March Running Contacts

90% of my training for the month.  I've been diligently going to practice before work at least 4 mornings a week.

The corgi is 75% of full height now but it hasn't been all smooth sailing.  Last week we hit rock bottom and had almost all jumps.  Then he got stressed and started to really shorten his stride which of course only made things worse.  Then Lance actually offered his 4 on the floor.  I know in the beginning I said I was kinda sad he never once offered that behavior I worked so hard on, but I was just kidding Lance!  Three days of crap no matter what height I was at or what techniques I tried to speed him up.  I tried to get him more revved up by throwing food and Lance just got more stressed and thought I was proofing him on leave its.  Gave him a day off and worked our way back quickly in one session.  I think we're on the up again.  Raising the board a little bit actually seemed easier for him to hit lower.  Usually Lance doesn't hit that low no matter where I start him from but I'm trying not worry about that now.  For those of use obsessed with watching dogs run a plank, here's Lance's progress for the month, minus the week of crap.

With the toller I think I finally got a handle on how I'm teaching his turns.  I inadvertently taught Vito that I wanted him to stretch so he landed right at the bottom of the plank.  Usually he was still in the yellow but since we were just doing the down plank I don't think it would be maintainable at full speed without him missing the contact all together.  So I rewarded a whole bunch of crap and finally changed strategy mid month.  Thankfully we were on a semi break earlier so he didn't get a ton of sessions in before my new criteria... just enough of them to make it hard to undo.  I decided to have Vito run on the lowered plank and just move up alongside Lance.  Recently Vito started hitting with one front foot and I started to worry again that it wouldn't be maintainable once he was doing the full dogwalk..  I made a video and submitted it for Silvia to watch and she told me it didn't matter.

Loretta Mueller  – ( April 3, 2011 at 9:28 AM )  

Very interesting watching Vito with the one paw. Video is so good to have when teaching these RC's. I hope Lance improves and works through it...and Vito looks like things are coming along very well! :)

Cynthia  – ( April 4, 2011 at 2:36 PM )  

Looks really good! Wow 4 days a week of training before work, that's cool. I wish I could do that but I just can't get up any earlier.. I'm not a morning person and 5:30 am is the earliest I can do!

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