Monday, October 6, 2008

Contact Training

So after some long thought, I've decided to retrain Sage's contacts to a modified moving. 20/20 (which she performs in training but recently not at trials) is very hard on her shoulders. So I've decided that 4-on-the-floor makes much more sense. Because Sage can't hear verbal directionals, I must have a stop at the bottom - especially at the DW.

First I needed to "break" the stop of 20/20 at home. For several weeks I've been running her over the DW, under a hoop, and to her motivator on the ground about 15 feet from the end of the DW. Gradually I've raised the DW and so far, she is striding through without stopping. I did the same for the AF.

Here are a couple of picture of the DW after the first week. I started with it completely flat on the ground and have been gradually raising it higher.

Separately, I have shaped the down on the mousepad. Sage learned this very quickly and is now driving ahead to the mousepad and laying down. Now I need to figure out some sort of hand signal to put it on cue.

Meanwhile in trials, I've just let her run through the contacts. She strides through yellow about 80 percent of the time. I plan to put the mousepad at the end of the contacts after trial season.

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