I've entered West2 in the intermediate class. We just need one more leg to finish the title. The bad news - Gimme is starting into her false pregnancy a little early. I just hope we can do well enough to make a good showing. My focus for this session was to resume coursework with back-chaining.
I was pleased right off the bat she was able to stay with me and work when I took the leash off. I've only had to walk her down twice and she got the message. This tells me she didn't "need" to check stuff out, she just wanted to and I let her develop the habit. Good to have such an easy remedy.
Last back chain video - I started by trying each of the different behaviors I wanted to put in a chain. Then started pairing them together. Despite Gimme's willingness to work, she was still drawn to corners, edges and J'Anna's props. I should have worked the corner distractions separate from behaviors. I think as I'm doing individual behaviors, I need to do them out of order. Then I want to pair a couple, like 1 & 2, then 4 & 5. Then add behavior 3 before/after pairs, and then put the full five behaviors together. This should stitch them together in a chain without doing a lot of repetitions. And I have to remember not to put the ending bow in a chain, since her first bow is the best.
Full sequence video - At the end of the prior run-through, I thought Gimme had done very well, so I threw a handful of treats for her. This was a big mistake. She was so excited she couldn't think for the next run through. There was a lot of whining and "extras", trying to find the magic combination to cause me to do it again. I'm so glad I made this mistake on a regular practice day, so I wasn't blowing a day when we were videoing for our entries.
Center pivot video -
I wanted to make it a point to practice the clockwise pivot first, so Gimme would know which behavior we were doing and hopefully be able to do it without turning it into "otto". It worked better than doing counter-clockwise first.
"Scoot" w/target video - I wanted to try out an idea to straighten her "scoot". Her tendency is to angle to my right (starting from center) which I think is caused by her right rear pushing harder. Initially I thought she might be stronger on her right rear, but in thinking about it, I now believe she just habitually takes larger steps with her right rear in certain situations. For instance it doesn't affect her forward movement, but does for side or back movement. So, I put a target out and had her "scoot" to it. In watching this video, next time I think I want to position our starting point so she actually has to angle in the other direction to end up at the target. And of course, I need to start with shorter distances. It's possible I may need to use a barrier, such as a wall. We'll see how it goes next time.
Sidepass into dog video -
I am doing a sort of grapevine step as a physical cue for Gimme to know to "move" away from me. It goes smoother for her when she's in "side" position because it's already her stepping in her easy direction. I think I really need to practice the step without her. I also think I should do it without shoes so I'm not so worried about stepping on her feet, which adds to my awkwardness.
Center pivot-2 video -
I wanted to do this again. I did find Gimme did better when I started spitting treats to her when she was in a good "center" position. I think I need to be faster about responding when she moves out of "center". I also think it might be better to actually pivot right a step or two when she moves too far left and out of position. Operating on the theory to make the discrepancy bigger and more obvious to her. I did find it made a difference if I held concentrated eye contact with her.
Overall this was a very productive training session with a lot of ideas to refine my process.