O.k., so this is our last lesson and last 3 weeks! This class officially ends on 18th December - with the next class (that will be a repeat of this one) starting on January 9th, in case you fell somewhat behind and want to continue sending videos. There will be a special, half-price option for everybody taking this class in case you want to join January class too, just as many people from April class joined this one.
1. include the dog-walk in sequences, still reward really good ones or really difficult ones, but mostly, keep running as the reward. If the contact is not good, stop and redo. Try to go to as many different places and on as many different dog-walks as possible to get the dog used to everything. When first trying it on a new place, use your dog's favourite set-up, you can also throw a toy in advance if that helps. Again, new dog-walks can be a very easy step for some dogs, but a very difficult one for others. It's usually a problem with sensitive dogs, retrains or long-strided dogs if the dog-walks are different lengths.
2. even if already doing a real DW, let's go back to the table+low plank set-up, in a seperate session from DW training, put a pole at the end of a plank (where the contact meets the ground) and have the dog jump on a contact from the side to wrap a pole. Use your wrap cue first, but then switch to left/right or come/away cues as the pole won't be there for ever. Click for touching a contact with front feet (not for wrapping) and reward from your hand. Slowly have the dog jump on a plank from further&further away, so that he needs to do a stride and then two before wrapping the pole. Don't worry if hind feet are together in this case, your major focus are front feet now anyway, front feet are better for turns.
Gradually start them further&further, use less&less noticeable (smaller and thinner) pole and make a plank higher&higher and then transfer it to the real DW. Tell them left/right at the middle of horizontal plank (can be somewhat later for shorter striding dogs), first do turns vs. straight exits in different sessions, then mix it up. A warning: teaching turns might temporary make your straight exits worse (so still do plenty of those too!) - but in a long term improves them as they get even better understanding on how to meet the criteria at different speeds.
Here is Le's first session on turns and then the rest of the steps shown by Bu to give you a better picture:
As an alternative, instead of teaching turns, you can teach 2on2off (the same way, on a lower plank first and backchaining it, using a different verbal cue) and then use it for tight turns off the DW. Only introduce it on a real DW once your running contacts are good enough.
3. new rear end awareness trick - backward weaving: tell the dog to go into heel position and start spinning as we were doing on the target, then very suddenly stop and step back with the other leg (if the dog is at left side - with right leg), you can also make a gesture with left hand to try to get them to keep circling below the heeling position, eventually all the way around you leg, so that they come backwards between your legs back into front position. If the dog insists on staying in heel position, you can help with the hand a little bit, lure his head out (left for 90 degrees if the dog is on left side) and say back to have them back up in your direction. Step back with the other leg enough to have them back up between your legs. Reward and tell them to heel on the other side (right) and repeat the process. As soon as you get some smoothness with that, stop rewarding for coming in between, always first tell them to come to the other leg and reward at your side in order to avoid having them back up too far - they need to stay very close to your legs all the time.
Good luck to your future RC training and I hope to see you again in another class!
Sorry with all the questions recently!
Do you think using the MM machine will give her a better understanding of “getting all the way to the bottom” ? I realize she’s not wanting to run full out to the machine but I think once the MM is taken away and there’s obstacles there that she will drive harder.
I seem to be getting better results with the machine VS a ball.
The reason I didn’t like MM tries you posted was because she was slowing down so much that it was a completely different behaviour and I’m not sure if the shortening&collecting behaviour you got will ever give you that full extension that we’re looking for. You might have gotten bigger % of hits, BUT what she was doing was so far from what we eventually want to see that I’m not sure if it actually isn’t contra-productive… Meaning that once there is no MM and she does drive harder, the collection&shortening will go away, but won’t result in that full extension we need either and will probably give you just misses…
Silvia, Just to clarify, do you feel the MM slows all dogs down? Or just in this particular case?
The thing is that I never saw any dog run to a static food with the same speed as after a thrown toy -- not even La who is the most crazy food obsessed dog I ever saw. She was trained with food however as that’s how I trained RC 10 years ago. It worked well, she is REALLY food crazy and will run FAST to food, but still, she did tend to miss a contact when highly excited, when running some important finals etc. By that time, I was already training RC with a toy as my BCs will hardly run to a static food, so I did some additional training with a ball with La too and it really helped. When I was in US last time, I saw many dogs trained with a static food and almost all the handlers were reporting the contacts were falling apart when they started sequencing and the dog added speed. I don’t use static food for last 9 years anymore, but I’m fine with using food for bringing a thrown ball back and that’s also what I advised to you and all other participants who wanted to use food. Some insisted on using static food, so what I advise then is to put it after a jump/tunnel as soon as possible and as soon as possible go to rewarding from the hand after the dog takes a jump/tunnel as they will normally still run faster for a tunnel as for static food.
