Great job so far everybody! But again, please see as many videos of others as possible and read my comments to others too - the more you read and the more videos you watch, the easier it will be to understand what you're going for and see it in real speed too.
Anyway, here is your new list:
1. gradually make that plank/set-up higher&higher, still jackpotting the best hits, but make a criteria for a jackpot somewhat more strict and at this point also stop clicking misses and almost-misses, even if the dog is striding equally. Jackpot really good hits only. It's no problem if the dog still gets the toy on every try, just take it immediately when he comes back. When it's good, praise and tug and when it's especially good, be especially excited and play especially enthusiastically 🙂 And yes, dogs are smart enough to know the difference.
2. as the dog is probably already searching for the plank better, slowly start throwing sooner&sooner. Don't rush it, but you eventually want to throw that soon that the dog is technically running to a static toy. But again, you don't want to get there sooner as in 3 weeks as it's only then that we'll start using a static toy - you do want to throw it for those 3 weeks more! It's better to throw somewhat longer if necessary - usually not an issue with BCs, but with my PyrShep puppy, I needed to throw VERY long to keep the speed and forward focus - if any of that gets weaker when you start throwing sooner, go back to whatever gives you back the speed and forward focus, we can deal with the rest later!
3. as you are still throwing a toy, your movement and position probably won't affect the dog's performance - but just to be sure, do try to run with the dog here and there, just to check if that's correct. If it does affect your dog's performance, add movement gradually, by first walking slowly along, then walking faster, running slowly etc. You don't need to do it on every try, especially not if it doesn't affect the performance, but do try it here and there.
4. another difficulty we can slowly start introducing now is changing starting position of your dog. If you use a low DW, you can use different approaches instead. Don't use the best spot all the time anymore, but vary it a little bit. If it makes their hits too bad, go back to the good starting position. But bad hit here and there is good, that's how they learn the difference between what gets rewarded and what doesn't.
5. new trick: shape a dog to go with all 4 feet in a box that is ideally as long as he is. Then gradually use smaller&smaller objects, your goal is the dog is standing with 4 feet in a small bowl. Good for balance and rear legs awareness! Also, teach backing up with you standing still, by throwing a reward for them first for one step back, then two and then add more&more distance. Great for rear legs awareness and coordination!
Here our first movie of a higher plank.
But i saw on the movie that the plank was shaking…..
Next time i make it better. ans hope then for a better stride.
But i’m verry happy for the first time.
Cool! But I think you can as well raise the plank somewhat more -- and support it in the middle too yes.
What do you think ? A low dogwalk on 2 small tables or make it higher with bricks ?
Higher with bricks for now.
Hi Silvia and classmates,
So I raised the DW yesterday quite a bit -- it went from being on a brick to a stool. Yesterday Maia did GREAT! (even on her ‘bad’ side) but I did not have my camera. Today, she had quite a few misses on her ‘bad’ side but each time I was on her ‘good’ side, she was in, nice and low even if I sent her over a jump and I ran with her. So I will keep working at this height especially on her ‘bad’ side. But I am happy -- very happy that finally it is all coming together for us.
Ania I just love your progress!! I have watched all your videos right from the start and it’s awesome to see you having such great success!!! 😀
Amy and Little Spur
What a difference between bad and good side! -- Maybe time to try to get rid of a thrown toy, replace it with a tunnel and throwing after it as that way, throwing won’t affect her that much? But yeap, it sure looks GREAT on her better side!!!
Hi Silvia and classmates,
Here are two videos :
-- two weeks ago
-- last week
This morning I wanted to try something else. I think he doesn’t understand what I want. When I i throw the ball he goes fast but he is leaping and when I don’t throw the ball he goes slowly. And when I don’t click he begins to hesitate and he doesn’t do anything:)
Yeap, that’s not full speed… I liked his striding in the last video better, I think all he needed is a change of a set up to change his hits. He was not leaping there, so thrown toy is o.k. with him, just change the set up, I think mini A-frame would be best.
