Ok, I have a confession to make. I felt like this post needed a picture, so I thought because I idolise her so much, I’d copy Penny’s idea of awesome Paint-art except I don’t have Paint, I have Photoshop, so one thing led to another and I worked on this stupid picture of Lumen running for AN HOUR now, and put it on the background so that she’s channelling a Cheetah so she gets really fast. If this is how I want to spend my Friday evenings SO WHAT?!!!? You can click on it to make it bigger so my mad skillz of doing eyeballs and stuff aren’t wasted.
So you may or may not have noticed a trend in how I operate. It sort of goes:
I’VE SPOTTED A PROBLEM.
brainstorms ways to solve problem.
Here is my action plan for solving the problem! I shall follow the action plan for the next month!
… 3 days later.
I’VE SPOTTED A NEW, DIFFERENT PROBLEM! FORGET THE OLD PROBLEM, MUST SOLVE NEW PROBLEM!
brainstorms ways to solve new problem.
Here is my plan for solving the problem! I shall follow the action plan for a month!
And so on and so forth.
So here’s my action plan du jour (of the day, for you non-francophones)
I was thinking about Lumen’s sequencing the other day and she’s working with me really nicely, but she’s still not fast. I know she’s not a squirrely border-collie running dog, but I also know she can run faster than she is because she does it for RC training and she does it for some of the HGR games, and she even did it the other night when she accidentally took the weaves after a tunnel instead of coming through some uprights. So I’d like more speed.
And I was thinking there’s no point doing sequences if they’re not at speed. Sure, she can do them, but meh. So my plan is- lots of recalls on the flat to a tug toy, running and racing. I want to build value for her tug so she actually will play when we’re out and about, which might involve clicking and treats for even attempts at playing while we’re out but I think I need to start there with her because sometimes she’s just not interested in playing with anything, so I want to try and move past that to: you can play, it’s awesome, good girl, now go sniff and stuff again. Hopefully this would then help with rewarding good recalls. Similarly, I’d like her to play the bitey-hands-game (um, not sure how to explain this one, but it’s like how dogs play bite-face with each other except only I use my hands over her nose and mouth and she gets super vocal and excited about it) while we’re out and about but with less biting than I sometimes get, and less jumping on me than I usually get.
I also want to do lots of recalls on the flat and throw a toy past me to have her drive to that, then play. More vigorous, exciting play- really amping that up. More single cik/tok wraps and rewarding only the fast or enthusiastic ones with jackpots, and the slow ones we try again – no more rewarding all of them to get her to love the game. THEN I want to do the same as above with the recalls but through some uprights with a ground bar. Then two uprights. Then a tunnel, etc etc etc. Working both on chasing/catching up with rewarding at my side, and driving ahead with a thrown or stationary toy to drive to. Lu is great at the recalls to a toy in my hand on the flat- I want to try and use that enthusiasm and show her that agility is exactly the same. I feel like we started ‘doing obstacles’ from cik/cap which she was pretty ‘meh’ about at first, and then went to jumps in a straight line, which she liked ok… but only did a small amount of ‘running really fast through jumps’. So I’m going to try this. I might even try and try it until I leave for Europe in 2 weeks (omg only 2 weeks. Eek)… meanwhile still doing RC and weaves cos they’re basically the same concept, and my HGR games.
Figure if I get her fast, I’m going to be an expert in how to motivate dogs to run by the end of it all. 😉