The video I send you that had the MM in it was the 1st session she’s done with it in a very long time. I think she wasnt that confident in that session as now she’s gone back to her normal “ball throw” striding.
Here is the video.
I should clarify; the above video is with the MM (not the ball).
That’s definitely better as what she was doing on a video with mm you first posted, but it’s still not full extension… However, as she is always in, you can maybe just let it be for now, try to see how she does on other DWs and if the same, start trialing and using DW in sequences. Jackpot if you see a really good one and just keep going for anything else. Might be she just needs more experience and confidence to relax and extend even more. Normally, RC only gets better even if you don’t do anything about it 🙂
Hi Silvia and Classmates,
Here are the recent 2 sessions with Spec. We had a nice tailwind to help us along on the 16th:) Spec got a lot of high one rear foot hits. He seems to do much better when he is started with a wrap to a low jump instead of from a sit/stay. He dislikes the sit/stay. He knows what’s coming and can be very slow to sit. I’ve tried taking him further back from the jump. It doesn’t seem to do any good. I’ve also turned away from the jump and asked for a sit. He’s a little better but not by much. What would you do? I’ve been using the wrap so we don’t have an argument on the sit/stay. When he does sit, he likes to learn forward with one leg up. I know some people don’t like that position but as long as he keeps the bars up I don’t mind. What do you do for something like this? When Spec has a couple good hits in a row, I move the approach jump about a foot forward, or backward, or ‘slant’ the jump. Is this appropriate at this time? Where should I go from here? Stay at this height until I have a 90% success rate? Stay at this height until he has a higher percent of 2 feet hits? Change the approach jump so it isn’t always in line? Can you tell I feel the end of the class is near? We will be signing up for your next one. 🙂
Sure, just start from a wrap! I don’t think I ever started a DW from a stay in all those 10 years I do RC 🙂 It’s just too boring to take a dog to the starting point and walk to the point where I can see the contact. Just starting with a send is so much more efficient! In general, that’s how I start BIG majority of anything we run anyway -- I almost never start from a stay in training, after the stay is trained (yet always in trials) -- it’s just more efficient and fun. I also don’t care about leaning forward, all our dogs do so and do pretty well anyway and I only learned it’s supposed to be wrong from my US friends, mailing me all worried about their dogs doing so 🙂 -- Sounds just like a new fashion to sell to me and definitely nothing to worry about.
And yes, I would stay on this height until you have higher % of two feet hits. Keep a starting point that gives you those for at least 5 repetitions before moving it some again.When you get a good % of jackpottable hits from different starting points, raise it some again.
My concern is that he is still flying over the 2nd apex a lot. What do I need to do to get him back to striding the full length? Should I lover the DW? Have you ever used a stride regulator to ‘force’ a dog to stop flying?
I could have never gotten this far without you and your class. Thank you so much for everything you do.
I think you got quite some really nice ones in that second video, so if that stays the trend, then I would just keep this height. And if those nice hits are “reproducible” (I understood your previous post like they are?) and the same starting point is giving you more of that, then I would just try to get more of those. I never used stride regulator for this and I feel it might be contra-productive as his major problem is he is sometimes doing too many adjustments (mostly in order to then fly the apex) instead of just striding normally.
Yes it would be great if Bender could learn all the different striding patterns -- 4, 4.5 and 5…. As promised some video of Bender on a new full height DW. This is our club DW and I can practice here 2 times a week now. So this will be our “home” DW in the winter. Finally, after numerous sessions he is extending better and offering some jackpots. I have been generous with rewards since Bender was tenative at first. But thinking now I need to get stricter with criteria again. I have been using straight approaches and exits : tunnel-DW-jump. In the first session I sent him over 3 jumps before the tunnel (out of view). He ran the five in a row.
After a short break, in the second part I practiced handling sequences in between sending him on the DW each time. I am trying to get him used to running it in a sequence and less like a drill:
I like that he offers some different striding but not sure how to proceed from here. Should I continue with straight approaches to get more extension and hopefully more jackpots to reward? Should I go back to the “get that contact game” with lots of different approaches like we played on our original DW? Or should I try and lower this DW (should be possible with assistance -- maybe we could coordinate training with Teresa and Nessa…) to get the deeper hits at the lower height?
