questions

So, Loki’s dogwalk continues to plague me.

Like, it’s fine. If he wants to do his 4-stride DW, he pretty much always hits (80-90%) but they’re high/not safe. Plus driving to an angled bar is hard because he’s hitting so high already.

He showed me the other day that he can still do slow starts and adjust (he wasn’t doing that for a few sessions), which is good, but he doesn’t want to do this for fast starts. Medium speed starts are very hard. Β From whenever I’ve done unfamiliar dogwalks, he’s adjusted and hit beautifully even when starting far with speed. Don’t know if this is still the case, haven’t been able to do any recently.

So I have a few ideas/questions/options.

  1. I could teach him a cue that means he will need to adjust as the exit is on an angle. Something like “check check” as he’s coming along the top plank before “the point of no return”. Otherwise he can do his high hits for straight forward exits.
  2. Do I lower the end of the DW so the apex is less pronounced and try and change his habits so he actually puts in an extra stride on the downramp and then raise it up gradually so he keeps that pattern?
  3. Do I not worry about it and see what happens on unfamiliar dogwalks and maybe he just hits differently at home?
  4. Do I put a pole at the end of the DW and start with slow starts & work on exits, gradually adding speed, and this might help him understand the need to drive all the way to the end in order to get around the pole.
  5. Do I do a heap more GTCG and hope it makes him more comfortable to put another stride on the down plank, and that this translates to more speed.

I would just like to know how to help him understand easier ways to hit and succeed – I think he knows what his job is, he just doesn’t know the easiest way to do it & when he does it a good way, he doesn’t tend to repeat it. Hmmmm…

I’m thinking of taking him to a training club tomorrow and just hope they’ll have the DW setup for me to play on.

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2 thoughts on “questions

  1. Elissa says:

    Have you tried backing him onto the end of the dogwalk? Ask him to hit it with his back two feet? When I taught Lincoln, I accidentally gave him awesome contacts because we were working at a strength training exercise at the same time where I asked him to back up until his hind legs were on an angled platform, and he then understood the criteria SUPER well, and has had phenomenal contacts ever since. I wish I had a better answer for you, but at the very least this would give you a good strength training exercise/game to play, and maybe, accidentally, it would help. πŸ™‚

    • Em says:

      Thanks for your suggestion!
      Targetting the end with one or any feet is a game of ours, unfortunately when Loki gets running, “go fast” brain takes over & “thinking brain” gets pushed aside, meaning he doesn’t think about targetting/value of the end/etc any more. I also think he’s in a habit of running/striding in a certain way right now and so isn’t sort of trying or thinking about anything else.
      But it is something I should do more of anyway, for the strength benefits and also to make him happier about getting on the DW (he’s fine to run full speed on it but tries to avoid doing get that contact game/walking onto it/standing around on it… my other dog would walk back and forth on it and stand on it all day if she could, and she doesn’t like heights! Weirdo).

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