12 April 2009

Running contacts criteria...

Let's start with an update on Storm: He isn't feeling too well, but an headache is a detail compared to what we were afraid might happen! Thank all of you for your express of concern for our baby, that really warmed our hearts!

Now some Orkan training: I tape most of our running contacts training to be able to analyze how our hits really are. So far my only criteria has been that he needs to run on the plank, no excessive jumping, and no jumping off the plank (to the side). After having a look at the footage from this morning in slow motion I find that not too many of his hits are below the 30 cm mark (last third of the contact point), even though he's just runnning, not jumping. This means that the criteria of just running isn't enough. With more speed comes less precision, and I think I would end up having marginal hits by the time I start competing...

Time for a criteria plan: I will reward the 8 best out of 10 until I have a 100% of hitting the last 30 cm's, and then move the plank up gradually. That means rewarding hits in the last 50 cm of the plank right now, and monitoring the success rate to see when it's time to change the criteria. I hope that by establishing the criteria of where to hit first, and then adding angle, the angle will not be such a hard thing. He is an intelligent dog, so I hope that he will get that the same criteria applies no matter what angle the plank is on. Who lives will get to see :-)

One really great thing is that he has been tugging like a border collie the last couple of days! Let's not mention what happened when the neighboor dog came around, or two horses, but at least most of the time, the tugging is great!