It’s been a while since I posted a generic training video.  So you here you have it, unedited, full of mistakes (hers and mine) for your viewing pleasure.

Note that Lyra is working for food.  I’m doing this for two reasons.  One, I want her to learn to function accurately when she’s in a lower state of drive.  The mindset of a dog matters!  Lots of dogs can respond correctly to cues when they are in “one” frame of mind, but when they are in “another” frame of mind, either higher or lower, they are no longer able to respond appropriately.  This is a well researched learning phenomenon so make sure you practice when your dog is feeling higher or lower than normal – it will help with competition preparation.  Since food is not a high value motivator for Lyra, it helps us practice the picky details (in this case, correct heel position) when she’s relatively calm and out of drive.  The second reason I’m working Lyra for food is to create “contrast” between rewards.  Cookies are for routine success, and toys/pool are for impressing me.

Here we go.  I’ll go ahead and narrate.

2 sec – poor placement of reward.

5 – 15sec – nice pivots; well placed rewards.

16  – 125 sec glove retrieve handled well.

26 sec good timing of interruptor – fixing a finish is useless; better to interrupt the behavior and start over.

36 – nice finish here.

decision to go to the platform was driven by the prior poor finish.  Platforms “force” correct behavior and build confidence.

1min  – 1:30 – working on change of pace.  First we change “gait” then I’ll add a true change of pace.

1:39 she breaks her stay because she had been sightseeing and when she saw me sitting she thought she had missed the cue.  I went ahead and cued the behavior.  I’m ok with handling it this way but would have been better to start over.  Now I’m “on notice” to watch for anticipation in this scenario.

2:13 I appreciate her commitment to going back to the articles!   I chose to ignore her dropping it on the way in.

2:37 – I’ve been retraining her down so this should not have surprised me.    What I should have done was gone back and reset her.  What is interesting is that when I re-cued “back” she went down – she remembered what I asked after a mental pause. That is when I went to her and told her she tried hard – I reset at that time.

2:50  – not impressive training on my part. I should have made it easier and allowed her to win, rather than setting up the same (failing) situation again, which caused me to add a hand signal AND to accept creeping.  Or dear.  Bad trainer.

3:35 I handled this sequence well.  She spooked over something and missed the return jump.  No big deal but I didn’t let her finish the exercise.  Since she’s been pretty good on this exercise I set it up formally again and it went well.

4:49 – I rewarded that drop because she failed the earlier drop signal AND because she is in a lower state of drive – yet she still did what I asked.  That was worth a higher level reward so I brought out a toy.  I want that to happen in the ring when she’s in a lower state of drive.  I play with her for a full minute to reinforce her earlier work.

The last minute is more formal heeling without reward.  Lyra is beginning to realize that longer stretches of work without a lot of interaction or reinforcement “predict” a BIG reward.    I give her lots of help to nail her sits at heel.  Her final reward….off to the pool.

On an unrelated note:  Tuesday the 15th of October is the last day to sign up for October 1st classes at the Fenzi Academy – Class has been in session for two weeks so you’ll be playing catchup!  There are ten classes this time; check out the schedule if you’d like to give online learning a try.  It’s amazingly effective.  :