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!
due to family issues I had to drop out of RC 1. Well Hurricane and I are back at it and at a 22″ Table now. I noticed that some of you are doing a low dogwalk. He is pretty consistent from the table or even a couple of feet away from the table. You add distance before the table and he misses big time. I will try to down load some of his recent videos this weekend. Question is I noticed some of you using a low dogwalk, would that be preferable over having them jump on the table?
Thank you 🙂
Sonja and gang
Low DW gives them more striding options, so yes, if you have one, use it. My guess is that with less speed, he does two hits on a plank and is fine and with more speed, he goes for one hit, so he is of course too high. Low DW will give him more striding options (like 1.5 hits: hind feet hit the down ramp first), so definitely time to try it.
Update on Spur going into nothing. Session two days ago was 80% and some really good, deep hits.
Today, not so good. Down to 50% when going into nothing. He would leap the first time, no reward, so we just came back and did it again and he would hit. Towards the tunnel he missed the very first time only, but then was perfect every time for 8 reps.
My question is if we have another session as low as 50% should I stop going into nothing and just get back to 100% going towards the tunnel or keep trying and hope he works this out?
I am doing both into nothing and towards a tunnel every session, so half the reps are into nothing and half are into the tunnel.
The other thought would be to set up a short straight tunnel instead of going into nothing? That would give him something to focus on and I already know that is harder for him than a curved tunnel.
Thanks, Amy and Little Spur
OK, since it’s supposed to rain all weekend I just tried a session to a straight tunnel with the same 50% success. I hate to have all these leaps. What should I do? I can stay with the curved tunnel and do most of the session that way, then try maybe just one time into nothing, with a repeat if needed. He is always in the second time after a leap right now.
Here is our back up homework. I ended up having to make a little chute for him and that worked pretty well. I added two clips of Rock Star Roscoe at the end, since I know you enjoy seeing the crazy old man (he’s 12-14?)!!! His reward was part of a summer squash I picked out of the garden! He loves his veggies! 😀 He also loves to back up!!
Working on the four feet in the box. Spur stepped on the edge and made the box wiggle and he got worried, so we have taken a break from it. I may try a glass baking pan instead, as that might not wiggle if he steps on the edge.
Nice back! To prevent the box to move, you can hold it, I always hold it once it gets so small it could tip over. Not sure how to help him going into nothing… -- maybe a static toy? Show him a toy, send him around and have him run towards the toy. Keep it there for most repetitions, only now and then don’t have anything and instead throw it after the hit.
Hmmm, well, he doesn’t drive well to a static toy, unfortunately.
Today it is raining off and on, but I was able to set up tunnel DW tunnel and do 6 reps back and forth. 100% success, YAY, so from now until Nationals I think I should stick with successful reps to get MY confidence back and not have the leaps right now and to practice the right performance. Then my thought is after Nationals I could simply back chain it, by moving the tunnels farther and farther away? Would that make sense?
Yeap, definitely no more hard stuff before Nationals! And then yes, maybe moving the tunnel farther.
I have spent this week playing “”get that contact from any starting point” game on a full height DW with Bender. We have mixed up different starting points on the DW and at the bottom ramp and to the side. This video is our 4rth session. I have been trying to get different approaches as you recommended without asking for a a fast straight approach. As you will see most of of time he now has 4 hits on the down ramp and a few times front foot hits. Please let me know how you think it is going and how to proceed. I have also sent Bender over a jump so he has to turn tight to get on the DW. I can send a video of this session as well if you like.
The session is in 2 parts:
We have also started the turns on the plank and that is going well.
Shona and Bender
Cool, I think I’m seeing some little adjustments now. I would do some more of that though and be even stricter with the criteria, meaning that I wouldn’t reward tries like 2 anymore and wouldn’t jackpot tries like 11 to select for lower, safer hits. You can throw in a straight speedy approach here and there too, just to check if he is getting deeper on those too.
Thanks Silvia. I am very pleased that Bender is starting to make some adjustments. I will continue this week with doing the different starting points and also be stricter with the criteria to try and increase the number of lower hits. And yes I will add a few fast straight approachs to see what will happen. I will send him through the tunnel 20 feet back from the DW. And I asume that since I am working on the entries I am still keeping the exit straight? I have been using a jump 20 feet out from the DW.
Shona and Bender
Yes, I would leave the exits straight for now, focusing on deeper hits. Those will help with harder exits too!
Ninja did so good today! 😀
A few of the hits were one quite high frontleg, some were one very low hindleg and some were a combination of those. I´m not sure if I shall reward those?
