Well, today a very kind person offered to come WAY out of their way to give me a ride to the show n go, it was a super nice offer but I deceided to just take in a movie instead. I went and saw Amelia, it was very good. Lately I do not go to the movies too often so when I do I usually treat myself to some popcorn, I usually get the kid movie meal, and then I of course want butter on the popcorn, and it always makes me quesy by the time the movie is over. So why do I continue to do that? LOL.
I spent the afternoon watching videos, and going through notes and books to figure out how I want to handle some of our training issues that we are working on and actually felt like it was a productive afternoon and I have some plans, YIPPIE!
To work on the start line, reviewing all that I can find on stress and start lines I think I just need to start at basic levels with the stay even though Breeze is great at a stay, she obviously is a little stressed even if she holds them. I think I need to play games with it and just start by being close to her, then add duration and distance and then distractions. I am going to do more clicking and marking for the behavior when I am away and have other people move in to give treats AFTER I have marked the behavior (I am hoping that helps so she is not just running willy nilly to others for treats, this still keeps it a game between her and me, but she still will be guessing when a treat comes and having a treat whithout me having to go back to her). I am TERRIBLE about reinforcing about 60% of the time by going back, and sometimes releasing her to a ball or treat thrown behind her, so got to get better about all of that. I also have some games that she is good at where she knows if she wants to get a ball she has to stay while I throw it, so maybe I can do that in class at the start line, do it by the equipment at home, and just make the whole thing seem a little more clear and try to make some new associations where she views the start line as a little more fun. A little hodgepodge of solutions I suppose.
To work on Breeze understanding how to switch from handler focus to object focus and back, I am going to play some games that Wendy Pape talked about in her Games DVD. Basically you play tug with your dog so they are very focused on you, while you are playing drop a second toy-the dog should not really be seeing where the toy is, then when they are very focused on you-you use your body position to show them where to go to get the toy. They get that toy, you can tug and get them focused, and you get the picture. I also am setting up some sequences starting with the tunnel and then hopefully involving the weaves so she can get some good rewards in short sequences for figureing out how to switch from handler focus to looking for her obstacles. Hey I hope it works.
For Liz who is being a little butt with Chloe, or maybe it is Chloe being the butt, but who ever is responsible they are not being nice, so we are going to strengthen our crate games, get them both to stay in the crate with the door open, move the crates into the same room, side by side, then facing each other, then move that stay to a mat and move their mats closer. Liz especially is terrific at crate games so we should be able to move through the first steps pretty quickly just strengthening everything and cleaning it up so that the next steps go really well. Susan Garrett says that works for getting two dogs desensitized to each other and getting along better, so I am going to give it a whirl!
To help work on my trialing, and my performance, I am setting up sequences in the back yard, I use my cute little cones and then walk the course or sequence I am going to do. I leave and that afternoon or the next morning I go out and run the whole thing-without walking it again and remembering my plan. It is nice because it gets me used to remembering and being more comfy with that, makes me really plan my training sessions so when I walk out with the dogs I am not fiddling, I know what I am going to do and I concentrate just on my dog. Hopefully when things get harried in a trial too that will give me a few more skills and more confidence so we will handle those things better ;-).