I was curious to see how the behavior would hold up after nearly a week of no practice. I had a session with the plank off the ground right before I left for Chicago and Strummer was brilliant, at least 80% and maybe 90% with solid hits. Lola was maybe 90-100%, can't quite remember (yes, I know, BAD, I should write that stuff down). Cody, well, we won't go into Cody.
It was hot last night, even at 8:00 pm when I started the session and the dogs seemed to tire easily plus they've been sitting on their butts for the past 5 days.
Cody had the most interesting session of the 3. Even though he's near retirement I still can't help myself with wanting to train him. It's good for his brain too, I don't want to start neglecting him just because he won't be competing. He's proving to be the most challenging with this behavior because he's such a bouncy dog and has a natural tendency to leap for the pure joy of it. I thought I would start troubleshooting the leaping by placing the treat gizmo close to the end of the board and also by standing close to the end of the board and facing him hoping that all these collection cues would give him the right idea. Well, Cody has had a lifetime of defying all logic when it comes to training and after 3 reps. it became clear that wasn't going to work. So I thought I'd switch to walking next to the plank with hopes that my motion would cue him to run or trot instead of taking those huge flying leaps. This worked much better in that he did stop leaping but he's putting in an extra stride which makes it awkward and slow for him to hit the end of the plank. My main goal for the training session was to get rid of the leaping so I did reward the awkward striding. At this point I'm not at all concerned with speed, I mainly want him to perform the dogwalk without leaping off the end and hurting himself. Hopefully he'll get the idea and get rid of the extra stride. Will be interesting to see what future training sessions bring. With Cody you never know.
Lola had the least amount of hits and I think it's because she was a bit wound up and focusing more on the treat gizmo than her feet. Strummer also had trouble at the start because he was over the top wound up. I ran him last and he'd worked himself up into quite the state by the time it was his turn. But after a few reps he calmed down a bit and had some nice hits.