What do you think about today’s session? On the right there is a tunnel and on the left a jump (tic,tic,tic). If you don’t like I will try to make a mini A-frame.
I don’t see it well as your legs are on a way and his hind legs are so far I don’t see the separation well… I see he is hitting lower now, I just can’t see if it’s in full extension. Are you throwing a ball in advance?
Thanks for the feedback.
Quand il allait de la droite vers la gauche je jetais la balle. Par contre Deusty a eu un comportement différent de d’habitude. En effet, quand je « clicquais » il faisait une ou deux foulées en dehors de la planche, ne courrait plus après la balle et revenait vers moi pour avoir sa récompense. Crois-tu qu’il a compris qu ce n’était pas de suivre la balle que je récompensais mais plutôt quelque chose qu’il fait sur la planche ? Enfin, c’est l’impression que j’ai eue. Dans l’autre sens, je ne jetais pas la balle, je l’envoyais dans le tunnel car Deusty adore les tunnels et je me disais que ça allait l’accélérer. Et là aussi il a eu un comportement étrange. Dès que je clicquais il faisait deux foulées et il venait chercher sa récompense à la place d’aller dans le tunnel.
Sur les derniers passages je ne lançais plus la balle car je suis nulle et elle était passée au dessus du grillage. Et comme je m’amusais beaucoup avec Deusty je ne voulais pas arrêter pour aller la chercher.
Je suis désolée que mes jambes gênent la caméra, je la mets au début et puis j’oublie qu’elle est là. Je ferai attention de me mettre de l’autre côté.
No, it’s actually not good at all if he turns back to you after a click for a reward. Many dogs do it as they’re used to get a treat after a click, so they need to be trained to get the ball after the click first. Do NOT give a treat until he fetches the ball OR you are loosing the only way to get real speed and extension from him. Now that you already did this mistake, practice it at home first: ask for a trick, click and reward by throwing a toy. Insist he brings it back: no treat if not. Once he understands the rule, try it again on a plank. Chasing a ball should give you a more realistic speed, I did have this feeling he is shortening his stride on this video and I know why now. Shortening the stride is not good: it gives you nice looking hits, but as it’s very unspecific behaviour, it’s impossible to maintain it, especially when the dog is excited. What you’re looking for is full extension and with his size of a dog, that means two hits on a DW ramp: first after flying the apex and then again a little above (front feet) and in the contact (hind feet). ore strides as that mean he is not running full speed and that the behaviour will fall apart once he does…
Hi Silvia and classmates,
Here is my video :
Well, that sure looks great! Of course, the edges of the planks on the table create some kind of stride regulators so they do help him some as they make him jump well over the apex. But he is offering some other stridings too, so I think he is also really getting this game. I would keep this set up for a while, working on different approaches etc. and then try low DW.
Nice running, but deeper hits would be better… Maybe change the set up some, put a plank against a table top -- or create a mini A-frame set up with up+down ramp, just to change his striding and get him to hit the plank the first time further down: as that is what you will get on a real DW with a real apex anyway. For now, he hits it so high that he can’t get very deep with the next stride, so I would help him some to get more things to jackpot and only then challenge him some more.
Thanks for the feedback about Chloe. Do you want me to use a two dog walk planks side by side? For the up ramp should it also be that width? I have a dog walk that will lower but I don’t think you want us to work yet on that plank width, correct? struggling to figure out how to build her something that is safe and the double plank width.
Well, with such a small dog, I think even single plank should be o.k., so I would first try up ramp -- down ramp set up (or maybe with a table in between, if that would be easier). I would wait with low DW some more as those small dogs can get tired fast if they need to run full length of DW for every repetition….
