Our new furnace
Finally, the new furnace is in! Fannie was so excited to have visitors, that she kept the workers company during the two days it took them to install the new equipment. Up and down the stairs she would go, making sure that they were doing a good job, and reporting back to me. Jasmine stayed by my side to guard the house.
SJA therapy dog in training
Jasmine wore her therapy dog hat this week, and did a second visit at a local seniors’ residence. Once again, she tried to do away with the same teddy bear as last time. : p The visit went well, and the mistakes were mine. I still need to learn the many intricacies of therapy visit dos and don’ts.
I had the chance to attend the club practice this Sunday, and only one other handler from our group showed up. Jasmine, Fannie, and I practically had the place to ourselves for 30 minutes! Jasmine practiced her 12 weaves, and Fannie did some rear-end awareness exercises on the A-Frame. I then made Jasmine practice her distance skills by repeating the sequence we were given in class on Friday.
Either she already knew where she was going, or I’m getting better at this. I was able to send her to the dog walk, a huge 15 feet away from me. She very obediently trotted over and did what I asked her to, but blew her contact (by 5 cm) by hopping off the dogwalk to investigate a fascinating object which had been left on the ground, 10 cm away from the contact zone. I asked her to repeat the sequence and everything was fine. This is great as the gamble at the masters level must be at a minimum distance of 18 feet to a maximum of 22 feet away from the handler. (AAC rulebook, 3.10). Jasmine is getting some really good training here.
I then decided to practice a bit of table with Fannie. We had already tried this last summer, so I wondered how much she remembered.
1st attempt: Go on table – Ask for a down – Reward. Result? Success!
2nd attempt: Go on table – Ask for a down – Add distractions. – Reward. Result? Success!
Hmmmm. This is too easy.
3rd attempt: Jump – Table – Reward. Not only did she succeed, but she put on the brakes on that table to make sure she wasn’t falling off. WOW!!! Can this be true?
More attempts followed, and I switched the sequences to add a jump and a tunnel. She succeeded every one of them. She slid off the table once, but I made sure she was properly rewarded at her next success.
My past mistakes with Jasmine were to take her table skills for granted, and not giving her enough rewards in practice. I was then witness to a little WFD who refused to go in a down in trials. Jasmine also modifies her strides when she sees a table. She automatically slows down, so I think she actually slid off maybe once or twice during competition.
With Fannie, I have to remember to slow down “before” arriving to the table. Fannie is so fast and enthusiastic, that she arrives at the table, full speed ahead, and the risk of sliding off increase. I must always remember to reward, reward, and reward. I don’t want to lose that beautiful table.
Here is a picture to give you an idea of what we were doing. Jasmine did the course identified with circles, and Fannie did the squares course.