After my RC training at the dog club on Saturday, I knew I needed to practise doing the dogwalk with Lu but starting with her or even behind her, as that scenario had been making her leap. I also knew I needed to do it in such a way that she shouldn’t leap. So I went back to the trusty old straight-tunnel since that’s such a familiar setup and tried very hard to not position myself in such a way that I was ahead of her (harder than you’d think!) and once she’d shown me she could do THAT, I tried it over a bar, and hello! There is our problem. I don’t know if it’s because I go: “YAY WELL DONE!” for a contact hit, or because she’s just not looking forward after the DW very well yet, or a combination of both, but as soon as the jump was the next obstacle, she did 3 poor hits/misses in a row. I gave her a break and we changed the setup a little – still a straight bar at the end, but my helper Mel was there with her treat pouch which she would drop on the ground as Lu came toward the bar. This seemed to work much better, and miraculously (since she was doing so well), I put the bar at a 90 degree angle, and she did it beautifully!
So my plan is to continue working like this for a couple of sessions, either with the pouch being there as a dead toy, or with Mel dropping it for me, just to get her really used to DRIVING to the bar/obstacle ahead of her (whether it’s off to the side or straight ahead… once she’s really got the hang of this I’ll bring discriminations into the picture, but not yet) regardless of if I’m ahead or behind her as she gets off the DW. I certainly don’t think that increased forward obstacle focus can hurt so I think it’ll be valuable training.
There’s meant to be music but apparently it takes youtube literally 3+ hours to put music to a 1.30min clip. Go figure.