Here is an update of progressing from the carpet to a slightly raised A-frame. My dog walk is a bit short so I thought the extra length on the A-Frame might be beneficial. (I have a new competition length dog walk arriving shortly so I intend to switch to that) I have not been using wings or markers to keep her coming off as I have found she is driving straight down. I presume once I go to a narrower plank I should add these? Session One I was pleased with and then the next day -- session two we had a few moments! I figured out that my poor throwing was causing her to jump. This I sorted and the next day session three she was back to some lovely hits. Do I keep working at this height? I do wonder if I should get her onto longer dog walk planks before upping the height? Thanks in advance. : )) Lisa
Yeap, A-frame is only useful for RDW training when flat on the ground… It promotes flying when raised… That 2-6 that you jackpotted was way too airy for example for DW. The last session was nice though, much less air as 1st and 2nd, but I think I would rather wait for real planks and keep it flat until then… To keep her on DW planks, you can first use double plank set up and then go to single plank and add wings if necessary -- with many dogs it’s not.
I’m afraid I can’t find where my last post was about camera difficulties and Ripple struggling so starting a new one.
I have finally got camera working again however there is nearly a week of footage I cannot download 🙁
Here is Blaze’s training from the past couple of days. I’m working on Ripple’s video too. She is back onto two planks on the ground after I reviewed her low dogwalk. I’m still unsure why she went from flying across the low dogwalk with pretty good % of hits to shutting down on me so I’ve decided to take her back to the two planks on the ground. She has definitely lost confidence for some reason and I can’t work out why 🙁 I will post her video in the morning.
Here is Blaze.
PS: All of Blaze’s are started with her stationary, the last session which was great she was about 2 metres back from the up plank. I haven’t put the tunnel back in as was getting a lot of misses.
Cool, that was sure a great progression! After a couple of more successful sessions like those last ones, you can raise the DW some, I think she is getting it! Nice job with 4in too!
Here is today’s session which I did before reading your reply? Should I stick to a couple of sessions where she is consistent (i.e. starting 2 -- 2.5 metres back from the plank) or start to vary -- which you can see wasn’t terribly successful from this video!!!
Second session from today for Blaze. Again I varied the distances she started from and again varied results. I felt happier after the session than this mornings tho!
Cool. 4 was good to jackpot too, of course. I would start her from a distance she likes and then move her back VERY gradually -- and put her back if necessary.
hmmm not so cool this morning. She probably only got one good jackpot hit -- first rep. The rest she was trying to do four strides -- I think what she has been successful with has been 5 until now -- and missing by miles. Very low success rate. Do I just carry on and see if she works it out?
In situations like this, you can help her by either starting her even closer to get 5 strides again OR try to start her further to give her more speed&extension and help her get in with 4. I think 4 is actually more realistic of what you’ll get at the end, so getting 4, but longer ones, would actually be the best.
Here is Blaze’s session from yesterday. Getting a variety of striding but a couple of great hits from more speed and distance behind the plank.
Cool, keep working like this, selecting for the best hits. I wouldn’t jackpot 2 as her last stride is airy, but would jackpot 11 yes as it’s a nice hind feet hit.
Thanks, I did wonder about number 2.
I’m not seeing Blaze’s trend improving, in fact whilst she is getting some lovely hits they aren’t too frequent! Yesterday I experimented a bit and placed the ball out ahead of the dogwalk, first one she missed and I didn’t click, second she got so I clicked and tugged after she came back, 3rd one she missed so I actually called her off the ball and resent her. She then got 2 lovely hits in a row.
My question is given she is ball obsessed do you think it is possible that getting the ball is her 100% focus and she is possibly not thinking a lot ??? After I called her off the ball when she missed yesterday I felt she actually thought about her footwork rather than just running and chasing.
Would love to hear your thoughts.
Sure, if that doesn’t affect her speed, you can certainly work like that. OR, go to lesson 3 and start throwing the ball AFTER the hit (and a tunnel/jump) as soon as possible, so that you can keep the speed, but withhold the toy when necessary.
Here is Ripple’s video, backing up and four in the bowl included.
I’m still at a loss as to why she could go from as in her last video so far back in confidence. Wish I could get the footage off my camera but I can’t 🙁
Will download this morning’s session shortly and post here too. These reps were out of a tunnel. Historically she liked that but I changed it this morning. Will post in a bit.