And thanks for the DVD’s they arrived here in Ontario on December 15. My xmas present to myself…
Shona and Bender
Lowering would probably be best as on your DW, that seemed to help the most from all the options we tried. I think we didn’t get many deep hits by just making a criteria stricter… So I would do both, lower it and make a criteria stricter. When you can’t lower it, you can try some get that contact game too and some angled approaches to see if we can get that 5 stride pattern.
Glad to hear the DVDs made it!
Thanks Silvia! We will work on lowering this DW and some other approaches.
I am so excited -- just came home from our club practice match and here is Bender’s DW and Frame from the Standard run! I know the DW contact is high but I was so pleased that Bender was in. I have never asked him to continue on in a sequence before so I think that is why the bars came down….I know we have a long way to go but it is a good start 🙂
We will be on a break now for the holidays, but ready to start up again for the next class. Thanks so much for all of your guidance and advice.
Shona and Bender
Great!!! And he looks pretty fast to me too! 🙂 Enjoy your break and see you in the next class!
This is the last chance to ask questions in this class! My training has been more limited lately because of weather and splitting my training time between A-frame, full DW and teaching tight turns on the plank. Work on the DW was going great using setups that called for angled approaches to the DW. He was giving me 4.5 or 5 strides consistently and I was able to work on some handling and gentle turns. But a couple of sessions ago, I changed to a setup that called for more straight-on, fast approaches to the DW and I think Tai forgot how to do 4 stride hits…he was hitting the down ramp low enough that he couldn’t fit in a second stride and got a bit leapy. So, for the last 2 sessions I was encouraging more extension and gradually he’s been getting better as you’ll see from video. For some reason, he has had more success on my right than on my left. I’m not even considering that he may have missed his up contact in a couple of these!
So, question is…how do I balance my training at this stage of understanding so that he can “remember” how to be successful with different striding patterns? Change it up within a session? Across back-to-back sessions? Any tips would be appreciated! He’s such a good boy to keep trying!
Anne & Tai
He is sure trying! And what a hind feet separation in 1:01 try! When you get back to 100% with straight entries, I would then start off doing straight-only session, followed by angled-session, back to straight-only session etc. Once he can start the session with good hits right away, it’s time to mix it in the same session. I would leave up contacts for a while as they often get better on its own (it did with Bi -- she hardly ever still misses it despite she is very long-strided), but if not, you’ll need to do some work with just a plank and clicking for up contacts. How is his A-frame now?
Silvia -- thanks for the feedback -- that makes sense. His A-frame…hmm…not sure how it is! Our last focused A-frame session (~10 days ago) left me scratching my head. Here is a video if you have time to look. The good news is that when he hits twice he is nearly always finishing the stride with rear legs, although without great RL separation. I’ve been working at a pretty severe angle to A-frame to encourage 2 strides. He still goes for 1 stride at times and is usually high. Clearly to fit in 2 strides he needs to make his 1st hit pretty high. What do you think? Trend seems to be positive -- I haven’t actually worked that many sessions since I noticed he wasn’t using RL in second stride. I had lowered the A-frame and then raised it again quickly over several sessions because he was getting so much big air on the lower A-frame. So, this video is only the 4th session with the A-frame back at full height.
What do you think? Keep going like this? I wondered too, if he would be better just working within sequences. Sometimes I wonder when I “drill” dog walk or A-frame that he starts thinking too much and not just running! Do you ever advise using stride regulators?
Thanks and hope you have a wonderful holiday season!
Anne & Tai
Yeap, that’s definitely better! And as long as the trend is good, I wouldn’t worry about it and might indeed just simply use it in sequences. As long as they’re hitting it, I just let it be even if they’re high at first ad then they just get deeper with experience. For those not hitting, I sometimes did use a stride regulator yes -- but only on an A-frame and so far, I only used it for dogs who were too high with two hits due to not extending enough over the top, so I only used one somewhat bellow the top and it was very easy to fade it then. You would need to put it lower to make him do two strides and I’m guessing that is harder to fade, so I think I would stick with just running for a little longer as the trend definitely seems good.
Any chance that you would also use a SR to work on extension (straight exits) on a full height dogwalk ?)
Nope. The DW contacts, I TRAIN. The A-frame, I don’t train, I just RUN. I only use stride regulators for things I don’t train and expect them to do it naturally, like up contacts and the A-frame. I don’t think it works for things that require understanding (like DW contact).
Ohh no! The class is ending today 🙁
We are now taking a break from classes here. And i think it will be strange now where we have been in classes since you started the longdistance classes in february.
