Yesterday I took Vito and Fiona to a disc dog playdate. My goal this year with Vito is to try and fix 2 issues that I think are feeding off each other:
1. His tendency to not collect for the leap, but over pursue and jump when he is right underneath the disc.
2. His huge head-down outrun each time I send him around. Unfortunately I've also been rewarding that by doing a lot of long and low throws. Vito is more likely to not do #1 if the disc is far enough ahead of him and not floating.
Being motivated by all the Pawsitive Vybe videos available to everyone, I came up with a plan.
my plan yesterday was to send him around and only do short 10 yard floaters. I fully expected him to catch zero discs as I visualized him being 20 yards out before even noticing the disc was behind him, or tipping the disc if he did manage to see where the disc was.
Instead, Vito shocked me by collecting with ease and having the highest catch ratio he has ever had. Not once did Vito take off sprinting and multiple times he even looked back at me to see where the disc would be. My best guess is that training indoors helped him by the pressure of the walls and the slightly slippery floor. Now I just need to find a place to train inside in order to make collecting a habit!
As an added bonus, Vito remembered his eye contact games and only did 1 punch and scream!
Since Vito was doing so well I was able to play with some fun stuff as well. I finally trust myself on disc placement and timing to let Vito work on vaults. Thanks to Chris Simmons for the pictures!
I also took Fiona out to play for a little bit in the basement. She would be one awesome disc dog! Fi already has a great switch between discs and a decent drop it. I worked on teaching her the around and started doing tiny little overs. She is one intense little lab!