Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Running Contacts

Well it certainly has been a learning experience. Who would have thought I would have spent thousands of hours carefully observing my puppy run on the flat, on a board, on a wide plank, and now on the actual dogwalk. The wide green plank has gone away and been replaced with the dogwalk plank. Although the wide plank was 16", I lowered the dogwalk flat on the ground and spent a week backchaining until she was running the entire obstacle. Dogwalks look funny when they are flat on the ground (and longer ;-)
Her gait and speed was good but we did have a problem with an ocassional rear foot (or two) coming off the side at the end. I put two jumps parallel on each side of the end which really helped keep her on the board. She had over a 90 percent accuracy rate the entire week so I raised the dw a few chain links, good; raised it again, and this morning, raised it to four chain links (13 inches).

She jumped the first attempt and then followed with five successes. I had my video camera set to film but forgot to turn it on. I did capture the second session and she was 4/4. The last attempt I could tell she was tiring so we stopped after the fourth rep.

1. I reached a point when I was back chaining the flat dw that I could no longer stay stationary and send her ahead as I couldn't throw the toy that far and have it land 20 feet beyond the end plank. So I had to figure out how to solve this problem. I tried sending her to a dead toy....

2. She does not drive to a dead toy at top speed.

3. I can't outrun her - that little girlie faster than me ;-)

4. When we start from the other end of the dw, I need to start running and throw the toy when she is on the middle plank. This not only allows the toy to land at least 20 feet beyond the end of the dw but also creates acceleration down the end plank.

5. If I throw the toy too late (after she's on the end plank), she can jump. I need to throw the toy no later than when she is on the middle plank.

6. I am peeling away laterally after I throw the toy and she is continuing to drive ahead on the dogwalk to get the toy.

7. I do not use a NRM with her. Good attempts - reward with tugging; Excellent attempts - big tug party; jumps - say nothing. just try again. She gets the toy but no tugging.

Friday - Sunday we will be at USDAA! Summit gets to compete and I need to get a measurement on Soleil.


Elayne said...

Soleil looks great! No, I don't think you can outrun her.

USDAA won't let the judge measure an unentered dog. Don't even get me started, it's such a stupid rule and has cost us a lot of hassle but that's how it goes.

Morganne said...

Thanks Elayne! It certainly has been an interesting journey.

AKC doesn't allow judges to measure unentered dogs either (unless they are a VMO). I planned to measure her myself.

Kathy said...

She is going to be a fast girl, and in addition to what you are learning about her on the plank, bet you are going to be so knowledgable about her motivation levels, and her rewards and how everything affects her performance, or thinking skills, very cool.
It is a shame that they can not measure an unentered dog, wouldnt it be nice to get a measurement th week before the trial if you had a timid dog, one less thing to have to work through on a day when the nerves would be enough on the day of a first trial!

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Soleil is looking so great on her RC! Mom wants you to come and train her next puppy one day! :)

Tell Soleil that my harness is red. Mom likes the red with my black fur!I guess it's at least better than pink for me - LOL!

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

She looks great!!!

Morganne said...

Thanks Laura!

Ricky - Soleil will post a picture of her wearing her pretty pink harness.

Christine said...

Looking smooth and fast, that is real exciting.

In England for KC classes we can enter a show not for competition and get our dogs measured, it seems very weird you have to have your guys measure at their first show.