55cm!

We raised the plank.

We ignored the mud and raised the plank 20cm. Maybe it was too much? Maybe I should have done 10cm? I could tell Lu was a bit nervous about it once I had it set up and she came out of the crate to investigate. She’s wondering whether it’s a bit high now. Watching the videos she had some really awkward strides in the middle of the plank but in all, I think she’ll get over the height thing and be back to full running fairly soon. I suspect adding height from this point on is going to be a test of her confidence because she is not a fan of being on something with nothing underneath (tree trunks are fine, for example, but it’s taken me a long time to get her happy about walking over bridges, or park benches). But I think if we just consistently keep running and keep raising the height by 10-15cm a time, I don’t know if she’ll notice as much… that’s my hope anyway! I’m pretty much on low-DW height now so if my own one was made, I’d be able to use it with legs and all, but it’s not. Unfortunately, her height thing kind of dashes my hopes of jumping to full height with a plank attached to the down plank to soften the angle because getting her to run across the whole thing at full height is not going to happen. So, gradually we’ll be inching our way all the way up. I suspect we’ll have to start getting very creative! I suppose it will depend what my DW legs look like- if I can prop them up on bricks and buckets like I have been it should be ok.

So anyway, here’s some of Lumen’s RC from today. It was all fine until I tested her and changed her starting position and then it all went out the window. Happily though, what FELT like leaps when I was there was mostly just her stride (with one leap, maybe 2). But it does show me that she’s not yet fully understanding what she needs to do, and you know what? I’m totally ok with the NR reps from today because I can show her yes from ‘not quite’ and we need that- we’ve had a LOT of JPs lately and not a lot of chances to let her work out the game. I even amazed myself by being able to predict when she wasn’t going to hit it an actually didn’t click her  for once.

It was also really warm down there today (hence the T-shirt) and she wears out much quicker with any temperature over, I dunno, 13C. So, she was a bit over it by the end.

And then there’s Mal! My good test subject, who gets to run the DW first cos he won’t mind if it wobbles or bounces, and gets to try out the ball-thrower so I can realise that I can’t use it before I have a go with Lumen. Anyway, he did ok considering I kind of stopped running him once I got Lu on the full length and kept running out of time. He’s a good boy.

Edit: I just watched her video again. From her preferred starting spot where I was getting good hits, she would do one LONG stride in the middle in order to hit just after the apex with her front foot… when I moved her back, she did one very SHORT stride in the middle every time, resulting in her either striding past, or leaping off at the end…. So… she’s adjusting her stride, she just isn’t sure how to do it from another starting spot…?! But if that’s the case it will surely only be a matter of moving her back by a few cm each time to help her adjust accordingly… Maybe? Wishful thinking? not sure! I wonder if, on the ones where she started further back, she didn’t want to land on top of the apex of the down ramp, so shortened the stride before to ensure the next one would carry her over…. I don’t know. It could still be a confidence on height thing as she doesn’t have as good separation as normal until she’s on the down ramp. Hmmmmmm….!!!

Can you tell I’m a bit addicted to this whole thing?

Mal was first to run, so he can go first.

And Lumen

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21 thoughts on “55cm!

  1. That looked fast! But there was a lot of air under her (on the top plank, too). Is this the way she runs on grass as well? I would do some GTCG if I wanted her to work out how to adjust the stride.

    • Em says:

      She’s probably a bit more airy than usual, though I suspect it’s from the first time with added height, extra anxiousness etc. It seems since the plank has been going up that she’s been doing long, long flying strides, particularly over the apex sometimes. I sent a video to Silvia Trkman the other day that had some particularly long ‘leaps’ in the middle and she didn’t seem concerned so might be all ok… She does tend to be ‘airborne’ a fair bit when running. 😉
      Can you explain GTCG game for me? I’ve seen it around and people mention it but don’t know exactly how it works/what the purpose is, etc. As I understand, you set the dog up on the plank and drive forward…? Then from different starting points? I was thinking of finding a ‘good spot’ from the bottom of the DW then moving back gradually from there, but maybe that’s not the idea? Help?! 😉

      • The description of GTCG should be somewhere in the RC course. Perhaps on the Must read page?
        The purpose is that the dog learns to adjust striding to hit the contact.

      • Em says:

        Hmm… well I’m not in the course, but Penny hasn’t seen it either in the course, and it’s not in the DVD. So, I don’t know.

      • I can’t seem to reply to Andreja’s posts but everyone in June’s running contacts class is like ‘WTF is GTCG?’ Well actually they probably didn’t swear like me but many of us are confused. It doesn’t seem to be anywhere. We all just eventually got the idea from watching people’s videos who had taken the class previously and making it up in our own heads

      • Em says:

        How strange! Maybe she just forgot to mention it, figured everyone would know about it? Seems so ‘normal’ that she didn’t worry about explaining it? Who knows.

