Titles Achieved to date...

Monumental A to Z High On Liberty
ADPL4(2), ADPL4(GC), ADPGCH, ADPL5(2) and RATCH... 52 and counting...

Thursday, February 22, 2018

RFE practice (64)

Because of the snow we had the place all to ourselves. It's a good thing I am an instructor there so I could get us in. Gimme was a little concerned when we first walked in, but then got right to work. It was nice to have a place to work where it was totally quiet.

Heeling the course video - I wanted to start by practicing the ideas I had watching the videos from our last practice. Basically I wanted to heel the course, clicking/treating for good heelwork and for good stops ("halt" from parkour). I did do a couple behaviors, but it was mostly about the heeling. Gimme seemed less frustrated by all the starts and stops, so I think it went well. Might be a good warm-up for all our practices. 

Backward pivot video - I did a backward pivot on the course and then did another on the other side as the first thing after our heeling practice. Gimme does it much better from the left side. 

Handler front cross video - Gimme does a nice job with these IF I get my part right. She has been doing the backward pivot on a shoulder cue since she was very young, so the shoulder cue overrides verbal cues. Thus, I can't pivot across the front of her for a handler front cross; instead I have to take a step straight ahead before starting the pivot to her other side. If I remember my part, she does her part - flawlessly. Do note how she's rock solid during the practice when I do it right. 

"Izzy" & "otto" video - I have to confess we haven't practiced either of these since our last practice at Pawsabilities two weeks ago. You can see even though the first "izzy" was flawed, it was already better than what we had two weeks ago. The second was passable and the third one just right. Her "otto" was perfect right away. 

Side-passes video - This is just some doodling with side passes. The ones in center are good. The ones at the side of me need more work. I'm thinking I want to teach her a cue for moving her rear a step or two. I'm thinking of "close" and "near" as cues. Not only would it improve her side-passes. I think it might also be helpful with the backward weaves. 

"Spin" & "turn" video - We did a quick bit of "spin" & "turn" with her in obvious and not-so-obvious positions. Remember "spin" is CCW and "turn" is CW. She gets the wrong direction for "spin" in "center". She gets both "turn" correct. I need to remember to train these in the even more not-so-obvious location, such as "turn" on my left and "spin" on my right - where she has to turn toward me and make her own space to complete the behavior.

J'Anna's dog had a hurt foot, so she decided to only work her the one time. So I just kept Gimme in the building. It so was quiet, almost church-like, so I was sure she could relax with some play. I'd forgotten to bring her toy in, so I found a ball and tossed it around for a bit. Gimme especially enjoys playing keep away. Then I took one of the moccasins and tossed it. Gimme goes to it, but doesn't pick it up automatically. However when I cue "bring", she'll bring it right to me, with great enthusiasm. I asked J'Anna to film this so you could see my service-dog-in-training - unfortunately she only panned the camera around after her without pushing the record button. We'll have to do it another time. 

"Around", "behind", "under" & "beep" video - Mostly she does well with all of these. The one thing we need to work on is for her to not assume "beep" whenever she is in "under" position. At about 39 seconds I shift my feet and she quickly does "beep" - which is, of course, exactly how Ray taught us to get them to back through, straddle and then gentle squeeze, which she surely thought was coming. It could also be her worrying about my big clodhoppers. I brought moccasins so I could work in bare feet and then just slip them on for a quick trip outside - so I did take my shoes off partway through this. It also occurs to me I should sometimes toss treats ahead when she's "under", so she waits to see what I want. 

Backward weaves video - We did a couple step-back-over with "beep". She's making progress. I want to work on the "close" & "near" idea. When she can do things with less manipulation from me, I think it helps. 

Backing in heel video - Gimme really struggles to back straight when she's on my right, doing a fishtail move. This will be another possible benefit to "close" & "near". I think this is because her ease with shifting her rear to the right is the issue and I can't seem to click at just the right time to sort this out - probably because I can't see her rear until she's already shifted it to the right. I see on the video a couple clicks happened exactly when she was swinging her rear out. I tried using broad jump boards as a barrier, but she was just sure she should "bacon" onto them - I may have clicked just as her foot touched the board. When we moved to the wall, she did better. I need to practice this in "side" position a lot more. Her effort in "heel" was good and could probably benefit from some wall work as well.

I was really pleased with her efforts and she was clearly happier without all the yapping and barking. As it turned out the snow at my mother's was really bad, so we came home without going there. I'm sure Gimme enjoyed less waiting time in the car.

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