Thursday, October 16, 2008

Update on Sage's contact training

Sage LOVES her mousepad! I can barely get the darn thing on the ground and she runs to lay down on it. She will drive ahead to the MP, recall, and down on the MP with my running past.

Meanwhile, I've had her running through the contact zone under a hoop for both DW and AF. Both obstacles are now at full height (AF at AKC height).

Last week I decided to put the mousepad about 12 feet from the bottom of the DW contact. I sent her over the last 6 feet of the down ramp of the DW while I stood still. She ran through the contact and immediately to the MP and layed down. Perfect!

We've backchained the DW and the AF and I've gradually moved the MP closer to the bottom of the contact. This morning, I moved the MP back to about 3 feet of the bottom of the contacts. Sage is still running through with speed and downing on the MP.

We practice sends, recalls, and my running past. I have noticed though that if I am off to the side standing still, she will down on the MP slightly facing me (not facing straight ahead). I can go back and put up the gates to keep her straight (which I might do) or just let it be. All I want is a down, I'm not sure if I want to be picky about where she is facing if I am standing off to the side. If I was ever to be in that position at a trial, it would be because I wanted her to turn off the contact obstacle anyway.

I have not put the down on the MP on a verbal cue yet. I still haven't thought of a good hand signal to pair with a verbal cue (in case I need it). Right now, Sage is offering the down when she sees the MP.

At trials, she is running through the contacts and out of 6 runs last weekend, only missed ONE DW contact. Not bad!

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