I cannot let the post on Sunday's run with Devon failing the teeter be the end of the story -- because there is more.
As I mentioned, I train and teach at this facility. So on Monday, I was able to get Devon on the floor again. I planned a nice flowing sequence of chute, triple, teeter for Devon. I warmed Devon up and got out the turkey brownies. She knew I had them because I let her sniff the bag. I asked her if she knew what she had to do to earn the turkey brownies, and she did.
The criteria for the teeter is no longer just doing the teeter in isolation. Devon must do the teeter in sequence on the first try. She's proven she can do it confidently, and she's been rewarded for it. So I asked Devon for chute, triple, teeter ... no teeter. She played around on the downside but wouldn't go over it. I called Devon to me and gave her one more try: chute, triple, teeter ... again no teeter.
This really didn't surprise me because she hadn't done it on Sunday. So, we very neutrally walked off the course without any turkey brownies. I put Devon back in her crate where she had a view of the floor ... and I got Page out!
Jealousy is the highest motivator for Devon. Me working with Page is what got Devon over the full height teeter again back in May. So no teeter, and mommy plays with Page instead! Page and I did several sequences and she could hear the teeter banging and me cheering and giving Page treats (she wasn't getting turkey brownies, but Devon didn't know that).
After four sequences all including the teeter, I put Page up and got Devon back out. Devon was foaming at the mouth and blowing spit bubbles coming out of her crate wanting those turkey brownies! She about tripped over herself getting onto the floor. This time when I asked for chute, triple, teeter, Devon sailed over the teeter without a second's hesitation. And she got her turkey brownies! When Devon doesn't catch the turkey brownie pieces in midair, she catches them on the first rebound off the floor!
Devon didn't miss a single teeter in any of the following sequences. I'm really hoping this communicated to her exactly why she gets walked off the course and exactly how she can stay on the course and earn her turkey brownies. I'm planning on doing the same thing tonight in class at the kennel club. And for the next few months, these will be the only two places we will trial so I can hopefully get a solid teeter performance by spring!
Devon really is some dog! She's got a lot of heart, and she's very smart and very funny. I'm incredibly lucky she wants to work with me so badly (and the turkey brownies obviously don't hurt!).