But . . . it was never my intention to only do Agility with her forever. I do enjoy other activities, and I'd like to enjoy them with her!
So, last night we had a few minutes at the building after I taught class and I played around with her with some heeling/Freestyle stuff.
Freestyle. Not Tessa's favorite thing. She doesn't hate it. But she has never really developed a true love for it. Our experience in Freestyle has been fits and starts. And although she has done a few really nice performances, and we actually have our Intermediate WCFO title (which is a huge deal!), I still have never felt that Tessa is a "Freestyle Dog".
Yesterday I took a completely different approach to a bit of Freestyle training.
I had some chicken on me and I started to wander around the room. Tessa sniffed around a bit, then took a passing interest in me, and then finally drove up into heel with a look on her face like, "whaddayadoin'?" At that moment, I went "Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, TESSA!!!"
Oh, she likes that!! She preened a bit and continued to move along, holding perfect position, with a nice little bounce to her pretty trot.
Hmmm . . .
I tossed a treat and she broke away and meandered around the room again. I did the same thing. Again, when she drove up into position, I went, "Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, TESSA!!!" She glowed!!
I started to delay a bit before giving her that bit of cheering. I was also giving her chicken, but never for coming up into position - always for moving for a bit of duration first.
We worked it a bit in center position, too. Moving toward me in center has always been a weak point of hers. Darned if she didn't get a little trot going there, too!!
I am going to play around with this more. The really exciting thing is that in the DCD Challenge, we can overlay the music over the video, so even if I am going "Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, TESSA!!!", that will go away when I make that edit!
Maybe Tessa has a future in Freestyle yet . . . ! In any case, it's worth exploring.
Tessa's ribbon for one of her Freestyle titles