Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More thoughts on running contacts

I've been saying that "it's a matter of time before indy starts to get called for her dogwalk" The behavior certainly has gone through some changes over the past few months and while i have ideas, I'm not totally certain what to do.

She's always been fairly quick, but recently she's become all about getting from point A to point B as fast as possible....which is fantastic, but she's looking for every shortcut she can find to accomplish this, skipping the last weave pole and extending straight off the dogwalk. We've been trying to work through this and I do feel she's getting a grasp that she needs to hit the bottom of the plank, but (and here's what concerns me about the behavior holding up) she takes a lot of short collected strides to hit the contact, rather than running fully extended and slightly adjusting her stride as she's coming down to hit it. I worry since she's almost never at full seed when she makes an effort to hit it, that the behavior will fall apart in competition.....because she doesn't understand how to accomplish both hit the contact and run at full speed. I also have a hard time getting her as excited at home as she is in classes and trials.

I'm thinking of purchasing a "hit it board", it beeps when the dog hits the contact. but it's so small that I worry the criteria will be too strict to hold up long term.

Not many dog as tiny as Indy manage to miss their contacts, even without training of any kind...leave it to my dogs to catch some air any way they can!


The Pug Boys said...

Since I don't do agility, I don't have any ideas for you. The first step to solving a problem is to identify it. I have faith that you'll solve it. If I had the time and money, I would love to do agility. It looks like so much fun. I definitelly have a blast watching it.

westoverpugs said...

I do think we'll work through it. running contacts can be tricky to really train. I know the whole time I was training Indy I wondered does she actually really understand the behavior, so I really pushed things, trained a lot of lateral distance, trained converging in on her path etc and she was 100% on all of it, BUT I don't think she was thinking about her actual striding. She either outright jumped (rarely) or ran perfectly down, as time went on her stride stretched out and now she has to be taught to think about this as well.