Agility contacts

Vito's doing ok with the whole teeth and muzzle thing. We've even been leaving the muzzle off for most of the time he's home since Vito seems to be learning that lying on the sofa means freedom. Basically Vito just looks pathetic right now and sleeps most of the day. At least he's still been able to go to his obedience and agility classes this week where he's been super super excited but managed to do the best heel work he has ever done!

I wanted to post a video I made of Vito's running contacts progression. He hasn't been able to do it since his surgery and I don't know how much practice I'll get in this winter, so I wanted some memory of how good it's looking :)

We started the work in mid July 2009 when Vito was 8.5 months and made it up to full height beginning of October. Once at full height we struggled a bit with Vito running all the way to the end of the board and then pouncing off the very end of the board like it was a diving board. But I think that problem is solved as he hasn't really done it in November.

Wow was this hard work!! It was so hard for me to tell if Vito was jumping or not in the beginning. I could not see the hind leg separation that Silvia Trkman recommends looking for, so I ended up mainly watching to see if his head/front part of body went up when he left the board. If it was a higher angle then the normal bobbing you see in a run, then I concluded that he was leaping off the board. I also was pretty strict on where his feet hit the end of the board. I know Siliva says not to focus on where the dog hits the contacts, but it was easier for me to focus on foot placement and the body angle going up to know when to reward.

I know that I have a long ways to go with his contacts. Especially since my weird setup (probabally not the safest propping up of the board) only allowed Vito to start on the top of the descent ramp so he isn't used to running before getting to that point. That of course will affect his stride majorly. But he has done the full dog walk a couple of times now and while his success rate isn't as high, he clearly is transferring his learning of running to the real dog walk.

Lance wants to butt in here and tell you that he is doing really well with his stopped contacts now. I've been using my board at home for 2o2o and Lance has caught on SO quick to this. He runs to the end and sticks the 2o2o regardless of my position, running ahead, throwing treats, etc. In class Lance isn't quite as confident as is slowing down more then I would like to get to the end of the board. I'm hoping that this is just Lance trying to figure out if this is really what I want him to do and the speed will come with understanding.

Lance's 4 on the floor on the aframe was amazing this week in class too! Previously Lance had been experimenting with jumping the contact and landing into a very nice down at the end of the ramp, silly corgi. But last night he ran the entire ramp (in a perfect type way) and hit his down. Lance has also given up on trying to do a 1 rear toe contact or a 2o2o on the aframe. Of course I still have his mat at the bottom as a nice visual for him.

Mango  – ( December 4, 2009 at 8:56 PM )  

Vito! Don't you ever go up? I have been doing well on the contacts on the A-frame. I do really well with contact on the teeter totter since I kind of slide down on my belly (oops). I know contacts are important, but sometimes you just get so excited.

I sure hope your mouth gets better soon. Need to get you back in action. We are lucky because our agilities school is inside and we can go all year round.


P.S. Time for another ferret movie?

Lindsay  – ( December 5, 2009 at 2:14 PM )  

That video is great at showing the progression that you guys have made! Great idea!

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