11 April 2009

Running contacts!

Since my lawn isn't dry enough to start training one jump yet, I decided to use the driveway for running contacts. My plank is 5 meters long, has hinges on the middle (so I can start making it higher like a mini a-frame as we progress) and 21 cm wide. A normal dogwalk is 30 cm wide, so we're in one manner over-training. I like :-)

The first step in my plan for criteria is running ON the plank no matter what I do, what kind of reward we're talking about, and if a toy is placed up front or if I'm throwing it after the click. Next step will be hitting the last 30 cm of the plank. Then I'll start adding angle.

Started pretty well, with two sessions of 100% success. Then (not so sure why) he started running beside the plank, jumping off the plank half way etc. Turns out I have to work a bit on that. Before I move on I want him to know that he has to run on the plank all the way, even if I add an angle of approach, if the reward isn't in a completely straight line, etc. Some generalization, then... I hope that will save me some time later, in building value and accuracy. Orkan is the kind of dog that might try everyting BUT running on the plank if I fail him due to poor hits, so I really want to put some value and certainty into the equation before we make it harder :-)

Here are the first four sessions: