SUMMARY: Tika hangs in there; Boost works on her entries; other stuff of no import.
Tika definitely felt perkier yesterday evening, but she also got an aspirin in late afternoon, so I'm not putting too much store by that. Earlier in the day, she was quite contented to lie down in the shade and watch me train with Boost; by dinnertime, she wanted no part of that hanging around inactively, even for treats, and had reverted to the normal behavior of charging out and barking at Boost just as she's coming out of a tunnel. It took some convincing to keep her off to the side. (Yeah, I know--just put her in the house--I just like the idea that someday I'll be able to tell my dog to wait there and she'll actually wait. So I keep practicing. As they say, imperfect practice makes imperfect... Or something witty like that...)
Boost worked on her weave entries. Ya know--we've fixed this so many times! It felt like back to square one on fast entries from anything more than a slight angle, even here in the yard. I went back and put a wire barrier to help her find the entry, and she went back to running through it or jumping over it to get to the second pole, which was a problem we had last year, the last time she wasn't making her entries.
Another trick that I haven't tried this time was to put up a barrier on the far side that she'd hit only if she made the incorrect entry, but I don't think it helped last time and so I'm not sure about this time, and frankly I'm a little doubtful about a solution that makes the dog more cautious about blasting through the weaves. I'd still rather have her blast through incorrectly than to slow down all the way through to be sure she's doing them right. Such a balancing act!
We had some serious talks--really, I think I still get the best results by just bodily picking her up and telling her to cut it out--and by the end of the day she was doing a perfectly fine job of collecting herself to get into the correct pole.
I have some other drills to try today and tomorrow.
I still haven't reproduced the popping-out-at-the-end behavior here, though. I've thought of a couple more things that I'll try today.
Three more days of practice until this weekend's Bay Team USDAA trial. We can become perfect between now and then!
Meanwhile, we take a pause from our day's occupation to review Things Dogs Aren't Supposed To Be Able To Do: Carry around a Buster Cube.
We won't mention--oh, OK, we will--that, to do this repeatedly, the dog has made tooth-sized holes on each side of the cube (not supposed to be able to do that, either) and in the little cylinder in the center that you're supposed to be able to remove but can't, any longer, because the plastic has been too toothed. At least it still dispenses food.
And even more meanwhile--Lo! How the roses e'er blooming! (That's 7 different rose bushes crammed into my front yard. I didn't plant them.) And an iris and some impatiens, too.