Maisy and I are attending an obedience trial this weekend. I'm hoping to finish her CD-C title. We haven't done much obedience training since our trial in December. Our house is small, and it was cold and dark when I got home from work, making our training field difficult to use. Thankfully, spring came early to Minnesota, and we've been working diligently over the last few weeks!
Today's video is HIGH DISTRACTION. You can't see it, but you can certainly hear the half a dozen or so kids on the playground that's only 30 feet or so away from where we set up. (It's just barely off camera to the right. If you look carefully, you can see the sandy edge of playground in the middle right side of the frame.) You'll also notice that I put a ball on the figure 8 “post” in the beginning. And yes, those are children on bikes in the background- two of Maisy's big triggers.
Some notes: first of all, no, I do not normally train on concrete. I don't think it's good for her joints to run/chase her ball like that, so usually we work on grassy or sandy surfaces. But I didn't think one session would hurt, and I wanted to set up there so we could work near the distractions (and there was a convenient place to set my video camera).
I find it hilarious that Maisy is getting “jump sucked” in the video. I worked hard to build value for the jump. Now I need to help her build some self-control. After the trial, I'll start working on proofing that.
A number of bad habits have reemerged over the winter. She's forging again, her sits are terribly crooked, and she's going wide. I suspect all of this is partially due to her short stature- it's hard to make eye contact when you're close and in proper heel position! Some of it is also probably because she's a little stressed. This was a hard training scenario, and whenever you increase one criteria, you have to loosen the others temporarily.
But I also think that some of her going wide is because of how I walk. Look how my left foot sometimes swings out towards her (and how she compensates for that). It's especially obvious at about 2:30 in the video. Boy, do I have some stuff to work on.
Overall, though, I was really happy with this session. I love Maisy's enthusiasm and engagement during the session. She's giving me a lot of attention, too! Although I have a sneaking suspicion that if we Q this weekend, our score might not be as high as our first time out, I'm pretty excited for the trial anyway. Time spent with my dog is always awesome.