Thanks for your insight,
Charlotte and Ripple
Here is this mornings session.
Here is Ripple’s second session today. I felt like confidence was growing a bit more. I did a lot more tug games after the jackpot, she is much more into her tugging that her retrieving.
The tricks sure look great, not sure what went wrong with the plank, but I think the trend is good, keep making big deal out of the best ones and just move on quickly after bad ones, to not make her too worried again.
I’ve been playing around on dartfish to measure Rip’s stride length. When she is going from a stationary start it is about half the length of the start when she is in motion. So just wondering whether she needs to learn on a shorter stride without the motion before or whether she has to get used to her big stride?
Ideally, she would know both as different approaches will require different stridings. Start with whatever makes her succeed and then add challenges (more speedy or slower approaches etc.).
Ripples session from yesterday. I was using a light weight ball which didn’t throw well in the wind at all. She prefers it to a tennis ball tho! I did some value building work for a tennis ball a bit later so we aim to rectify that!
Still airy, but getting better towards the end of the video… A heavier ball might help, so try that next, but keep it on the floor until you get rid of the air.
sorry I don’t understand do you want me to have a stationary ball on the floor instead of throwing or are you saying keep the planks on the ground until I get rid of the air?
Sorry, I should put that in two sentences! 🙂 I’m saying to keep planks on the ground until you get rid of air. Trying another ball that you could throw better might help with it too as I think you sometimes got air and high head because she is looking up at the ball. The ball should already be well in front and low for her to be able to run in full extension, fast and low.
Awesome thanks for the clarification 🙂
Hi Silvia, I want to get your feedback on the new set-up I started with Twitch and Saga. I tried the box to the down ramp but both dogs used it like and spring board and one hit the down ramp. Then I tried adding the up to the box and I found a location on the up that I could start each dog from and have them run the down. I plan to continue from this set-up unless you suggest differently. Thanks.
Yeap, your set up looks great. I would try to move them one stride back now and then soon do the whole thing with more realistic speed.
This past week of training has been interesting. I went back to the beginning of just plank on ground with Liberty for a few days. After almost all of her runs were good hits I decided to put her back on a low plank. However, I still had the same results of her leaping off before the yellow 🙁 I was starting to get discouraged but continued on and yesterday out of the blue she starts striding in the yellow again! She only missed twice yesterday. Granted she is not deep in the yellow but she at least no leaping off before striding in. I am hopeful now that she seems to have fixed her stride with time she will get deeper in the yellow. What do you think? Should I be rewarding these hits? I did reward them with her since we had not had much success the last week.
Eli has started leaping off about half way down the plank and doesn’t even come close to the yellow. He just started doing this at the end of last week. He did hit it once yesterday but that was because I had a bad throw that went to the side of the plank. I have tried throwing sooner but still the same results. In most of all of the video below, the ball was thrown before he exited the tunnel. The problem with him is that he LOVES his ball and for him chasing his ball is the reward. He likes food but for him his ball is the best. I am not sure at this point he understands that what he is doing is not good since he gets his ball no matter. For him he flies off the plank, gets his ball, brings it back to me and then he gets to chase it again. Perfect day in his world 🙂 Last night I started him on the table so he could have some hits. He is not as fast and it takes him more strides to have a good hit and even doing this he still had one fly off! Should I go back to double planks with him on the down ramp or should I put the planks back down on the ground like I did for Liberty? Does starting him on the table do anything in the short term to help him get back in the groove of how he should stride in?
Thanks for your help.
Melanie, Eli and Liberty
Cool, Liberty is running really nicely now! Those are perfectly good hits, I only wouldn’t reward 2 as she is leapy (hind feet too close) and then maybe the one at 0:11 -- you always need to select for the best ones. The rest were nice and yes, she will get deeper with more confidence. But as long as she is running like this, you can as well slowly add height etc.
