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 look 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 - you can tape it at an angle 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. You don't need to overdo the distance, especially if you have long plank/carpet, as finding the plank could be problematic or the dog before you add some more height on it. Mark anything that looks like running in the fields from the first video, jackpot when feet are close to the end of a plank/carpet. 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.
As we already discussed in comments before, 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 the best 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 also in slow motion please! 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.
Also, read through the comments and see the videos in introduction page, you can learn a lot through videos and comments of others. Once you see your dog is running nicely, with an even stride, hind feet separation and hind feet reaching further from front feet (see discussion and video on that we had in comments!), you can put a brick or something under one end of the plank and have them run over slightly elevated plank - I'll tell you when you're ready based on the videos you'll send.
Left front foot just left the ground, hind feet reaching forward - this is what I mean by hind feet reaching over where the front feet were.
And this is what I mean by hind feet separation: hind feet hitting two different spots as far apart as possible (vs. staying parallel, hitting the same spot).
Ok Silvia, this is where we are… still trying to recover from the setback with Frankie/Sassie Joiris’s DW ramp which Stella found so demotivating in our city backyard… So we are just playing for SPEED again… we finally have a real yard for the summer and so I am really hoping to train the running in this time… who knows what other setbacks will come our way…
You can see in this one how much faster and lower she is when she is running next to the board which she chooses to do a couple of times… I don’t know how to get THAT speed ON the board and I am trying NOT to get panicky as we are getting left SO FAR BEHIND in this class… I really had hoped to be UP TO SPEED on the schedule your class described… and silly me, entered a couple trials in JULY : (
ok, so we will adjust… its also hard in classes to do class sequences without the DW, but our teachers are adjusting… yesterday my teacher here said I need to retrain the AF too now, suggested Rachel Sanders video, start with the box and click/treats on the ground from the beginning : (
Anyway, I am still working with a *moving toy*, soccer ball, rolling squeaky toy, dried trachea, silly rubber chicken on a rope (which I can see in other videos I toss TOO HIGH and her whole motion goes UP)
I think sometimes my stress over falling behind the rest of the class stresses Stella out too and the plank is just not as fun as it was… She doesn’t naturally run to try it again like she used to. It could also be the weather is hotter now too. But I’m worried about her joy for running the plank.
I also have some video of her running on a raised plank because her flat plank is certainly 80% good, yes?? and I have tried giving her a treat for coming back into the starting spot and also once tried giving her her dinner lick by lick in a bowl many yards in the distance, jackpotting the good ones of course to make the plank a happy place again
but I am having technical difficulties with that video for some reason I can’t upload that to youtube yet, but when I figure out the problem I will be interested to hear what you have to say about that—whether I really need to be concentrating on getting speed on the lower board first… I mean she is running and has some good hits on the raised board but… not anywhere near as fast running as say just in the grass with the soccer ball.
Also, I get faster running from her when I move faster… however, if I lead out too much I 50/50 will get a leap to beat me : (
Question: Way too soon to start with Lesson 3, right? (I need to relax about being behind and take it step by step… but what would you say is my next step???)
Meanwhile, the raised plank vid is now loading, but slooooooooowly
ok—finally, here is the running on the raised plank:
Watching this again—I think maybe I really need to take her back down to the half box support level… with the board backwards again
Very cool, definitely MUCH better speed on a flat board! Some perfect hits there! Then on a raised plank, somewhat more leapy… Can you start her further back so that she comes to the plank with more speed? That might help. If not, go somewhat lower… And maybe have her jump on it?
The next step would be to get the same running as on a flat board on a raised board. And then on somewhat more raised plank… Find a perfect set up to get good hits (test exactly where you need to run, when throw a toy, where to start etc.) and try to get as many of those as possible. When you are consistently getting good hits only try to add some challenges from lesson 2 and 3. Don’t go to a static toy, though, keeping the speed is the most important thing for now. We’ll eventually get rid of a toy by delaying a throw, but don’t try it yet, there are other things that need to be addressed first.
I know this is taking really long, but as we needed to work on speed first -- and still don’t get 100% all the time, it’s much harder to keep up with the class AND 3 months is pretty optimistic anyway, so we have several people who are somewhat behind and will be joining next class too…
better you think? here more… with less height, but some height, plus soccer ball and a tire jump a few yards ahead of the plank sometimes, sometimes a jump turn from the side…
even with attack from my sister’s dog and even when I hit her in the head with the soccer ball… she’s running????
Yeap, that’s FAST! Very cool! After a couple of sessions more, you can try to go for more height again, if you can somehow give her a speedy approach… Maybe a mini A-frame set-up at first?