Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Spins and Circles and Positions

Tonight we worked on our spins and circles and positions.

We started with position. Right now I'm using a PVC box to work on Tessa's stationary position. I would toss a treat and wait for her to come back and offer standing in the box, which she pretty much did right away, click/treat. The box was either in front of me, on my left, or on my right. Didn't use any words for today. Just let her offer. She enjoyed that!

Then we did spins/twirls. No more food lure for these! I'm using an open palm - both directions in front of me, spin in side, twirl in heel. She did better with the work on my sides today. I'm still using an open palm to guide her in a rather large circle, but once she gets the idea, I can tighten that up.

Finally, circles. The circle going counter clockwise around me is still brand new to her. I lured that a few times. The clockwise circle is getting really good!

She enjoyed the session. Can't wait until she starts to show some fluency on these!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

First Official Lesson

In preparation for an online Beginner Class that Tessa and I will be doing in a couple of weeks, we started work on the first thee moves.

First, stationary position. That's easy. She stood while I clicked/treated her for standing in front, side, and heel. I'm not trying to build a heads up style with Tessa. She kind of offers one on her own when we are moving together and I am going to let her choose her natural head position. But I do want her very familiar with the positions. For the next time I will have her move into position. She is more comfortable with that and I think it will get the point across a little faster for her.

Then we moved into twirls/spins. I noticed in her performance that the spins are good, but her twirls need some work. We worked both today - 3 reps each in front, with open hand big signal, click/treat. Then she did three twirls in heel and three spins in side. That is new to her. I am working them slowly, with food lure, to show her to make the full turn and get back in position. This was the introduction to that.

Then we did circles. Her right circles are good. She even offered one! Left circles were new. She needed a treat lure for those, but she followed it after just a few tries.

To finish up, we did our regular Agility work. Sends around a cone. She is sending several feet around them now! And switches around a cone. That is still new and she needs the lure. But we did switch from food lure to open hand lure on her counter clockwise side. She still needs some work on her clockwise side to get to that point.

We did one start line stay. I left her, returned to reinforce, then left and called her to side.

Finally, her contact work. She is working with a toe board and target to get the 2 on 2 off position nice and solid. We are still in early stages, but she is doing well.

It was a good session.

Begin at the Very Beginning

Up until this time, I have not focused much on Tessa's Freestyle training. I started her in Agility to build confidence and to show her that training and working together in the ring is fun. Yesterday I took her to a Freestyle event to try out the exhibition division and it was clear that she is a confident performer and she finds it to be very fun!

Now the true work begins. We will start Tessa's formal Freestyle training with the goal of creating her first routine!