Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dropped bars and Running Contacts

So the title sounds like a wild crazy Border Collie running amuck on the course. However, the dropped bars pertain to Summit and the running contacts to Soleil.

We were at a three-day AKC trial over the holiday. Indoors on nice sport turf. The courses were challenging all weekend and Summit and I had the best runs we've had ever. We were a solid team (well except for Sunday's afternoon jumpers when I pushed too hard through a turn and caused a WC). But overall I was thrilled with how well we did. The disturbing part was we ended up with a single Q all three days because of one, two, or even three bars. At first I thought he was slipping on the turf but we had shown at this same venue last Spring and Summit dropped a single bar out of six runs. So it wasn't the ground. Many other people at the trial also shared a concern since we usually don't have that many bars on the ground.

I was able to get Summit in to his chiropractor on Tuesday and his left hip was locked up and he was compensating on his right front which also caused wrists and elbow to be out of alignment. Dr. Jay adjusted him and was able to free up the hip. He said he should be ok this weekend but wants to see him again next week.

I knew there had to be something physical causing the bars. Another reason I never correct my dogs in the ring. With the exception of using negative punishment for lack of impulse control (start lines and contacts), I never blame my dogs. And even startlines and contacts need to be thoroughly trained and proofed before expecting the same performance under stress and pressure in the ring.

Anyway, here are a few videos from the weekend. The first is a standard run (one bar), then a jumpers run (first place), and finally Sunday's jumpers run with the wrong course towards the end. I almost have to say Sunday's jumpers run is my favorite for two reasons:
1. I loved that I could leave early at the second jump (with the LoPush) in order to get ahead of him going in to the box. There were few Q's on this course and the reason was most had problems getting the dog through the box with out the wrong course jump or the tunnel.
2. I liked the line I set in the box and how Summit turns over the jumps going in the right direction versus how most dogs landed facing in the direction of the tunnel and the handler had to use a strong call off.

We had a smokin' run going and at the end, I moved forward too soon (needed to use patience there) and did not let my dog land and turn before starting forward motion which cued the wrong jump.

Standard  - one bar

Jumpers with weaves - first place

Jumpers with three boxes - wrong course

Soleil has been doing plank work for a week now. I bought a video camera and started recording the sessions a few days ago. The video below is with the plank raised 4.5 inches. After many sessions at 100 percent, I raised the plank to 6.5 inches. I video taped this session but haven't uploaded to youtube yet. There were two attempts that I thought might be jumps but when I viewed the video in slow motion, she was clearly running but just had more extension over the board than she usually has.

She loves to train RC's and barks excitedly when we get ready for another attempt on the plank. Here is the video at 4.5 inches (notice the peanut gallery behind the French doors).

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday is USDAA (yay!). Hoping to get that second GP leg for Nationals.


Elayne said...

I'm glad Summit's o.k. Funny, I have an appointment with Dr. Jay for both Lola and me tomorrow. He worked miracles on my knee this past summer and it's flaring up again so I'm hoping he can set it right.

Soleil looks awesome! Doesn't get much better than that. And of course those runs with Summit are fabulous.

We'll see you at USDAA this weekend.

Morganne said...

Thanks Elayne! I was hoping you would comment on Soleil's running contacts video. I'll be posting more as we progress.

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Glad to hear Summit is ok! I wish I knew more about chiropractic and really felt good and safe about taking Ricky to one.

Soleil is doing fantastic - I love that she is so enthusiastic about running a board! She is going to be unbeatable and super fast!

kiwichick said...

Glad it isn't anything more serious with Summit. I agree they were lovely runs.
I have no experience with running contacts but my next little dog will have them :-) Looks good to me though. I know when I went to Sylvia's seminar in Colorado that it is all about the foot placement and clicking for same. Looked like you were doing a good job of that. Video is invaluable for this.

Kathy said...

Glad Summit was able to be adjusted and he looked great. You are going to have so much fun with Soleil with the running contacts and I am going to have so much fun watching you guys train them. We just did our first Aframe today with Cricket and she did really great I thought for a first time! It was very exciting, and made me smile ;-).

Priscilla said...

I am so glad to hear that Summit is okay now.
Soleil looked so good in the video. She was really fast and ran super duper well!

Kathy said...

Who's the black and white guy in the peanut gallery?

Morganne said...

@Kathy - that is Emma. My old, psychotic, crazy, OCD, OTT, Border Collie mix (Pointer I think). She is the one responsible for getting me involved in dogs sports (flyball) because of fear aggression issues. She did a brief stint on a flyball team (about 7 months) and then retired. But the confidence she gained in training and competing helped with her fear issues.
I should write a blog post about her and our adventures ;-)

Kristin said...

Glad Summit is ok. Dealing with injuries is no fun.
Soleil looks great! Be sure to work on running without your motion. Not sure what set up you have, but you want to target her forward in these early stages to create the independent contact behavior.