As I said before, this month we are doing a Transitions workshop with MDSA. Our assignment for this week was to turn in a video of some variations of spins, circles, and throughs, toward transitions. So my goal for these practices was multi-purpose. First I wanted to keep Gimme busy, happy and working with focus. I wanted to be sure to keep the sessions closer to my target time of 8 minutes. I wanted to play with some ideas I had for the Transitions workshop. And I wanted to do a better job of keeping Gimme moving more. Kathy pointed out to me after reviewing videos from our last session, I tend to get stuck working behaviors and she thought Gimme needed the hard stuff broken up with more movement.
Session 1 video - We started with some heeling on the left and then switched to "side" position for more heeling. Gimme clearly wanted to work, but if you watch carefully, you'll see she's not consistently responding to the cues I'm giving. Much of the time she's hearing me speak and then just doing the last thing she was rewarded for. So we did some "side" position setups and single steps of heeling to get more focus. Whenever I could, I tried to break out into rapid heeling - which Gimme liked. Of course, she tried to throw in a few "Otto" reps here and there. Interesting that her understanding of "wait" was almost completely gone this day. One of the things I wanted to include for the MDSA assignment was the move Gimme created when I was first trying to teach her an inside "turn" - so starting from "heel" position, its "thru", followed by ½ "turn" and ½ "Otto", back into "heel" position. When she did it on her own, it was smoother, but I like it and want to keep it as a move - which we'll call Spinotto. Catchy name, doncha think. We haven't done the "thru-right-behind-thru-left-around" sequence in awhile, and especially the "right" and "left" (single leg circles). So I had to warm it up before we could get the sequence successfully.
I made a new rule for myself about how many behaviors I'd do after the alarm goes off, since my sense of time is completely skewed. I will do either 2-3 repetitions of well known behaviors or work on 1 behavior. As a result, this session came in right at 8:00 minutes, which is what I'm usually aiming for.
Session 2 video - I had an idea for a handler-front-cross and dog-front-cross repetitive sequence, so we played with it. Gimme needed the support of my hand to hold her "wait" while I did my movement. It's not fancy, but I think it could be cute with some dance movement on my part, after we get her "wait" back. You'll see what I mentioned before about her not really listening to cues, but just repeating the last thing she was paid for. So after the hfc/dfc sequence, we heeled a bit and then I wanted to work on "Otto". Given how much she loves the move, for her to not respond to the cue really surprised me. In hindsight it's pretty clear (see below). I gave up on "Otto" and decided to work on inside spins. I was having difficulty getting these at home. I'd lure the inside spin and before I could reward it, Gimme would back-spin, as if to show me how it's supposed to be done, because the inside spins are the reverse of what she'd expect for the position based on all the training we've done to this point. By moving forward immediately, it interrupted the tendency to back-spin and got me the chance to reward what I was trying to get. This session was 7:45.
Session 3 video - For this third session, I worked on a couple of sequences I'd thought of. Some things are just better in my head than on the ground, eh. Some feel okay, but then look awful on video. Pawsabilities has some handicapped people doing simple jobs for them and at one point one of them did something to attract Gimme's attention, which she found very distracting. I felt I needed to report it to the front desk. I didn't report it because it was a problem for me, but rather had J'Anna been working her dog, it would not have been pretty since her dog is not people social. I heartily support the program, I just think there needs to be more supervision for safety. Just about 45 seconds before the end of this session, I tossed a treat for Gimme and it seemed to me she lost her balance in jumping to get it.
Now that I have the video to review, it looks more like her rear crumpled under her. From then until just before her chiropractor appointment 4 hours later, she was unable to lift her tail or wag normally. The chiropractic went well and I hoped this would be the end of it.
BTW the assignment for MDSA I submitted is Transitions 2 homework video.