Great!!! I think this should really work, I think he can think more about his striding now. My only problem with 1:6, 2:6 and 3:1 is that those are definitely overreachy… But yes, I guess that as long as hind foot is still in too you can reward it, but don’t jackpot it. I would definitely reward the try he is slipping (2:3) though as his feet placement was actually perfect, only that one hind leg was to the side.
oy, went to full dog walk set at 19″ and we were leaping and jumping! I didn’t bother slow motion on those tries it’s very easy to see him flying in the air… Then I went to 2/3 of the dw to help him remember what to do and got a couple better runs but not a lot of hind leg separation. Went back to the full dog walk and had a couple better reps but no low hits and not a lot of hind leg separation again. Hoping it’s just him getting used to the new set up. Should I just try again tomorrow with this set up or should I change something?
He sure is a new challenge I never met before, because of that right leg in the air… You would actually get some nice hits if only he put it down… I would definitely prefer a softer, more gradual transition from a plank to a real DW, but not sure what set up would be best and still safe… So you can probably do a couple of more sessions like this, see what the trend is and then decide what to do.
The weird thing too is that when he goes down the stairs it’s always his left leg that he holds up but on the dog walk it usually seems to be his right leg?? I do a lot of hind end awareness tricks and he’ll do them with both his right and left legs and again he’s always had this weird hind leg thing and it truly has been checked by all sorts of medical and holistic vets and there is no physical reason for him to be doing that. Didn’t get to run the dog walk today instead we went swimming so will do more videos tomorrow on this same set up and will see what happens!
Pamela, it sure is a strange thing. Spur sure would have some nicer contacts if he would land that hind leg down. Luckily for me, Spur usually has several of the other legs down, so it isn’t so much an issue for us. I actually see a lot of BC’s do it on the flat, just running around, especially those who are slightly heavy on the forehand. Spur is constructed that way and I think Cooper is, too. Slightly downhill just a wee bit? It is curious that more don’t do it on the DW, but I know Delaney Ratner’s Kelso does I just haven’t had a chance to video it. He has a 4ONF, so if he is really decelerating he doesn’t do it so much.
Yeap, it’s strange… Good that he is o.k., but I would definitely keep working on strengthening his rear end, it might help.
Here is today’s summary of our work this week.
Teresa & Believe
Huh, that toy (and food) is of course positioned WAY too close. You should never use a toy so close to the plank that it affects the dog’s striding as a toy used that way can’t be faded. Position it at least 6m away, at the jump/tunnel as explained in lesson 3 and keep changing the approaches.
Both saga and Twitch have struggled all week with the new set-up of ramp-box-ramp. If I manipulate their starting point I could get them to 2 hit otherwise as soon as they gained speed they switched to one hitting. I read your comment to Sonja last night about how a low dog walk give the dogs more striding options and thought this was what my dogs needed so I am sending you film of each dog. You will see the old set-up and new. It was all taken today b/c we have had rain all week, including today, but my husband was willing to stand under an umbrella and film. I think the low dog walk is giving me much better striding. Saga will need to back chain the behavior to end of the board but Twitch got it right away. The way I rewarded was the following: Saga: jackpot, no reward, no reward, jackpot; no reward, no reward, jackpot, jackpot. Twitch: no reward, jackpot; jackpot, reward, jackpot, reward, jackpot.
I hope to edit the tricks part of the homeworlk tonight and get that to you as well.
PS. its the best running I’ve seen Twitch do:)
Great! You can definitely use this DW yes, it sure looks great with Twitch -- getting there with Saga too!
Hi Silvia + all,
So, when we last posted, Silvia suggested I should use a ball target. I tried this for a week, and while I understand the logic, it does not seem to work as well for us as the food target. With the ball (I released her as it was already rolling on the ground) she did not focus on the plank at all, and the running style became very jumpy, the strides irregular. It did not improve over the week. When I changed back to the food these things disappeared. For now I think I’ll stick with the food -- the speed is also about the same with both. I might try the ball again when it seems clearer that she has got the idea (??).
I have a few examples of both in this video, and it shows our current height. The board is a bit jumpy in the start but then I remembered to fix it (for both ball and food target, but there are only some representative videos on this clip). I think we need to stay at this height for a while as the success is about 60%. I am away for work for 2 weeks so she gets a small break.
O.k., but at least put food after the tunnel or a jump, as explained in lesson 3, to then be able to get rid of it. And well, we’ll all on break for two weeks 🙂 See you then!
Not sure where my comment went -- so I’ll try again.
We have been working on the lowered DW and it’s been great, så I decided to raise the DW. This is the 3rd try and he is switching between 3 and 4 strides, but I think he is trying to make adjustments to get the contact -- right?
Since he already knew how to walk backwards on command we’ve been working on backing up on the DW and also trying to get in a very small box.
Yeap, he is definitely adjusting, so this is a really good sign! Keep challenging him and selecting for the deepest hits! Great job with the tricks too, that is a really small bowl for such a big dog, but he sure is doing great – almost there!
Oh I love that backing -- have to try it!