We will work on the running contacts and the turns after dogwalk.
And i think that we will join one of your handling classes in the spring.
We have a lot of thing to train before we are having our debut in the competition ring i the middle of march.
Thank you so much for all the good advises. And good lessons.
Gitte and Zushi
Happy training and good luck for a trial debut! Hope to see you in Handling, Zushi is always fun to watch!
One last post in this class from me. I hope it’s not too late. Although we have not been very active in this class we have still been working and progressing at our own (slow) rate. This is where we are currently.
What next set up do you think I should try to progress but, help Leia still be mostly successful? I think I should try to construct this exact set up with my DW planks so she can get used to running on the rubber and get comfortable but what should I set up after that? Is there something you would suggest at this point?
By the way, you’ll see Ace’s teeter in handling class video and his DW here. This is a dog who was completely afraid of the contact equipment a couple of years ago. We took a long break and started over recently. Thanks to your training ideas he is like a totally different dog running courses and especially doing contacts!
I’ll most likely be joining in on the next class…3 times a charm?
Looks good! Ace really seems to understand his job, I think I can see some real adjustments to hit it, so it should be easy from now on, raising it slowly. Try to support the down ramp more though as it’s bouncing even under him and I guess even more under Leia so it could be that’s why she was leaping. To make her next set up more like a real DW, you could maybe build 2/3 of a DW, either by having her jump on a horizontal plank OR, even better, using a hill so that she can enter it without jumping on it -- see Bill’s older videos or Celine’s recent videos. Is that plank the same width as DW? If so, then you can simply keep those planks (if you have two?), I think she just needs to get used to run on a horizontal part as that’s often the scariest and once she masters that, she should be fine on a low DW too.
Thank you! Yes, Ace got the understanding of what I was marking very quickly. He tends to be a little bit bouncy when he runs and likes to use his front feet better than his rear but, because he is small I still had a chance to get rear feet hits and mark them. So cool that you see him making adjustments! I have been holding him back because I’m progressing only as fast as I could with Leia (plus I didn’t have a DW until 2 weeks ago). Still no harm done since he needed to build confidence. It’s amazing how much faster and more confident he is about running on boards and committing to tunnels just based on the beginning training steps of running DW! Thanks for your observation on my ramps I will put some support in place. I’ll see what I can rig up for Leia. Right now she’s still on a double wide board at the height you see in video. I have two side by side in that set up and yes they are each aprox. the same width as dogwalk planks. Your point about letting her learn the middle plank is a good one, I didn’t think of that and I didn’t see the end planks moving. I will try to work on these things with her in the break between classes and hope to make some real progress in the next session. Enjoy your holidays! Mara
He sure looked super fast and happy in that handling video you sent! With Leia, you definitely want to do some single plan work before switching to a real DW. So if you can’t make 2/3, at least try some single plank running -- might be enough to get the running on a DW then, maybe starting her at the top of a down ramp first and then slowly moving her back to get her used to a horizontal ramp.
I guess that’s it for this class, see many of you in the next class and others can always drop a note or a video in Our training -- Running contacts section of this website if another question shows up! Happy running in 2012 too!
Aw, sad this class is ending! I wish I could make a lovely video like Anne did with Tai, but I am just not techno-savvy and the best I can do is a “final” product video with Spur’s run yesterday!!! He won his class out of like 20 dogs at this AKC trial. It was one of his fastest runs at a trial and I know we have plenty more speed in us. 😀 He is just getting more and more confident!!! Me, too!!!! Thanks to how fun his RDW training is!!!! 😀
Our start line still needs work, I need to get out of his way before the teeter…..geez………..and once we can get a few of these things worked out I know he will just keep getting faster and faster!! He nailed his contacts all weekend, good little Monkey Pants!! I am calling him Spur-de-Blur now!!!
Thanks SO much Silvia for all your help this year!!! I know Spur and I would never be doing this well without your help!!!!
Wow, that sure was a great run! Congratulations on your win! I’m sure there are many more to come!
I just want to thank you for your help this session. I will see you in the January Running Contacts Class. I’ve decided to just let Viper run her dogwalk in sequence until the next class starts and see what happens. It seems she gets bored if I just start / end with a dogwalk.
sorry this is occurring to me so late, but now that we are beginning turns I was looking more closely at your turning video in the assignment 5 and I am not sure the reasons why you say on those two occasions that you should not have clicked… they look good to me?
Well, I just prefer front foot deeper in… We are finished with the turns by now, I’ll post a video on how it looks like now soon.