ups and downs

Everyone always says that training running contacts is a huge roller coaster. Up one minute, down the next.
Today was a big fat down.

I’ve made the dogwalk easier by lowering it again – I felt like Loki wasn’t running it properly especially at the end and I thought that maybe I had rushed through and not given him enough of a foundation of just running it with normal running all the way along and down. I was getting some good hits but they were usually 1 front foot & 2 rear feet – any other combination didn’t seem to happen so I couldn’t reward other things.

So I dropped it down so that one end was 80cm and the other was 60cm and we had a session with 50% jackpots. Still not fantastic but his hits at the end were looking better. Today I dropped it so it was 60-60, so he wouldn’t try and fly over the first apex. Suddenly, he couldn’t hit at all, no matter the starting spot. Leap, leap, leap. I put it back to 80-60, set it up exactly like the other day, and we got maybe 20% jackpot/rewards. I was feeling so positive and optimistic before the session – I felt so confident in the plan to build him up more gradually and with smaller increments, and then we went and had a terrible session. I just can’t figure out how to make this make sense to him.

I’d like a good session, and then he can have a few days-a week’s break.



8 thoughts on “ups and downs

  1. Penny says:

    It’ll get there 🙂 Sucky session suck so hard. They hurt in the hurty bit.

    I think that smart lady Andreja said to me at one point, they need to learn what doesn’t get them jackpots. So even if you took a break now, that lesson will solidify in his mind in that stage.

    Whatever you choose I am sure it will work out because you are smart and things.

    • Em says:

      Yeah sucky sessions suck real badly, and of course our guys just try and try and try. He was convinced that if he went way out of his way and did the opposite end of the tunnel on exiting that that would make it work. But it didn’t.

      I agree they need to learn but it’s hard to show that when there’s no jackpots to compare to!
      I wonder a bit if he was busting to pee but of course couldn’t cos he was working – as soon as we finished he did so mybe that was throwing him off his game. 😉 I’ll give him another go in a couple of days and if we don’t have any luck then, then he can have a break.

      • Em says:

        Very cute! And so clever! Just not understanding it’s actually what happened BEFORE the tunnel that’s important.
        I could go back to throwing the ball regardless of hits and doing a bigger jackpot for jackpots – I only stopped that last session because he was getting so puffed chasing the ball back and forth across the paddock that I thought using a tunnel would save him some running… but maybe if I don’t have the tunnel there he won’t be confused thinking that IT has something to do with getting rewards and can go back to thinking about what IS getting him rewards.

        And maybe I go and do some feet shaping between misses like I had been a while ago to remind him that the end of the DW is really cool and important. 😉

    • Em says:

      Yeah I was using a bar with the thrown ball but had it on 10cm so likelihood of knocking was super low & even when he did he didn’t seem to notice. So maybe I’ll go back to that and just try and not throw as far (yeah, right).
      Thanks for the bird, though he looks a little grumpy. Good ol’ hoopoe. He even has a great name.

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