Thursday, December 10, 2009

Running Dogwalks and little dogs.....

We recently moved inside due to the LOVELY Minnesota winter...and a friend brought in her dogwalk for us to work on. GREAT! A new dogwalk to work on!

Crackers has been hitting his dogwalks as close to 100% as NO issues with him not hitting his contacts.

UNTIL...The first 2 dogwalks Crackers ran he hit his contact VERY well...then he started not hitting them...and Andy and I were totally not getting it....couldn't figure it out...what was going on? So I thought, OMG he has been running a AKC length dogwalk!!!! AHHHHH!!! What did I DO!

Well...I went home, analyzed lots of videos of the little bugger and saw that he was hitting VERY nicely a 36" contact zone...yes, we did the striding right and he was FINE.

So why was our little dog, who has been SOLID on his running dogwalk, suddenly messing them up?

Crackers is a very honest little bugger...he does as he is told and doesn't like to be wrong...which always works great for us :)

Then I noticed the was different from our dogwalk at home...and the other dogwalk at the heated barn we work in...THE SLATS.

As you can see from the illustration on the LEFT, this is our dogwalk and the dogwalk at the barn...the slats ae 12" apart and they start at the top of the decending plank and the last slat is 12" from the end of the dogwalk. The blue circles are where Crackers stride puts him..PERFECT.

NOW...the dogwalk on the RIGHT is the new dogwalk...the spacing is different and as you can see where he has strided into the contact for MONTHS AND MONTHS of training, there are suddenly slats. Slats that he is hitting his little feet on. Slats he is trying is best to avoid at this point.


So I took him back to the heated barn put him on the dogwalk that is like the one on the left. He blew the first two contacts....trying to avoid the slats. Then as soon as he figured out it was like normal, he hit EVERY SINGLE CONTACT, I had Andy try to mess him up. Nope..he was solid.

SO...the question I have is...are there a ton of contacts out there like the one on the RIGHT? And if so, do I even worry about it if 1 out of 25 contacts is like this? I know that the person that makes the contacts for USDAA has dogwalks like the one on the will I encounter it a ton? Would love feedback on this!

Crackers will be on the dogwalks for a while like the ones on the left. So he can have LOTS of success and not any failures. He seemed relieved as soon as he knew it was the normal one...


Sarah said...

you need to move to Canada :), our dogwalks are slatless now in AAC :) and most clubs are going to agile-grip .. and hey sounds like your winter is just like ours :)

interesting about the slat differences, i hope it all works out for the little man!

Ali said...

I would say if he is mostly trained on the "comfortable" dogwalk he'll be fine occasionally running on the ones where his stride hits a slat. Kinda like not-so-great sheep, be it they are much too light, want to fight, etc. They are wonderful exposure for a dog once in awhile, but the everyday "training sheep" should really be good sheep....

fulltiltbcs said...

Well considering I will NOT move further north...the slatless will have to move south :) HEHE

We put him back on the old dogwalk and he is figuring it out :)