Chaos Crew

Chaos Crew

Thursday, November 5, 2009

What is this "touch" you speak of?

I haven't had any agility trials since early October and my next one isn't until the weekend after Thanksgiving, and add to that a vacation last month, and there hasn't been much to write about.

The Thanksgiving trial is a 3 day AKC event where Skye is going to earn his last few points he needs to qualify for Nationals in March.

Our vacation to Florida preempted my thoughts on going to the Cynosport games, USDAA's Championship event. Skye is fully qualified and I had intentions on going, but due to the expense and vacation time used for our Florida trip, it will have to wait until next year (unless USDAA does actually move the event to the east coast). Instead I will follow along online and I wish everyone the best in their runs!

So, an update on Mr Rip's flying contacts. Ok, I admit defeat, at least for a little while. Though Rip has been hitting his AFrames in competition and in practice, he has YET to actually hit the yellow on a dogwalk in competition (though he's only done about 4 trials). I can also get Mr Confidence to leap at the halfway point of the down ramp in practice.
Now, I am happy with his speed and enthusiasm in running his dogwalk, but rather than tightening up his stride and getting more consistent with the contacts, he has been extending out and seriously jumping, flying well over the contact. Because of this, I have started teaching him a 2o2o position with a "touch" command. It's not something he has learned before, because right from the start, he only understood that you run on the board. He's starting to get the point, and I will be working in this Stop on the dogwalk for the foreseeable future. When he gets the complete understanding and can do the stop reliably, I expect I will transition that to a quick-release. At some point, I will come back to running his dogwalks, but for now he just doesnt get the point of the contact zone.
Rip is also entered in the Thanksgiving AKC trial, and unfortunately we cannot "train" in the AKC ring, so if he misses, then he misses. Its not really his fault, so I don't expect I will down him or carry him off. Likely I will just verbally mark the miss with an "Uh Oh" and pause our progress, then finish the course.

Rip has been learning some new tricks like "spread em" where he stands up against a wall while he gets "frisked", and I have been trying to teach him to stand on his hind legs and walk forward. These have the benefit of strengthening his back and back legs too!


Morganne said...

I understand the desire for a running a-frame but curious why you wanted a running dogwalk?
I agree about not leaving the ring. He is doing what he was trained to do. I never leave the ring if Sage misses a contact since she has a long reinforcement history of running them in competition.
Now Mr. Summit is another story...:-)

Greg S said...

Hey Morganne. My ultimate goal was to have Rip drive fast over the dogwalk. The running contact seemed the obvious choice for that, rather than drive partway on the dogwalk and then slow to a stop. It was all working out great in the beginning until his confidence got the best of him. I know that he needs a clear understanding of obstacle success, and he didnt have that for the DW or AF. Now I will introduce the 2o2o so he knows exactly where he's expected to be. I do hope to get him back to running if I can get him to understand where he needs to be. We shall see!