Another Running Contacts Update

I'm taking it very slow with the corgi.  Good news is that we conquered the height that has previously given Lance a really hard time and has been skipped over in the past!  But then we we're having some problems with a few inches above that height, a height that was previously good for him.  After a few fantastic leaps he will usually settle in decently but it's hard for him.  At least I can clearly see him trying to adjust his stride without doing his crappy shortening the whole way down.

I've settled on rewarding every attempt with kibble from the manners minder and then giving additional good treats for ones Lance actually gets in the yellow and doesn't pull a flying corgi on.  It seems to be working in that I haven't had Lance slowing down and really shortening his stride in weeks.  I'm still using a little mat as an additional visual cue but I have no idea if he's focused on it or not.  I've occasionally taken it away and it doesn't seem to affect our success rate so perhaps it has already served its purpose.

I've also started playing around on the aframe with Lance.  I lowered it as low as it can go and have had Lance just run over it, rewarding every single attempt.  I want him to start hauling over it and get rid of any walking steps left over from his 4 on the floor training.  I've only done it 3 or 4 times and I'm not quite sure what criteria I'm going to set for him.  Lance was doing 3 hits on the down side but is starting to switch to 2 hits.    Usually he's not sailing over the apex and I'm not sure how much of that I can expect him to do.  And of course he almost never lands in the yellow.  I'm not sure if I should encourage him to stretch his 2 hits or train him to consistently use 3 hits.

In the meantime I'm doing a little bit of box work from Rachel Sander's method.  He picked up on the hop in and out in the first minute of training so I quickly progressed to putting a jump before it with a tentative plan of going for a total of 2 hits on the downside when I get to putting it on the aframe.

Loretta Mueller  – ( June 12, 2011 at 5:57 AM )  

Would love to see video of the A-frame!

All the dogs I have trained take 2 strides on the A-frame. This includes: Lynn-19.5" BC, Crackers 11" JRT, Tobi--HUGE (as in over 100 pounds and probably 23" tall?) GSD cross, Bug--13" long backed Boston Terrier cross, Spot--22" BC, Roxie--longer backed cocker spaniel about 13.75 " tall. Just so you have an idea. But sadly I haven't trained a corgi yet :( You ideally WANT them to jump the apex...and in theory he SHOULD be able to do so. But...things are all variable of course :)

I think the DW's he runs are lovely...he is really trying to run even on the ones he isn't entirely comfortable that is GREAT!!! :) How are things going with Vito?

Mango  – ( June 12, 2011 at 6:36 AM )  

The flying corgi is pretty impressive although the contact runs are what you are looking for, I know. Difficult to know at what point they are actually seeing what their feet are doing and tying it to the reward. I have no doubt that you will sort things out.

Mango Momma

Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( June 12, 2011 at 2:31 PM )  

I'm not sure what I'm doing with Vito. I haven't been practicing DWs as much and when I do I'm making sure it can be a straight exit before turning. Vito has rarely missed the yellow for even USDAA length but isn't extending as much as he used to so is hitting much higher.

I've only done the aframe a few times with Lance since I need someone there to help me lower it. Mostly he's still figuring out how to run it instead of stopping. He's 11in and I guess 2 hits is what it'll be then! Here's the last time I was able to have him run it:

I like that he's getting more confident with each rep.

Amy Carlson  – ( June 16, 2011 at 6:08 AM )  

I like the kibble reward every time and jackpot for good hits. That should keep his speed up.

Roscoe was a retrain and I used a box method on the dog walk. Worked GREAT! I had to put a cue to it "hit it", but have since faded that. Although when he is REALLY high I know I better yell out "HIT IT" or he will leap. He has missed two at trials in four years since retrained to runnings, so that's pretty good! :D The box method was right for him.

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