There were several other dogs working at the club this afternoon, so it was good practice working with distractions. Maybe that is why his signals fell apart. I used to be pretty confident about his signals, but lately he has been missing them - even when he is looking at me, he just stands there when I give the down signal. Or, he just sits there when I give the come signal. What I did today was to move in closer to give the signals. This seemed to help him out. When I was only a few feet away he would respond okay to the signals. I think the next few times we work on signals I will stay closer to him and we'll see how it goes. Maybe we need to take a few steps back with training that exercise and build his confidence, and I need to make sure I am consistent and clear with the signals I give.
The articles were pretty good today. I'm still not getting look-up fronts when he brings the article back though. I had him do a few fronts with the article in his mouth and he would look up some of the time. I'm going to keep working on this away from the pile to see if I can build some look-up muscle memory. I hope this will help. He is now pretty consistent with look-up fronts in the basic recalls.
I'm seeing quite a bit of improvement in his directed retrieves. He is getting a lot more confident about the gloves. Previously he was so afraid of getting the wrong glove that he couldn't think straight - at least that's how it seemed :-)
Only two weeks until the trials! We've got a lot of work to do in the next couple weeks. There are Show-N-Gos next weekend, so that will help us see where we're at.