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!
Hi Silvia and all, Here is video of Saga & Twitch’s backing up and 2 feet in a box.
Cool, keep adding distance to the back and making the box smaller with Twitch. Saga is sure doing great with that little bowl!
oops I mean 4 feet in a box
All of a sudden something has changed. I used the toy that I usually use for when she swims. She really attacks the water to retrieve the toy. When I used that toy on the carpet, she dug in much more than ever before. Her running on the flat was so much better that I put her back on the ramp today. Much Much better. WOW.
Elise & Chirp
Great!!! More speed always helps 🙂 Keep working like that, try some earlier throws too and maybe you can try running with her again too.
Wow that is really improved speed!
Hi Silvia and Classmates,
Spec’s latest ramp work. Thankfully the reward rate is getting a little better:)
I’m varying his start positions in hopes of a higher reward rate.
Spec’s tricks for lesson 2:
What criteria should I be using to raise the DW? Do I continue to work the present setup until he can hit the contact 80-90% of the time when running the entire DW with full speed, then raise it a couple of inches? I don’t think he realizes yet that hitting the contact area is what I want. What should I do? Thank you for your help.
It takes a while to get the understanding, so I wouldn’t worry about it as long as the reward rate is going up 🙂 So yes, I would keep working like this until you have over 80% of nice hits when running the whole DW and then raise it some. And what a great balance in that little container!
Question about tricks…
Is there a general thing that I can do to help a dog that gets a bit frantic while working on tricks? for example with “4 in box” the feet are moving so fast and furious it is making it hard for me to click the “in” moment!
Sorry I don’t have video yet as I was going to wait till he had some notion before taping.
If there isn’t I’ll just keep clicking as fast as I can:-)
Not really, I think it depends on the dog’s temperament… From my dogs, La and Bi are frantic too while Le and Bu are thinkers… It does look more chaotic with La and Bi and it sure is harder to click it right, but I actually love the intensity and variety of offered behaviours and they actually learn just as quick -- it just looks more chaotic 🙂
Perhaps this might help a bit: I had this “problem” with my Clara too. We call the clicker training with her the “psychedelic clicker”, she does very, very strange and fast movements while learning a new behaviour. With the four in the box I used a really LARGE box first, so that she only had to jump in. I clicked the moment when her four feet touched the bottom of the box. Then delayed the click more and more….standing in the large box……named the behaviour…..smaller box….very small box…
good point…I’ll make sure I’m not acutally clicking for prancing in the bigger box! But there is definately some personality coming through as well 😉
Hi Silvia, this is our video with the raised plank and a changed set-up (tunnel before the plank instead of only restraining her or sending her to a cik/cap and a tunnel behind the plank just for the opportunity to reward only the good ones). I think every hit was a good one, I jackpotted some of them, may be I could have jackpotted some more -- but I`m just training to see the hits. I think Fine did great. What do you think: which hits were good enough for a jackpot, which ones only for a click and perhaps there are some you wouldn`t have clicked for at all? Looking forward to your comment.
Great!!! That sure looks great and you rewarded it well! How long is your down ramp? I would keep using the tunnel after, you can also try curving it next, sometimes switching it with a jump, sometimes switching the first tunnel with the jump and maybe even moving both (but one at the time of course!) off line slightly eventually to challenge her some more.
Thank your for comment and tips. I hope that we can do more sessions with tunnels in the break, if there is rain only, we will switch to jumps (before and behind). The down ramp is 3,60 m long.
O.k. It would be good to sometimes train on somewhat longer plank too, maybe you could use a down ramp from your DW?
Yes, we thought about it already. Then we will try to change the set-up. How long should a down ramp be? I think ours is about 3,80m.
Sorry, our dog-walk down ramp is 3,70m. Is it too short then? May be a stupid question but: what is the standard length for a dog walk ramp? And for our set-up, I think, my husband is able to add another (10 to 20 cm) plank to our current plankversion -- o.k.?
I guess it might be good if you could sometimes train on a longer plank too as the DW length varies a lot… Most DWs here are about 4m, but most DWs abroad that I see are shorter, several people from this class have 3.6m DWs, so obviously, they come in all lengths, so the best is to be prepared for everything and be able to train on various lengths…
Thank you. We own a second DW, I will see how long its down ramp is. If it is not long enough to make a difference, we will design a second (longer) plank.
I just measured our older dog walk: 4 m. 4 meters and rubber skin. So Fine has the opportunity to run over the plank (3,60m), over our new dog walk (3,80m) and over our old one (4 m). So -- we will use the break to play a bit with these different lengths and set-ups. And once more: Good luck, much fun!!!
