Titles Achieved to date...

Monumental A to Z High On Liberty
ADPL4(2), ADPL4(GC), ADPGCH, ADPL5(2), RATCH, CZ8S and AI... 54 and counting...

Thursday, March 31, 2016

RFE Practice (12)

Last Thursday we met for a practice and I have to say I had very little focus from Gimme.  At the time I thought it was because of her false pregnancy, but since she had a seizure the following day, now I'm wondering if it was a precursor.  Hard to know.  I can't say I've noticed any onset pattern in her seizures, certainly none of the common patterns.  Since I increased her Keppra dose, her false pregnancy has just evaporated.

Session 1A video - As you can see she was very distracted.  I try to keep the leash on her until I know I have her focus, so she doesn't have a chance to practice wandering off.  The downside is how my crappy leash handing sometimes throws her off.  She started this course kinda needy, which in hindsight makes me think she didn't feel up to par.  Even when she was trying to do well, her lack of impulse control was pulling her into errors.  This felt very much like we'd backed up a month.  <sigh>  Hard to believe it took seven minutes to get through the course with all the repeats.  

Session 1B video - I saw a laundry basket sitting at the side of the ring and decided I may as well get some useful Parkour practice in.  I brought the basket into the middle of the ring area and cued "box" several times and Gimme immediately got completely focused on what we were doing.  It was surprising to see the transformation in her and it gives me a real clue to how much harder RFE is for her.  I think the difference is the element of duration impulse control needed for RFE, while Parkour is all about doing-doing-doing.  As we know, Gimme is all about doing-doing-doing.  Anyway, I had so much focus from her, so I did some heeling (both sides) and used a send to the "box" as the reward.  It was her best heeling of the day. Of course, you'll see she doesn't quite understand the send part, which is something we really haven't worked on.  Also I started out training this kinda sloppy, doing a lot of treating outside the box... so she was jumping in and immediately jumping out.   We did the course again, using "box" as a reward and it only took us 4 minutes, including the time spent on the reward.  This time around she was only distracted moderately 2 times and enough to leave me once.  Not perfect, but a significant improvement.

Session 2 video - I set up the course with three Parkour props, one for "box", "table" and "hands".  Before this session I would have said "table" was her favorite, but it became obvious she likes "box" best.  I started the session clicking for check-ins and took a moment to cue her for each of the props.  It wasn't as good as when I just added "box" on the prior session, but better than what we started with.  Honestly, given her condition, I think I'd just used up her brain.  On the other hand, we did two run-throughs during this session and she was more focused on the second one.  So perhaps it just took more time to get her mentally there.  She reeeeally liked the sequence of all three Parkour behaviors as a reward.  She kinda lost it right afterward, so perhaps it was too exciting.  It was really hard for her to heel past the box, so I was proud of her for doing so.

Session 3 video - There were a group of people and dogs getting ready for class and the dividers aren't very sturdy, so I decided to keep Gimme on leash.  Given the degree of distraction, this being her third session of the day and where we started - I thought she did pretty good.  One thing I see in these videos is a need to click for the first step when I start "heel" or "side", since this is where she is most likely to forge - she gets moving faster than I do.  She always gets it the second time, but I think I need to add more value to the first couple of steps. 

Interestingly, the owner of Pawsabilities was watching some of what I was doing using Parkour as a reward and after we were done, asked if I'd be interested in teaching for them.  They've been wanting to add Parkour and she liked what she saw.  They have a really great puppy and continuing puppy education program with tons of body awareness work, which would segue perfectly into Parkour.  And she showed me around at all the stuff they have to use for the puppy program - so they already have almost everything we'd need for Parkour.  She specifically commented how I must be doing it right if I can use Parkour as a reward for more challenging work.  She's always been impressed by the large number of titles Gimme has.   I told her I'd consider it, but I want to wait at least until I have training level and novice titles on Gimme.  They do have a slot available on Thursday afternoon which would fit my schedule, so it wouldn't involve any extra driving.

And now I have to hustle, since Gimme and I have to be out the door real soon to meet Nadine for tracking.

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