Below is a video of Lil’s 4th session working on Silvia’s weave pole challenges and I am amazed at how much she has improved! Using channel weaves makes so much sense. Lil did more reps in this one session than she normally does over a 6 month period with no strain on her body whatsoever.
We also did SENDs and GO ONs with a tunnel and mixed in some weave poles. My matting is too slippery to work on tight turns to FCs or post turns but that is OK because GO ONs are just what both of my dogs need right now to find a better balance between handler and obstacle focus.
Throwing a ball as a reward has increased Lil’s speed and drive considerably. Lil has always loved to chase balls and fetch. I can’t believe I had this “speed tool” in my tool bag all along and wasn’t using it!
Silvia’s response to my video: That’s sure really great progress already! Looks like she figured out what this game is about! And yes, I also think go is more important as come at this point. And she sure seems to like it! Really great distance skills with tunnel sends and some really cool entries!
ps–I am only uploading videos of Lil right now because I am posting them as part of Silvia’s Foundations class. But I am also video taping and reviewing Jake’s performances. He is not being neglected and is doing very well too!
An another note, I am I am taking a few days off from training “Loop and Wrap” since my yard is now thawing out and very wet. Plus I think taking a few days off from working on any skill is good especially if a snag occurs.
A couple of days ago, I had a brilliant idea….or so I thought at the time. I would do a short “Loop and Wrap” session in the bedroom to provide a new environment and I would rig up an impromptu jump with a tiny base so Lil wouldn’t have to hop over long support bars. The new jump consisted of a 2′ tall PVC pipe that Lil would wrap around, a partially deconstructed wing on the far side, and a 2′ long PVC bar set at 4 inches. I think the combination of a new environment and the strange mini-jump opened up a can of worms. Lil started hitting the bar with her back legs so often that I wondered if she thought we were playing “touch that object with your back feet” game which she likes to play. She even tried stopping while straddling the bar once and looked at me with an expression of “Is this what you want?”
OMG. How did this happen? Well, I have been saying YES when Lil approaches the wrap, thinking I was marking the commitment point and the set-up step. But I think my timing contributed to Lil’s confusion because I was saying YES before she cleared the bar, so I was marking both clearing the bar and hitting the bar. I play a lot of shaping games with my dogs and so when Lil happened to hit the bar a couple of times in a row and I had already said YES, I think that she thought she was supposed to touch this strange apparatus with her back feet and proceeded to do so consistently for a few more reps.
Bob Bailey is so right when he said: “What you click (or mark) is what you get!” Of course, at the time I didn’t fully recognize what was going on so I ended the session and brought Jake in for his turn. Jake had no trouble generalizing that this was a jump and that he was supposed to jump it. Whew! Anyway, I finished by taking Lil out to a dry spot in the yard and did a short “Loop and Wrap” session around a pole to end on a positive note. I think taking a few days off from “Loop and Wrap” will erase Lil’s memory of that strange little “shaping” session!