That’s perfect, to be able to train on different lengths.
Hi Silvia, I just want to give you a short information why we didn`t post any video. We did many sessions on different lowered dog-walks and Fine had nice hits and she leaped sometimes. But our major problem is (..it cost me weeks to recognize this..): the ball or any other toy. Fine doesn`t bring it back good enough to have as many repetitions as required for this training. So we don`t do runnings any more and “only” play with balls and any other toys. She brings them back first but then she sticks in one position and doesn`t let the ball out. I hope we will be able to have one more video during this class, otherwise we will do a third RC class in March or April. I read all comments and I watch all videos, so that I get a better picture of what to do and what to look for. But anyway we will need your help for these RCs.
You mean she brings the ball back, but she doesn’t release it? Not even for a treat or another toy? What is her % of nice hits vs. leaps now? Next RC class starts in January and the one after probably only in autumn as I will be away too much during summer to keep up with the classes… But you can always post a video under general “running contacts” page if you have a question during that time!
Yes, she doesn`t release. If she is in this mood, she doesn`t release for anything, even with different toys. She is standing there with the ball in her mouth and just looks at me…. It often happens when I try to reward differently. But there has to be a difference between good hits, hits and only leaps. So I try to build up this rewarding system in other situations (just only cik/cap or some tricks). I think this is my major problem with teaching her some agility, I don`t have a reliable system of rewards. I have been at this point in the class before and I thought it might be a problem only for RCs but it is a basic thing we have to work on. I`m not very structured in other situations too -- so this is my chance to train it.
We had different set-ups (jump-DW-tunnel, jump-DW-jump, jump-DW) and she had maybe 50% to 60% of hits, the most of them with the tunnel behind DW. When she hits, she hits deep.
May be we`ll choose the following RC class then. And we will try to post one last video here before the class ends.
Sounds like she either does additional step and is deeply in or skips that last steps and is too high. You can maybe try angled, less speedy approaches and see if it makes it easier for her to do fit that extra stride in. Video would be good too yes. Try not to throw a toy at all for missing the contact and then jackpot the hits so much that she will be happy to release the toy 🙂
Same 19″ dw but I couldn’t throw the ball because my husband had equipment in the way so I put a curved tunnel so he could run right into it and then I threw the ball. He definitely didn’t drive as hard as when I throw the ball but nothing I could do about it today -- stuff will be moved tomorrow and I’ll go back to throwing the ball. I will do a bunch of hind end strengthening exercises over the next few weeks. I leave for USDAA Nationals next Monday -- very excited -- should I just keep this set up and throw the ball. At this point I really just want a FAST dog walk and will take what I get for a contact, keeping my fingers crossed 🙂
Well, I would definitely like to see higher successful rate as that, but not sure how to help him… Still, I would probably do more plank work, on the set up he was successful with. Or, try to go even lower with the DW. His natural striding is actually great to hit it, but he always either prolongs, shortens or doesn’t put the leg down and then misses it… Good luck at Nationals though!
we have come to a stop with our RC as my noise sensitive dog has been really scared by our neighbours using their guns and we were not home to know.
This was then compounded by a weekend at an indoor trial where the constant banging of the seesaw kept her shaking all day (even with her Thundershirt on)
So she is not happy to train outside in our yard or any clubs where they may be using the seesaw…….
we have signed up for your foundation class so hopefully she will be Ok by then to work outside.
I am very sad that noises effect her so bad, I wish I could make it go away for her.
Good luck everyone else.
Hope you don’t mind that I sent my comment 1 day in advance.
You can where we are by now, I think Karmen got the point. The plank is now 43cm wide with a height of 20cm.
Saturday she made a really nice session at the club with DW’s plank (40cm) put on the ground… but my battery went off 🙁
Waiting for your comments to see if we can go through lesson 3.
And, CONGRATULATIONS for the WC. I was so pround of you, and so stressed when it was your turn (I’ve bought the internet pass!)
Great job with 4in! For your plank, I don’t understand why you made it thicker? I don’t like that edge… As I know you have those ugly edges also on your club DWs, do NOT use it flat on the ground! Raise it some and try to bury the edge some with the sand, it can really hurt their toes if they step on it. Try to do as many sessions as possible outside, with more room too. You can also raise the plank some and do some other lesson 2 exercises: like early throws, different starting positions etc. For lesson 3, you need some more height, so work on raising the plank first.