiting. In a few weeks I'll be taking a Sunday class as a make-up, so maybe we'll see some clear progress. Hoping so.
Sequence 1 video - In any case, this is a clear example of totally unfocused Gimme. Happily her tail is back to normal.
Sequence 2 video - Gimme did much better this time. I had trouble all evening getting my timing right to call her out of the hoop stand on the side. She wasn't focused and my timing was off.
BTW the reason I call her so quickly as she comes out of the barrel is because there is another dog just out of sight behind the PVC barrier to the left. In fact that dog is only about 5 feet from us all through class, with just a sheet over another PVC barrier. It was hard for Gimme to have another dog so close for so long. I did a lot of rewarding calm behavior and calm looks at it and other dogs as they came into view.
Sequence 3 video - Gimme did much better with this one. Partly I think it was because the sequence started at the other end, so far from the other dogs.
Boardwalk with control points video - He wanted us to do the boardwalk up to the scaffold again, but adding control points. Gimme knows how to do this, but it took her a moment to remember she knew - then she was awesome.
Sequence 4 video - This time we combined the two sequences into one. I worked control points through the whole thing, but still couldn't get the turn I wanted coming out of the hoop stand. At least I got it going into the hoop stand on the return trip.
Sequence 5 video - Gimme was supposed to do "hands" (2 on) to the step, but it was big enough, so she ignored me and jumped on with all 4 feet. This is a continual problem for us. I got the hands and then moved her away to re-present it to her and this time she offers a "below". Still didn't get the turn out of the hoop stand. Again she gives me 4 on to the bench when I cued "hands". She did quite well with the "box" to "box", only inches apart, especially since she'd never seen this combination before.
"Table"-"hands" discrimination video - The task here was to do both "table" and "hands" in an unpredictable sequence to work on discrimination. I basically didn't reward her when she didn't follow my cue. She was starting to get it.
I need to think of some obstacle I can have at home which has several different behavior possibilities, including "hands" and "table", so we can spend some time working discrimination. I may have to make something. I have lots of cinder blocks and some scrap wood, so it wouldn't be hard to some up with something safe and suitable for "hands", "table", "out", "below" and "bacon". I just think it would be really helpful to be able to work off leash. I also want to be able to cue not-doing (i.e. waiting for a cue), so being off leash would make this go really well. And, of course, conveniently training at home whenever I had time would be a big plus.
"Box" to "box" video - This is an interesting challenge for the dogs. I think having the two boxes right next to each other makes it seem like just one box, so Gimme didn't see any reason why she couldn't have her front feet in one box and her back feet in another. Once she got it right and got rewarded, then she figured out the deal. She had this MUCH faster than the other dogs.
Of course she is a genius, doncha know.