Friday, December 13, 2013

Play Class

Tessa and I are enjoying play class.  It is actually a lot more of a challenge than I had anticipated and it is very humbling in many ways.  It is really pushing Tessa's comfort zone, and probably mine, as well.  But it's good.  There is good fruit coming from it already and in the long run I think it will help Tessa and become a better team.

The first type of play that we covered was toy, and this was a difficulty from the word "go".  Tessa was very clearly intimidated by the presence of the toy when it was just her and I trying to play with it.  She would go to her safe spot and just plant herself there, very unsure of what she was to do.  And she did not like that.

To build toward a more positive association with toys, I was to turn away from Tessa and play with the toy by myself, then leave it there and turn and give Tessa lots of love and belly rubs.  Tessa liked this.  She soon started to relax more in the presence of the toy.

The idea, and I really don't know why I didn't think of this myself, is to associate the sight of the toy with good things to make Tessa want to see that toy!

It is already having a bit of an effect.  She isn't playing with the toy yet, but I am seeing her start to like our "toy sessions".  Also, she is grabbing the ball and capering around with it when the other dogs are playing even more than before!

Now we have started personal play and that is going better.  She is still tentative, but far more receptive to this.  We are working on building up her little "bursts" of excitement that she has every now and again.

Personally, I am looking forward to food play the most.  I think this is the area where Tessa is really going to shine.  But I am recognizing the value in pushing the comfort zone on the other types of play.

If it builds Tessa's confidence overall, then it is a very good thing.

Some videos will be posted when I get something that I actually want to share with the world!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

World Wide Video Results!!

Last night we got our results from the World Wide Video competition and I am absolutely thrilled that both Speedy and Tessa qualified and earned their respective titles!!!

Speedy got some nice scores on some of the stations.

He got an 8 (out of 10) for his paws on Free Choice, a 9 for his right turn circle transition, a 9 for a spin Free Choice, a 9 on a 270 left, and a 9 on a stand walk-around Free Choice.  We only got 2 extra (out of 5) for each because none of them were difficult, but with Speedy it is far better to do something simple and get a solid to get the higher score out of 10 for the behavior than to struggle with more difficult behaviors to get a higher extra score out of 5.

The only score under 6 was a 4 for his switch-back, which was abysmal!!

We got 7's for attention and heelwork, and an 8 for teamwork.

The 140 he earned was his best score and I am very proud of him for it!!

We will go on to work toward Intermediate.  Why not?  No more leash, so it will be tough, but it's worth going for just for the enjoyment of it!!

So, Speedy gets to add RFE-Alt-N to his alphabet soup!!

Although Tessa took a hit, as I expected, for the lack of back around and lateral - we just got a 2 for the "back around" and 3 for the "lateral", we did manage to qualify, and we had a few really nice scores for some of the behaviors.  Tessa is improving a lot!!

We got a 9 for her Figure 8 Jump Free Choice, and a 9 for the figure 8 leg weave.  That was a big accomplishment - I had my hands on my hips as she did that one!!  We got an 8 for her pivot Free Choice, and a 9 for her thru to front 3X back!!  That was another big accomplishment because that sign is harder than it looks!!

All in all I am very proud of her and I am eager to go on to Advanced work!  We are busy working on laterals now!  She is going to be the back around and lateral queen by the time I'm through!!

Her total score was 129, so we only qualified with 4 points to spare, but I knew it would be close with the two exercises completely messed up!!

And now Tessa is eligible for Advanced!!  My little Tessa!!  She has come so, so, so far!!  When I think about where we started and where we are on the verge of going - WOW!!!

It's a little intimidating, but I am eager to try to go there.  I couldn't ask for a better partner!  And I am super excited!

Congrats to Tessa, RFE-X!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Some Cyber Rally-O

Over the Thanksgiving break, I did some Cyber Rally-O with Dean and Tessa.

On Friday, my friend, Stephanie, and I took video of Dean and Tessa running Course 13 P.  It was a very interesting experience.  Some of the exercises in Level 2 Cyber Rally are similar to Rally FrEe exercises, but there are some distinct differences.  I found that transitioning from Rally FrEe back to Cyber Rally was something of a challenge.  I have gotten used to being able to take whatever I get as behaviors at each station.  In Cyber Rally, if the exercise isn't right, it must be retried altogether.

But we got the job done.  Here is Dean running Course 13 P:

Overall, Dean did a very nice job.  This was a Q and he earned his P-CRO-II, which is his Level 2 title in the Cyber Rally-O performance division.  All "performance" means is that the dog is required to work on both sides of the handler.  I like this since it is something we are working on for Rally FrEe, as well.

And here is Tessa's run on the same course:

As usual, she performed with style!  The paw slaps are quite amusing!!

This was also a Q and her second toward her P-CRO-II title.

Because we were that close on her title, I decided to get together with a friend on Monday and video another Level 2 course with Tessa.  Here is video of that run, which is for Course 18 P:

Aside from the distraction around the stop (stand) sign, I would say this was lovely.  Again, style and enthusiasm!!  She is just adorable!!

I haven't gotten results on this run yet, so I don't know if we have the title, but I am happy with the run, in any case.

Right now I am eagerly awaiting results of the Rally FrEe world wide video competition!  We are supposed to have results today, so here's hoping . . .