Ok, I know, I haven’t posted much here lately except for whinging about my students (problem has been solved by the way, though it was an emotional day) and posting RC (and this post won’t be much different) but the field has been so muddy that RC has been about the only thing we can do, and we went for a walk the other day but it was pretty boring so I didn’t take any photos, and I get home from training at 7, have dinner and go to bed by 9 (cos I’m SO hardcore) so trying to think of anything actually ‘profound’ or ‘interesting’ to write is pretty tough.


Tonight I set up a big long sequence with big open bits like we’ll have in novice… and then I went and threw in a serpentine (a wonky one to make it easier) and a cik and a backside-bar, just to, y’know, make sure we weren’t relaxing TOO much… But I took Andreja’s/Silvia’s advice and made a real point of rewarding after every little ‘bit’… So the two jumps direct to the tunnel and then the call out of the tunnel? Rewarded. Then that again, into the serpentine? Rewarded (even though she missed the first jump, I bet it was my fault). That all again then through the serp – rewarded that too. Then all again, but around 2 more bars and a cik- rewarded! I also made a point of setting her up at the start so she’d have to drive past me into the tunnel cos we need to work on that, too. And of exciting her before we started and making her bark and stuff. It was fun times. And then at the end I set up a rear-cross (possibly a bad one) because Australia likes rear-crosses because the courses are so big (like the country) so I figured I ought to see what she did and… well, she turned the wrong way, and looked puzzled. But it was ok, cos then I set it up differently and it worked! and it worked again! And then I stopped because that was good.

And we also did RC (surprise surprise) and I was starting her from far away with lots of speed and never have I had so many NRs. And I don’t really mind because it meant when she actually JPed it was sweeeeeeet. But I’m wondering if she was sore from chasing the ball with Husband last night or what but it was certainly unusual.

So the good news about tonight’s RC though is that her natural style of running appears to be back. There’s lots more rear-feet separation on the up and straight planks, and a lot less airy ‘rocket-leaps’, which I’m both glad about (less chance of falling to her doom) and sad about (70% NRs tonight because she wasn’t adjusting her stride the way she had been… or possibly she just felt like leaping off the end, though had they been hits they would have been very far down)… So, that’s good. This is session 3 on this height so I’ll stay here, now that she’s running nicely, and try and build the hit percentage up. I hadn’t yet started her with as much speed ย (one of the clips suggested she did a 1.1second DW???) so that could be a factor, though I doubt she’d be all that much slower than when set up from 10 meters from the DW in a straight line. So, meh. Could be one of those nights. I’m SO not fussed. I think NRs/leaps are really important anyway to teach them what you DO want, and the fact that she seems to be running much more normally is really nice. It felt like she didn’t have great separation at the field, but the video doesn’t lie so my eyes were obviously playing up about that one.

Also, I think she’s carrying a tiny bit of weight, which suggests she’s well and truly stopped growing (HURRAH) because she was eating 3 cups of food and a meaty bone for a while there, and was still super skinny. So now I have to figure out how to feed my adult dog so that she doesn’t get fat. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway. Here’s tonight’s video. I also have Mal but he was being super weird (still more hits than Lu though, but I suspect he as collecting) so I’m not going to bother cutting it up. We’ll try again next time. All is well, and zen. It has been a horrible, and then not-so-bad day.



7 thoughts on “slacker

  1. I’m so honored your training rewards got inspired by my experience with Java, even though it’s Silvia’s advice ๐Ÿ˜‰ Java really likes it if we build up a course like that. Not that we have in a looong time… it’s been too hot to do much of anything.

    I analyzed the RC video. My guess is she hit the first JP simply because it was her slowest try (I think, I didn’t time it). So I wouldn’t hope to get her hitting on the down ramp twice like she did in that try any more, not at speed. Her jackpots all came from tries in which she hit the down ramp with rear feet first.

    The dogs who do RC in four strides *need* to land on down ramp like that in order to have enough room to make the final stride and land in the contact. I don’t know if Lumen is one of those dogs since I haven’t seen her running on a competition-sized dog walk, but if she is then it’s great that she is learning that this pattern is a possibility while the dog walk is still low. How long are your ramps in comparison to competition dog walk?

    Some of the NRs are from lack of adjustment, yes. It looks to me that she doesn’t yet have an idea that she could/should adjust, so I would find a good starting spot (and possibly a little less speed?) and continue to set her up for success for a while. She doesn’t need to learn to adjust yet. Java is not adjusting yet and I’m not worried in the least.

    • Em says:

      My DW is competition sized. The 1st plank is slightly too long, the 2nd is slightly too short & the down plank is exact. So I don’t suspect how she runs it will be much different.
      It’s just weird that the last 2 sessions she seemed to be aiming for a particular spot on the apex which resulted in lots of JPs but today she didn’t. And it’s ok cos her striding was more regular that before, I just wasn’t expecting it. I don’t mind if she doesn’t adjust, just that she had been. I did set her up from a few different spots in this but I was interested to see if a very fast approach resulted in better running than before and it seemed to.
      So we’ll just keep playing ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Oh really? Funny it looks small to me ๐Ÿ™‚ But then our practice DW has ramps that are 4m long.

        The thing with adjusting before the down ramp is that you can’t be sure if the dog is doing it to hit the contact or to avoid apex. Since you have just increased the height it is likely that it was due to avoidance, not due to adjustment. Now if she was adjusting on the down ramp then we could be more certain that she is trying to hit the contact.

        Yes I forgot to mention that I love how much more comfortable her running looked this time!

      • Em says:

        Yeah our DW planks are 3.5m long each and I wanted her to start training on that (though the one I had been using previously as the down ramp was 3.8m so cheating a little ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
        I suspect she WAS adjusting to avoid the apex but I didn’t necessarily mind if it worked for her and she was still comfortable but I definitely think her running is much more normal again now so I’ll go back to starting her from good spots like I was beforehand ๐Ÿ™‚
        I think the trick with her will be much smaller increases in height. This was about a 17-20cm jump. I think 10cm will mean she shouldn’t notice.

      • Avoiding the apex is not really what we would want in running contacts because if the dog needs to think how to avoid a particular part of the DW it gives them less freedom to choose their striding to hit the contact and can in fact make it harder for them to learn how to adjust to hit it.
        As you know I use an extra plank on the dog walk to make the angle lower. Silvia was not too keen on this, saying that the plank can act like a stride regulator (in Lu’s case apex acted like a stride regulator) and that we should get rid of it as soon as possible. In our case this will not be possible for some time, but in the mean time I’m making sure she is choosing a variety of take off spots before the plank. So far it seems she doesn’t cue off it.
        Yes, smaller increases usually work better. But even if you only increase little by little some heights just take more time than others. In either case, you made good progress.

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