O.k., time for your first homework!
1. find a way to make your dog run as fast as he can, tape him from the side and study his striding in slow motion or even frame by frame: how far apart his hind feet are, how far forward hind feet reach over front feet, how long and high the stride is, how his back looks like and where his head is: many people think you want low head for running contacts, but in fact, you want the head look exactly the same as when running full speed in the fields 🙂
2. have a dog run over the plank, tape him from the side and compare it with the video above - tape it at the height you're currently at. If you're just starting, restrain the dog before your plank, carpet or whatever you're using, throw a toy and release. Slowly bring the dog further away from the plank to really have them come to the plank with full speed. Mark anything that looks like running in the fields from the first video, jackpot when feet are hitting at the end of a plank/carpet (where the contact will be), but reward anything that is running. Don't forget to click it or at least mark it with your voice! I prefer clicking, but you can also first use a voice and start clicking later, when you know your dog's stride better and can predict it better.
This is a good check-up for those who are already running their dogs on a raised plank and a good stride-study that will help you see and mark the correct striding better for those just starting. Once you see your dog is running nicely, with an even stride, hind feet separation and hind feet reaching further from front feet, you can put a brick or something under one end of the plank and have them run over slightly raised plank - I'll tell you when you're ready based on the videos you'll send.
And yes, we're for now throwing a toy in advance, letting the dog chase it, in order to get full speed. So yes, the dog is rewarded every time with a ball - so make sure that you really make the best tries even more special, use excitement in your voice, a play of tug on his favourite toy or food if that's his real preference - in short: make a party about the really good ones and don't worry about not so good ones - just throw that ball again! 🙂
3. to make it easier for the dog to understand what you're clicking for on that plank, we'll be teaching some tricks that are important to help them understand how to use their feet and that you might be clicking them for using them. The two things you will try this time is cavaletti work - walking the dog over drawers or boxes on the floor - and teaching the dog to step with front feet on an object and clicking for any movements of hind feet: the final goal is a full circle in both directions, but first click even for just a weight shift and then go from there.
Post a video with all 3 assignments, first two in slow motion please!!! - But PLEASE cut out all the parts where I can't see the dog: because seeing just the plank, and that is slow motion, is absolutely no fun - and you can't imagine how many planks in slow motion I saw by now!
Also, read all the comments and see as many videos as possible, you can learn A LOT through videos and comments of others, that's why we do it in a class form in a first place!
Two pictures showing what I mean by hind feet reach: hind feet must land further ahead from where front feet were:
Two pictures showing what I mean by hind feet separation: hind feet must be hitting two different spots as far apart as possible (vs. staying parallel, hitting the same spot).
To take the explanation of hind feet separation and reach forward even further, here is a discussion we had with a first class on it, this is my comment to those two videos:
Experimenting with a full low dogwalk
Experimenting with throwing his toy
My comment: he doesn’t run fast enough – That’s my answer to 90% of problems with running contacts, so you will probably hear that a lot in next few months Any BC, running full speed, is deep down the contact if doing two strides on a dog-walk ramp, period. Even my PyrShep who is 37cm (14.5″) does the down ramp in two hits and I even know a Papillon that is trying to, despite we would prefer him to do 3 hits Meaning that if a BC does 2 hits and is too high, he is not running enough. That’s some general info for everybody, I’m just using your videos to discuss this topic as they show some very nice tries and some “not running enough” tries.
On most tries, you can see his hind feet come just shortly more forward from where the front feet where. Normally, when the dog runs full speed, hind feet will land significantly further ahead from where front feet were – just like you can see in “experimenting with the toy” video at 1:16, 2:16 and 2:27 tries for example – those were very nice!!!
The faster the dog is moving, the further ahead from front feet hind feet will be landing and as a consequence, you will have MUCH bigger length covered as if hind feet hit where front feet were – meaning that if Bi’s front feet are above the contact, her first hind foot will be in the middle of the contact and the second one will be right at it’s bottom. - While if the dog’s hind feet only come to where front feet were, he is missing the contact in this situation - instead of getting a perfect one
That’s exactly why I always get suspicious when I hear people saying their dog is hitting with 4 feet. With a BC size dog, running full speed with good hind feet separation, it’s pretty much impossible to fit all 4 feet in. 3 is possible, but if they can fit all 4 feet in that small area, they don’t cover enough of an area and when they will be higher, all 4 feet will be out of the contact. Bi on the other hand is a typical example of the dog covering LOTS of an area, meaning that even if her front feet are landing in the middle of the down ramp (yeah, she desperately wants to do it in one hit), the second hind foot will be in the contact, as you can see in this video:
Complicated? Don't worry, it gets easier when you start to see the dog's stride 🙂
but even the carpet run is awful… I’m kind of stressed bec I don’t want to change for 2o2o… we’ve been working on it for so long w/o any success…
have you ever had this situation?
are you confident?
would a break help us? (I’d feel more comfortable to keep working on it instead of putting forward my problem)
ok for your plan
i’ll work on a ground-plank all week long (4 more days) and i’ll send you the video of the 4th day to see if there is any changes?
