We had more time then normal for our utility class tonight so we did run-throughs instead of the usual class format. We each did two complete run-throughs. It was another opportunity to see how we are progressing and.... I must say, I was pleased - especially with the second run-through. I think we are making progress : )
Signal exercise - On the first run through he missed the 'come' signal, but on the second run through his heeling was good - very good; he got all of his signals; and even trotted in on the 'come' instead of walking. I'm seeing a lot of improvement in his heeling these days. I've been keeping him on lead about 90% of the time we do heeling in practice. I think this has really helped his staying close to me and not lagging. And, I'm much more confident about his signals now then I was a couple months ago.
Articles - He got the correct articles on both run-throughs. The first one he was slower to work the pile, but got the correct articles. The second run-through he went directly to the correct articles and picked them up. He's still slow out and back, but maybe more speed will come as he becomes more confident and less stressed.
Directed Retrieve - Good on both retrieves. His pivots were good and the going out to retrieve was brisk. The return with the glove - not so brisk.
Moving stand - He anticipated the stand command in the first run-through - twice. At least he knows the exercise! The second run-through, we did a 'fake out,' then a real one. He was good with it this time.
Directed jumping - All of his go outs were good - brisk, straight and all the way to the wall (although he does slow down when he gets about 10 feet from the wall). Sits were slow, but he did sit, and all the jumps were good.
Overall, I'm seeing improvement - much improvement over his performance at last Friday's fun match! I still think the biggest thing we need to work on is building confidence, so we'll keep doing what we've been doing in practice and try to get out more to different places to work in new kinds of environments with different distractions.