Tonight was most interesting and it started yesterday. I'd noticed during a walk Gimme had the attention span of a gnat. It took most of 3 miles to get her able to focus. Later in the day she worked beautifully with me for two different training sessions, so at the time I didn't give it much thought.
Tonight in class - I swear, the lights were on and no one was home. Usually when she is so unfocused, I can do the Give Me A Break game (from Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt) and it works beautifully. However, it really didn't work for us this time. I finally had her attention for a bit, but it didn't last very long.
She is in season, but its far too early to be "the day" where she loses her brain. Of course, she's had odd seasons before and I notice she's already loosing her puffiness and showing almost no color, so perhaps this will be a shortie. I'll know soon enough.
I decided for our second turn to just work on basic stuff to help her get focused. I wanted to do something where I could reward a lot in a short period of time and I knew exactly what I'd try. (I told Blynn ahead of time)
Recently I discovered Gimme is very distracted when I train in the yard, despite being able to focus and train in other more distracting settings. I think its because she has no expectation of training in the yard. Thus Kathy and I have been talking about using a "set-up" to help Gimme know when I want to start training versus when I'm in the yard for other purposes. So for the last four days I've been working on it. I started in the house to make sure Gimme knew what was expected with no distraction. Then I did it during walks and then a brief session in the yard yesterday. It was one of the two beautiful training sessions we did.
Tonight when I brought Gimme in for her second turn, we just started off doing "set-up" a few times. Then I added a few steps of heeling. Then added a wait and release to a jump. Next thing you know I was able to do half the course with really great focus.
The difference was like night and day. I can't wait to show you the video's - I'll probably edit them together to highlight the difference.