Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sometimes less is more :)

My journey with running dogwalks has been interesting :) The time it takes is much more than I thought it would. The frustration and problem solving required is also much more. Am I 100% sure that Lynn and Even will have running dogwalks? No, definetly not :) Will they have running A-frames, yes. I am absolutely sure that will happen. But running dogwalks...we will see :)

No one talks about the problems with running dogwalks, the training of them. All you see on youtube are the happy times, all the good stuff and blogs are no different. This is not easy stuff, it is very challenging and things don't always go as planned...so I figure I will just shed a bit of light on this :)

Lynn was doing GREAT up until January 17th...she was at 20" on the dogwalk height and driving well. Lynn is a thinking dog, so for her to give 200% before she is completely solid with what is asked is not her style. But her speed was good, she was hitting at 100% and things looked GREAT!

Then suddenly things started falling apart. She missed a contact...I said whoops and that was the beginning of the end. She got slower, which made more misses, she was hesitant and then just refused to run the dogwalk altogether. DAMN. I rewarded for just running, but things were not good...

So after consulting some friends...we are going to give her a bit off from dogwalk training. Give her a week off probably and see where things lie when I start her back up again.

Just the lack of a reward was enough for her to get upset. So we will be making things easy and going backwards. Sometimes I swear this running dogwalk stuff is 1 step forward, 3 steps back.

So sometimes less is more...letting a dog settle really works and I have done it many times with dogs, so we will see if Lynn just needs a break :) If not then I will just have a 2o2o dogwalk...it isn't worth it to me to cause her anxiety to have a running dogwalk.

Meanwhile Even is back to working on hers, she is running the plank and being the DOER dog she is, fast is first so I had many misses until she figured out what I wanted :) She is doing well on the plank right now...due to her PT that is needed, we will be here for awhile, which is just fine :)

Her PT is going well--doing ball work, short off leash walks (and leash walks with the pack everyday)...and lots of stretching and massage ;) She is improving and things are looking up for her to be running full out by spring :)

I hope Lynn comes back into what she was doing...but if not I am OK with it. It might not be concrete enough for her to understand...not sure but we will see what happens.


An English Shepherd said...

Its the weaves with Breeze, so hard :-(

Anonymous said...

When you taught Crackers a running dog walk did you do it like you are for Lynn and Even? I was wondering if with a littler dog if you need to do as much. Zach has a Border/Jack mix and is willing to try running aframe and dog walk, but Zach is not about tedious training.

fulltiltbcs said...

Yes we did the same way with Crackers. No, definetly not as much work on turns etc etc. Since Crackers isn't even 12" tall it is much easier for him to hit it (granted he CAN for sure miss it! LOL) but it was easier because of the stride length.

Debra Kay said...

Lynn sounds like Molly. Her brother Moon will rapid cycle behaviors till he gets the right one-then hit it every time. Molly must do the trial and error and retest, are you sure? No? This? Yes, Maybe?

Learning to train them both has been a huge adventure for me-giving them both what they need to be successful

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info!

Size is a plus with running contacts for sure! Boss, the BC/JRT mix is around 16", which puts some more stride on her a littler dog wouldn't have. I'm enjoying seeing Zach, who's 18 and runs track and such, actually have to run his butt off to keep up with her:)