Today we worked on our pivot for TEAM. I didn’t have his regular platform, so I had to get creative. This is one of the TEAM exercises that we struggle with the most. Perrin is often delayed in his pivot: I move, then he moves a second later. So today I focused on going back and moving less, and rewarding for a smaller amount of motion. I had some hiccups in inconsistent criteria and pushing the limits a bit, but his pivots at the end of the session were much much better than the ones at the beginning!
I also decided to try some pivots with Sei. He has never any type of pivoting work before, and while he has done front foot targeting, he is scared of metallic noises. I figured that he was going to be quite uncertain about that pot, so I was just planning on shaping a step up onto the pot. In true Sei form, he decided to prove me wrong. He showed no concern at all about the pot, so I thought I would try a little pocket hand, but he found that offensive. When I just let him try for himself, he just started pivoting like a champ. I have no explanation for this, other than he must have learned from watching Perrin. (Also noted: Don’t pet him while working! He doesn’t like that!)
We also worked a little bit on finding front, and finding heel with Perrin’s platform. It is a little long for Sei, but not terrible width wise. We have been shaping the ‘get onto the platform’ behaviour for a few days, and today I decided to try adding in my body positioning. It went pretty well! (Another advantage to a tailed Aussie: you have a built-in ‘straight’ indicator, haha!). I will have to decide whether I want stands or sits. Perrin definitely works better with stands (sits are a lot of work for him and sap his enthusiasm really quickly), but I think sits may work better for Sei. He does them naturally in fronts, but not in heels. I don’t want an auto sit for Rally Free, but you can give extra cues there to indicate a stand. I’m not sure if I have to use the same position for both front and heel (I know that you have to be consistant within the same exercise), I will have to double check the rules. I have some flexibility here, because TEAM allows for either to make it adaptable to different obedience organizations/types around the world, Perrin is not allowed to compete in obedience here, and I have no plans on doing so with Sei.
We also did some agility/disc training/playing for fun.
More muzzle work! We are still trouble shooting the looking up part. We had some limited success today pairing the chin rest from before with PB, which can be more precisely delivered. He really doesn’t want to tilt his head up though, and I think I am going to watch him in life for a while and see if it is something he does naturally or not.
Dex crashed the muzzle work party, so he got to try too. There was PB, so he was happy. CC the straps was easy when paired with ear scritches!