But huh, Eli sure got leapy… Any idea why this happened? Did it happen suddenly and did you change something that could provoke it? Something had to happen, if he would just try to get to his ball as fast as possible, he would run as he was running at first, but now he really leaps. -- Not overstrides, LEAPS. Starting from the table doesn’t seem to help much, maybe the last try was somewhat less leapy, but all others were way too airy… So yes, if he is doing that for several sessions in a row, I would go back down and this time focus on getting rid of a toy thrown in advance (see next lesson) to be able to then only throw it after the jump/tunnel after the plank. You can start it now by using a static toy after the tunnel and then switch to a thrown toy after the tunnel (that is positioned 6m after the plank).
I have no idea why the change in Eli. Trust me if I knew I would change back! The only change was that I moved the set up to a different part of my yard and lowered it back to the low height after his first attempts at the higher set up were too airy. He leaps most every time now. In regards to toy throwing, I just want to make sure I understand what you are telling me. I shouldn’t throw the toy once he is in the tunnel approaching the plank but rather after he has finished the plank and approaching a jump after the plank with the bar on the ground? I have worked with him some with the static toy and he was leaping so I stopped adding extra variables to the equation until I could get the leaping fixed. I will put him on a low plank this evening and let you know how that goes.
I haven’t progressed Liberty to a static toy yet. Maybe we can start that next week after she gets several sessions with many good hits:-)
Melanie, Eli and Liberty
I would keep throwing a toy for Liberty somewhat longer, for an extra speed. If her real reward is food given after, then it’s no problem to throw a toy somewhat longer. It’s more important for Eli -- for now, just use a static toy after a tunnel/jump that he takes after running the plank yes and the next steps will be explained in the next lesson, coming on Monday.
Tonight I sent Eli into the tunnel after the plank and then threw his ball as a reward if he hit it after he came out of the tunnel. Tonight he did much better than the previous week. Granted he isn’t perfect but MUCH better than two days ago!!! He only had one miss tonight. Is this what you had in mind for me to do with him?
Melanie, Eli, and Liberty
Yeap, that was the plan, just not sure if he is ready already… Well, you can try a couple of more sessions and see what’s the trend. You could also try running him back and fourth from one tunnel to another and then clicking and jackpotting the best running. It’s definitely much better on this video, but his last stride is still somewhat leapy/airy every time, not sure what is that about… If he keeps it airy after a couple of more sessions, I would go flat again.
Here is Beatrice, your hold-over student from the last class. It looks like we are solidly into lesson 5. I just wanted to show you our progress. We are still rudimentary on our turn training, still on a low plank and I didn’t include that in this video.
It is only the first 4 1/2 minutes of this video that is running contacts repetitions. The last part is a little course I put together ( her first course with contacts in sequence). Unfortunately I had a static camera so you can’t see the corners of the course.
On my youtube channel I divided all my running contact training out and put in in one playlist in consecutive order, so if any of my classmates wants to watch 43 (!) videos of Beatrice running they can.
Here we are:
Cool, contacts sure look GREAT now! Love her A-frame style! But still lots of time to win on wraps I see 🙂
Yes, especially any wrap in the vicinity of a dogwalk. The dogwalk is now like an enourmous magnet, pulling her in. Now that I have the straight on contacts looking good, I figure I can cut back on the nearly daily contact training and have a bit of time for other things, wraps, for instance. I have all the foundation exercises printed out and will work on them, alas without your feed back. It sure has been fun. I will still be looking for help with turns, I’m sure.
Yeap, sounds like a good plan. I do know however how addictive RC training is, I know that with Bi, I hardly trained anything else but RC… No wonder we needed a while to get to the masters level! Just beautiful contacts were not enough! 🙂
Ha, thanks for the Bi story. That is what I feel like I’ve done. There is only so much time in the day, you know?
Question for you: What do you do to train extreme entry angles to the contacts?
I use a pole for bad entries too. We don’t see many in our courses though, instructions for judges say to pay attention and set safe approaches only -- not that everybody follows it… -- but they mostly do.