We started with heeling warm-up and distraction work. Then I added some simple behaviors: spin, turn, around and behind - just to get her listening ears warmed up too. Followed by a bit more heeling.
BTW we were having trouble with my camera. If J'Anna zoomed in, then there was no focus. I didn't realize at the time, but the camera was at the end of it's lifespan. Sadly it was short-lived, only 21 months. It has since died and I've now bought another. I'm still trying to figure out how to download videos from the camera to my laptop, thus I'm quite far behind on blogging.
Distance behaviors video - I tried to use a carpet square to give Gimme a target to back to and then as an anchor to stay on to perform a behavior. We had such difficulty getting anywhere, she kept laying down. I'd tell her "stand" and nothing, lift her to stand and nothing. She just seemed really locked into laying down on the target. I could be standing in front of her and she'd lay down no matter what cue I said. I was finally able to break her stuck-on-down pattern and get a few behaviors on the target (where this video starts). She almost immediately gets stuck again so I moved out and did some treat-chasing to get her moving and loosened up. Afterward I was able to get her to back to the target and, by clicking MUCH earlier, keep her standing. Then I got a spin on the target with me a couple feet away. I finally figured out the best way to get her to stand again was with a nose "touch" to my hand.
It occurred to me, much later, Gimme was confusing the carpet target with her "mark" target. She's done this before, but never gotten so completely stuck on it. So I devised the following training plan to help her make the distinction. I will probably need to do it more than once, but at least I know it helps.
"Mark" video - We haven't actually trained this in a long time, so we needed to refresh it. I was using a hand touch between behaviors so she would be aligned to run to the mark-target, instead of trying to turn it into a "bacon" behavior.
"Back" in center video - Then we backed to target a few times, to set up the behavior discrimination exercise. I made sure to click early so Gimme didn't start laying down. The reason for the backing up is because it's part of the distance behavior as defined by RallyFrEe - the dog must back 4 feet and then do the distance behavior.
Behavior discrimination video -
I went back and forth (alternating and then more randomly) between the two behaviors: "mark" and backing to a target. I adjusted my distance to prop and alignment to help her get the idea, as needed. She got a little stuck on laying down on the target, but using a hand touch to get her standing worked well and we did get unstuck. We got some spins on the target and worked duration on her "mark".
Overall I thought it was a productive exercise - one we should do more often with lots of different behaviors. For instance along with rewarding stillness, doing the same with several behaviors that all start in left heel, or right heel, might help to clarify for Gimme to wait for a cue rather than volunteering her latest favorite behavior.
"Thru" to front video -
We did some of these as part of our course work and then practiced them again in our last session. Her first one was lovely. The second time was not as clean and I can see on video that she was distracted by something on the shelf.
"Scoot" video - Sometimes "scoot" is one of the behaviors Gimme gets stuck offering at any opportunity and sometimes she doesn't get as excited about doing it. Of course, it's verrrrry cute, so we'll be using it for a free choice behavior.
Pivot dog-inside video - I realized when I was watching this, I did the footwork wrong. My 90º step in front of Gimme should have been with the foot near her. No wonder she was confused. Bad me.
Switch back video - Beautifully done.
Thru transition video - Another nice job.
Sidepass away video - I was using the "near" cue, but in the video I see my timing was all wrong. Instead of saying "near" after she was out of position, I should have said the cue as or just before I stepped away.
"Fanny" video - Here I did a little bit of finding position, setting the platform in the "fanny" position. This went well; I should do it more often.
"Near" & "Close" video - Here's a little idea I had for a free choice behavior, sort of a doggie-twist. Obviously it needs refinement, but I think it could be cute.
"Bowl" refresh video - Last time we practiced I noticed a bit of uncertainty/hesitation when I gave Gimme the "bowl" release to her special bowl. I'm not sure why, but I wanted to make sure to make it more fun, to charge up the value. Naturally I forgot to bring in her special bowl, so ended up using a shallow cone - Gimme didn't seem to care about not using her specific special bowl. She was showing more excitement about her special bowl. But... I think I should have been using simpler behaviors, essentially pairing the bowl with behaviors where she has more confidence and enthusiasm. Since she's uncertain about the point of multiple circles, it's not one of her favorites, thus was counteracting some of the bowl-value I was trying to build.
Backing in heel video - I am putting time into backing beside a barrier, trying to build better muscle memory. Gimme was a little uncertain here about the wall being so close, even though we've done it before. Still she got into it quickly and then was able to get many rewards. Note: since then we've done it several times at home and she's getting more confident about it.
Circle x2 Handler Opposite video - There are two challenges in this exercise. One is convincing Gimme that I'll make it worth her while to do multiple circles. The second is the timing. The dog must do two full circles, with both ending up facing forward together. While Gimme's two circles take a little less time than me doing two... so I need to turn faster so she doesn't overshoot her start position. It occurs to me I need to bring some chicken nuggets to reward those multiple circles. A higher value reward would surely motivate her to do multiple circles and build enthusiasm.
"Izzy" & "otto" video - She does great with these. Do note her look at me when I say "go to izzy", when I meant to say "go to side". Her "looks" can be very pointed when she thinks I'm off my rocker.