Here's what I see when comparing the video to the score sheet. First, we got a total gift on the paw lift. By the time we videotaped this, Gimme was pattern trained to do a paw lift there - I hadn't given a cue. I've never used the pivot on the brick as a free choice before because I always thought the behavior should be independent of a target, so I was happily surprised to see the high marks I got for performance and difficulty. I didn't even notice Gimme's incomplete sit on the sit-stand so was surprised to see the comment, but its there in living color. The judge saw a "spin" instead of a "stand", I saw a "stand" followed by a "spin". Still I had already noted it as something to work on - Gimme doesn't quite believe standing in one place doing nothing has value. Clearly I have failed to make it valuable. Her circle transition and thru transitions were both nice. I didn't know what the judge meant by "slightly out of position at end" for the thru transition until I watched it and could see Gimme heeled a little wide after. The right turn thru transition had problems - going back to the issue with listening skills, mentioned in the last blog entry. I hadn't really given much thought to accuracy of position in our 360 pivot at heel, which accounts for the judge's comments. Its interesting she gave me the exact same score and free choice difficulty points when she judged it last time. Have to say the judge doesn't miss a thing - she even noticed the brief moment when Gimme looked away on her CW circle. Can't disagree with her comments on the switchback or the center-front pivot. Remember this is where Gimme was concerned the practice right before this run by seeing a dog so close outside the ring. And I'd already noted we need to tighten up the accuracy on the center-front pivot. This also is a repeat of the issue I notice with Gimme seeing no value in standing and doing nothing. I didn't understand her comments about our circle-thru-combo and am going to ask for clarification. Interestingly we earned a point more than the last time she judged it and then it had a number of errors. The assessment of our right 270 and bow seem perfectly reasonable.
I've put together a comparison of all three of our video entries. Again the most noticeable difference is an increase in higher scores for stations.I earn 8-10 points for "Performed Very Well to Superb". Our first time we got this for 4 stations, second time 8 and this time 9, of which 5 were 10 points for a Superb performance! I earn 4-7 points for "Performed Adequate to Well". Our first time we got this for 11 stations, second time 6 and this time 5. I earn 1-3 points for "Performed with Significant Deficiencies". Our first time we had no stations with significant deficiencies, last time we had one (the failed bow at the end) and this time one (sit-stand). Our difficulty points for free choice stations came up by 2 points. Again an overall trend toward a much better end result.
Last time we got a nice 5 point bump up in our score for overall scores in the category of heelwork, attention and teamwork. This time we lost a point, taking a little hit on attention, which is understandable, since Gimme was concerned about the possibility of there being a dog near the ring from her last practice session.
Again I did a side-by-side comparison of the stations/free choice between the two events. There are some interesting trends. I continue to move forward before Gimme establishes an end position. I'm still trying to use my movement to hold her attention. And we continue to struggle with attention - more on this for next blog entry. It will likely take more work to consistently improve my handling than to improve Gimme's attention, though the two are related, eh.
Here are the free choice comparisons and you’ll see the same issue with end positions and for the same reasons.
Here are the judge's comments: "Congratulations on your new title! Excellent performance at many stations. To improve your score, work to increase attention to verbal cues and pay attention to positions, making sure the dog is in the correct position at the end of a behavior before heeling to the next station. Heelwork in this run varied; sometimes it was wide, sometimes forged, sometimes she was distracted by the environment. Increasing understanding of and desire for heel position in motion and at rest would increase your score."
I don't disagree with her comments. I have a different take on the causes for those places where we have issues, but she was really on target...