During this whole "running dogwalk" training--winter hit. BAD. It was too cold to train outside and I decided to move some training indoors (and you know the setup if any of you have read my blog). This mainly being Lynn's running dogwalk.
The question I needed to answer was...if Lynn does something inside, where the speed that she can get up to will, for sure, be less, will this match up when I actually take her to the barn and she is running full out with 50 feet of landing room to run into?
The preliminary plank work I did with her at the beginning told me that it MIGHT work. Going from the plank in my house, to a plank in the barn was fine. She didn't miss one bit. Adding a tunnel before the plank didn't change anything either...other than greatly increasing her speed. But she still hit with no issues. GOOD.
So...we have been working with several setups in the house:
#1 table with the plank attached--dog has about 10 feet of startup room, jumps ONTO the table and then runs the plank.
#2 top part of the dogwalk, propped up to 16" with the plank attached as it would be on the full size dogwalk.
I worked with both of these and it seemed like her striding was BETTER with option #2--and thinking, that IS what she will be seeing, I ended up sticking with that.
So I have been working her on her 2/3 of a dogwalk at 16". She was driving, but not like she SHOULD...and I didn't know if she was just being careful to be right, or she didn't feel she had room to really open up? She wasn't missing many, maybe one every session? So I was wondering if she just wasn't going fast enough...aka when I add speed will she actually still do what I have been rewarding her for these few weeks--or will it all come down in a blaze of glory? :)
Since the weather has been AWESOME this week (we are in the twenties!!!)we loaded everyone up and went to the training barn to work on things. I brought Lynn along to test my theory :)
We ran her over a full dogwalk at 16" tall, with a tunnel as the puppy launcher. PERFECT. Each time over the full dogwalk she got FASTER and FASTER:)
So I decided to try to add some height (we have been at 16" for a few weeks...so I felt safe trying this). We bumped her up to 20" tall and she was EVEN faster and HIT EVERY, SINGLE contact! Striding over, nicely running, no jumping or bouncing or anything :) She was FLYING!
So far things look like they are generalizing for her! I SOOOO wish I had the video camera! ARGH!
So very excited about this...
And blind faith...also related to running contacts :) Andy was having a hard time at the trial this past weekend relying on the fact that Crackers KNOWS his running contacts. Andy wanted to manage them by slowing down, or changing his running style...which only caused issues and confusion for Crackers. NORMALLY I let Andy run and watch Crackers as he hits his DW and AF contacts. Tonight I asked him to just RUN, don't look back, don't worry and just RUN. Have FAITH that his dog is trained and will do it :) It was hard for him I think...to just go and not worry. But it was a great thing for Andy...he learned that he CAN trust the training. Crackers didn't miss ONE dogwalk. Not one. Ran and hit all his contacts LOVELY, nice and in the middle of the yellow. He DID miss one A-frame, due to slipping a bit and couldn't hold it--but he tried...but the rest were PERFECT, lower in the yellow and they looked lovely :)You just have to trust the training...
Great night of training :) There were a couple of people I trial with that were out at the barn too! We were working on things together and it was nice having a different set of eyes to see things. Lynn has not really worked around many dogs, usually she is just in the barn with me and we work one on one. She never tried to go to another dog to chase or anything. What a lovely girl!
Gotta love a good night of training!