Whew, it’s been a while! Life’s been just a bit crazy since getting back from vacation and am finally getting time to update everyone on what Rue has been up to 🙂
Had a bit of a set back right before vacation due to some confusion between it and the teeter. I want a stop on the teeter and her dogwalk is running, so after working on the teeter stop she started getting confused as to criteria on the dogwalk. She started slowing down and changing her striding to almost walking down the down ramp 😦 Here’s a video taken of the dogwalk right after a teeter session….
So I went back to her board to try to just build drive back there and then progressed back to the dogwalk and started from square one….
I then progressed to adding the dogwalk into sequences and started getting some really poor hits. I don’t know whether there’s still an element of confusion on her part or if she’s now realizing that we don’t always go straight off the dogwalk and to our food target or what. I also know that I’d been rewarding any hits in yellow regardless of how good they were and unfortunately she’s trended towards leaping and just getting her rear feet high in the yellow. I’m trying some different things to get her confidence back and her striding back as it seems she’s still possibly in conflict on the down ramp. Here’s recent video of us playing the tunnel-dogwalk-tunnel game to work on speed and confidence. Low hits were rewarded with food, verbal rewards were used to mark other hits, and no reward was used for misses.
Here are some videos shot last night at Bon-Clyde, and indoor facility that we rented. The contacts get VERY slippery here due to the sand. She’s fallen off of this dogwalk before, so she’s a bit slow to start.
My plans at this point are to go back to the food target for a few sessions and add tape at the 30″ mark on the contact. That was where my mark was on her board and I think that *I* need that in order to be more consistent in my criteria. I’d like to see her trending back to the nice low and consistent hits I was getting before the teeter confusion. More to come….
Finally mastered the stopped contact! She’s now very reliable stopping at the end, but I still need to work on building value for the release as I occasionally lose her focus at that point.
Not understanding the stop –
Teaching the stop with the bang game –
Showing her mastery of it in a short sequence last night –
She is now proficient on 12 straight poles with a wide variety of approach and exit angles as well as with different crosses before and after. Her speed comes and goes with her comfort level and level of understanding and motivation. In the above videos she’s a little slow and a bit tentative with her striding which may have been the surface or just the fact that it is a new location for her. At home she’s one speedy little weaver! As with everything, I know she’ll get faster as her confidence increases. I’m also excited to add that I’m getting a set of 24″ weave poles this weekend, yeah!! My poles at home are only 20″, so this will be a huge difference. I hope it will allow both dogs to stretch out more and get more comfortable single-stepping. Plus it’s WAY better on their bodies 🙂
Boy I’m just adding so much equipment lately! One of my friends ended up moving to an apartment and offered me her a-frame which I graciously accepted and picked up last weekend. I started Rue on it right away and set the apex to about 4 1/2 feet tall. We did about 6 reps and that height then raised it up to about 4’10”, did several reps and then moved up to about 5’2″. She’s now at full height and showing great form, so I’m pretty much done with that except for in sequence now, yeah!!
For the last four weeks we’ve been taking a class called “Jumps and Tunnels” which is a sequencing class for beginner dogs. There are no contacts/weaves/table in these sequences and they’re all relatively short. We have been doing a lot of walk handling in this class as well as running the sequences. Rue has typically been very very proficient at these exercises. We had sort of a bad night this week where she just did not seem to be motivated at all. I felt like I was dragging her around the course. Part of that was because I was trying to use a tug as her reward and I think that put too much pressure on her and she just shut down. Once I went back to food, she did better. We’ve struggled with speed, drive and motivation since the very beginning especially when it came to any handling. I won’t be putting that kind of pressure on her in class again, but I intend to work on toy play during class time just not as a reward for sequencing yet. At home, she loves toys and will happilly tug as a reward. I’ve had a few amazing sessions in the last 2 nights both at home and at Bon-Clyde. I have some ideas now on what I need to do for her, so we’ll see how this plays out. I did go ahead and enter her in a local AKC trial on 9/25 for JWW and Standard. If we’re not ready, then I’ll pull her but I’m hopeful that we’ll have fun!
Here are a couple of sequencing videos…the first is at home and the second was at her very first Show ‘n Go at a facility brand new to her.