      • I checked and in the May class we had a Must read page. The GTCG (Get That Contact Game) was on 1st page of that. Penny can you check? If you still can’t find it I’ll post a description. I’m pretty sure I saw it on DVD as well, but I played GTCG so much with Ruby that it was pretty much what I viewed as “RC training”, so I guess I wouldn’t notice if it wasn’t explicitly shown.

    • Em says:

      Having a look back through them, most of the 1st ones look like pretty normal running for her, sometimes with one big airy stride on the middle plank (which is what I asked Silvia about)
      And here’s this, just for fun… 😉

  2. I cannot be happier for you. I really really really worried that Lumen might shit herself (I am a high class blog commenter) when you got to height because of what you had said about her fears. But wow, I certainly thought it would be different to this. Credit to you for the trust she has in you. Wow. Plus the hits from the good spot are sweeeeeet, sweeeeet, sweeeeet!

    • Em says:

      I’m glad that the kids from school who read my blog will learn some enlightening language from you 😉

      But thanks! Though we’re only halfway there… I think what you had in one of your videos was right- the human worries more about the height than the dog. I was pretty sure she was all weird and awkward in real time, but she was fine until I messed with her starting spot but then she seemed to get INTENTIONALLY awkward. Go figure. Wish I was in the RC class to ask about it now 😉
      I can’t wait for the 2 of us to start competing with our mad running contacts dogs 😉

      • Yeah I agree that she will super benefit from all this running practice on high things. And I know you are going to keep her confidence high by over-analysing her running style 😉 heheh. Nah but that is what is good-er-a, by knowing she gets airy or slow or less separation you know when she is less confident AND when she IS confident. It is perfect. You smart person. I just wonder if I had been clever enough at analysing and having specific criteria like this that I could have maybe taught Pan to turn corners! Ah regrets 🙂

  3. On Silvia’s DVD RC to Make you Smile, she does some running with the dog following a lure on the ground to get more flat running. I hear you on the BOUNCY! Rumble is extra, extra bouncy and he’s even older than Lu, so I where I “thought” he’d grow out of it, he’s really not.

    So you put a bit of rabbit fur (or a rabbit!??hahaha) on the end of a rope tied to a stick or pole and you drag that around because it helps the dog run low… At least, that’s what I thought she was recommending.

    Mal looks excellent.
    And, you can ask Penny, but I think there’s an epidemic of odd throwing going on by women in Australia! What’s the deal with that?

    • Em says:

      Yeah Lu is my little rabbit. She’s absolutely hilarious when we’re out walking and she hears something off in the bush. She goes ‘boingboingboing’ to try and see it

      I’ve seen the bit with the lure on the ground… And she runs perfectly low after it… I suppose I could click when she does & let her get it but I don’t know if she’d then transfer it to the DW.

      Yeah I don’t know. Maybe cos we’re all brought up with AFL where people don’t throw, they only handball or kick, and who watches cricket? Nobody. So we don’t learn to throw.

    • Em says:

      Though really, I suspect much of her airy bouncyness on this video is from the new height. If I have a look at this video when I first added a flat plank:

      She was VERY bouncy and airy…
      and yet, a few weeks later and I ran her on a whole DW with 3 planks at the same height and she was running much more normally.

      So I’ll be curious to see how her running changes as she gets more comfortable with this height. 🙂

      • I can’t see the second video for some reason 😦 But that’s exactly the impression that I got – that she was running flatter before because she was more comfortable, so she probably just needs a bit more time.
        The reason I pointed out airy running is that I think it gives the dog less options if he missteps (and sooner or later every dog missteps). I would prefer for all dogs to run like BCs on the dog walk – with low center of gravity. Though I know that not all dogs are built for that 😉

    • Hey! Hey! HEY! You leave my friend alone about her throwing! I don’t believe I have seen ONE video of you throwing Rosie! NOT ONE! so um people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.. HHMmm pretty happy with that pun

  4. Heeheehee read the comments😊don’t worry I never swear!!! Anyways lumen is doing great with the dog walk, even tho I don’t really know much about australian shepherds running… I just know that they are a bouncy,playful and a sweet natured breed of dog🐶 when Lucy is better with being introduced to a dog and finished all her classes in obiedence classes and about 1 – 2 years old then I will start looking for some australian shepherd breeders since I would of have had tips and done a few comps with Lucy…. Soooo ya😃 once again LUMEN IS SOOO CUTE

    Sent from Melanie,patch,lucky,Lucy (Melanie is me)

    • Em says:

      I KNEW you’d be lurking around here! 😉
      Well, just so you know, I’m planning on breeding Lumen in a year and a half-2 years… Just saying. 😉
      How old is Lucy now? I still reckon you should bring her up for some agility classes with us.

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