I don’t think flat plank will get you anywhere at this point, especially not on this plank that is far from what I recommend (I said max. 2cm of thick). I think you need to work on carpet and only when that’s o.k., switch to a slightly raised plank, maybe with a carpet over it and again, you need to soften that edge!
sorry I meant carpet (I wrote too quickly my message)!! I sure want to follow your advices!
You must have thought I’m a weird person 🙂
As planned we trained on a carpet all week long (5 times).
Today we went to the other club and I tried putting the carpet on a small hill. You’ll see on the video what we got.
At the end of the video, I show you how we can train from now if you think we are ready. This club has a new (but old!) plank with smaller edges and I can put clothes as the end if you think necessary.
I couldn’t bring my home-plank to Carles’ club yet. I guess you think it’s better to not train until I bring my plank, don’t you?
A question about clicking:
-- when she has a nice running without any other criteria, is it jackpot or reward?
-- when she hitting at the end with nice hind feet separation but leaping, is it reward or jackpot?
That’s definitely better! How long is that carpet? And yes, I wouldn’t train on that thick plank… This one looks better, but do try to fill the edge up with an old T-shirt or something. Using a hill is the best way to go, I hope you can find a steeper one too when needed 🙂 And yes, for now you can reward any running, but only jackpot nice hits. Don’t reward leaping at all, no matter where she is leaping from, if she is really airy.
This carpet can be up to more than 4m. On the video it was 3,80m (Carles’ DW length).
Next time I go to the other club, I’ll tape the steeper hill there is bec it’s somewhat close to the fence, you’ll tell me.
No pb for filling up the edges.
When starting, should I put Karmen at the beginning of the plank and then further and further?
You can start her closer for first few tries yes, but you do need distance soon and if it makes her miss the plank, you can use some wings or something to help her find it.
This week-end we can train 4 times (mornings and afternoon). I’ll send you what we get at the end.
Thank you for your support because the challenge is pretty hard for someone who:
-- Has a tough job,
-- But no yard,
-- During winter without light at night…
Hope we’ll make it…
I would be so grateful because your method is just so natural
See you on Sunday 🙂
I know, it’s not always easy… But it’s sure very rewarding when you’re there! 🙂
The owner of the other club wants to use the old plank to make a low DW (30cm height) … tomorrow … I’m so worried…
This morning was not bad but not strong neither.
It’s me again !
I’ve sent an email to the owner, hope he’ll accept delaying the DW’s setting…
Here is what we got this afternoon.
I don’t want to rush her, so tell me if I should make other sessions this way or if I can add the 2nd apex (as shown on the video where the 2 apex are on the ground).
Cool, that’s certainly getting better! And yes, let’s try the next set up, that looked good!
Here is what we got this morning. We are on the way, aren’t we?
This class will be finished by the end of this week and the next one starts on january 7th.
In case I don’t have time to write you later : FELIZ NAVIDAD !
I’ll have a lot of free time 1st week of january and can go tranning every day.
What would be the planning for us during that time?
How can I know when we are ready to go further?
If I have a question, can I post a video on next class before the 7th?
Did you try the two planks on a hill already? I would spend some time on that and if that goes well, ideally move it on even steeper hill. If you don’t have that, then next step is adding a third plank, ideally working on a top of a hill so that you dress up the hill into a DW and it still looks really low. And yes, if necessary, just post there.
Yes, I did, it’s the video above (december 11th’s). What do you think?
I might find a steeper hill. Otherwise can I keep this set-up putting a brick underneath?
Thank you again Sylvia
Ah, sorry, I missed that video. Looks great! I would do some more sessions on this set up though, changing your position (sometimes run with her as you would on a DW etc.) and her starting point (closer or further away, no angles for now) and if that goes well, try to raise it somehow, I guess you can use a brick yes, but a hill would be even better.
Just signed up for Running contacts III. I was in II but never posted. I need a new video camera and will get one this week. I’m having a lot of trouble keeping the dog on the plank. He runs full out and really nicely when I use a wide surface (a-frame on the ground) but hops off the side when I use the DW board. I’ve even doubled the board so it’s now 22 inches wide but I’m still having the same problem. I though I might be able to raise the plank on one end but he leaps off quite a bit. Not sure what to do or if you’ll be looking at this at all before the new class starts. I’ll post again if I don’t get an answer…
I had the same problem. I used x-pens along the sides to act as guides. I’ve seen other people use jump wings. I’ll be joining you in RC3 too:)