I wanted to work on:
Stand for Exam
Dumbbell Retrieve (on the flat and over the high jump)
My friend thankfully brought some sections of ring gating which we were able to set up. I noticed at Ein's last match that he entered the ring and spent the first few moments of heeling sniffing, so I wanted to work on that picture a little bit. I wasn't able to recreate that stress in Ein, although there were a few moments where he broke focus and I was able to ask him to reset.
Stand for Exam work, very happy there! Ein has certainly come a long way on this exercise. We warmed up with my friend walking past and stopping next to Ein's shoulder, and quickly moved on to the full exam. We did two full SFE exercises and Ein handled it well, though he did look at our "judge". He reoriented to me quickly enough and I think I am happy with that. I don't think I want to ask Ein to completely ignore something that makes him uncomfortable and I will have to play it by ear as we go along. I don't want the glances to become fixations, but only more set ups and training will tell me what course of action needs to be taken. We took a break from SFE but later did a second set up where my friend carried a clipboard and wore my dangling lanyard work ID while she did two separate exams - again solid stays and this time his attention on me only flickered for a second.
We did so much work on proofing his stays and "you stay no matter what", he quickly figures out that "this is just another trick and I'm going to do my job."
Retrieve work was super. There were a few times I threw the DB far and Ein lost track of it and returned to me. (the far throws were accidental.) And in fairness to him, we have not had any opportunity before today to work on throws that far since my garage is our main training area. We did a lot of work on Ein's retrieve and I was completely happy with him! No dropping the DB, no mouthing it. Retrieve over High went super, I even did some off centered throws and he found the jump on his return. I did have my friend stand a few feet from the DB and we tried a rally-style retrieve and he did go to sniff her on quite a few send outs. So, having a person in the ring during his retrieve is something that is going to continue to need a lot of work. But then again, the concept of working independently from me in the ring is still extremely new for Ein.
Videos are so valuable. I'm certain that I don't always so "Okay, Get It!" but I did here! I don't want to be saying "Okay". I took this short video of Ein because he is cute and I wanted to get his retrieve on video, but I got some valuable feedback about myself in the process.