It is hard to inspire Secret to be photogenic on a Monday morning. I can't really blame her, though, as I feel the same way. Granted, I understand why I'm beat on Mondays (following a weekend working at the shelter) -- Not sure what Secret's excuse is... :oP I suppose it's exhausting sitting in the window seat all day protecting the house from intruders.
After our decidedly weird and not terribly successful night of discrimination training last week, I switched things up a bit on Saturday -- and it went very well!
As I said previously, I switched to using the a-frame this time. In addition, I put the tunnel in a straight line on the outside of the a-frame instead of curving it under. I figured this would serve two purposes -- Firstly, it would allow us to tackle the discrimination from both sides. Secondly, Secret finds straight tunnels extremely motivating and fun. Wheee!
Once again, I used a nice wide, sweeping arc that more or less pointed straight to the tunnel on both sides. I suppose one of these days I'll have to increase the difficulty of the "out" choice, but for now this works well. I didn't realize just HOW much I'd pointed it to the tunnel until I realized how challenging it was to get the "up" discrimination with all three dogs. It required a pretty obvious pull. Oh well, that's good training, too!
Secret didn't have any shut-downs for this session. She made the wrong choice and took the a-frame on her second try, but I decided it was likely my fault and I threw her toy for her so as to not let her think she did anything wrong. I did not reward her for taking the tunnel when I cued the a-frame, though, and she was able to handle this correction without any issue. So yay for that!
And all of this was for some crummy rope toy that we got as a free gift a trial one time. I just never know what is going to trip her trigger on any given day, but three cheers for cheesy free toys!
We did several repetitions from both directions and I switched frequently between asking for the out or up. As I mentioned earlier, the up proved to be the more difficult puzzle, but Secret was nailing her outs with some pretty good distance -- and excellent speed, since straight tunnels are fun! :o)
We took it easy last night. I went back to working Kaiser's running dog walk (much better this time, thankfully) and then just worked on a full set of weaves with Secret while we played with the Chuck-it. She nailed some pretty impressive entries for me and GASP, even threw in a few single-steps. She weaves her fastest for the Chuck-it, that's for sure. Will we ever see it at a trial? Who knows, but it's nice to see that she has it in her.
Eight weeks until Champs!