I went a little crazy this weekend with the running dogwalk practice/video thing. On Saturday I decided to try Strummer out on the full dogwalk lowered to 2'. He had a great week in the yard with the 22" table, the reps went something like 20/21, 24/26, 30/30, 28/30 all with the treat gizmo for reward so I figured I wasn't pushing him hard enough and that the 24" table wouldn't be much of a challenge. I was so sure I'd have rave reviews of his first time on a full lowered dogwalk but I'm afraid the results were dismal. 1/9 hits (11%) (one was iffy and I didn't count it) and I rewarded 3 of those misses though one was the iffy one. Luckily my timing with my clicks was way off for the misses and good for the one hit but that's about the only positive thing to say about the training session. Well that and his speed. How awesome will his dogwalk be when I finally get it right? The clicks for the misses were probably late because I wasn't sure and decided to reward in the end. Jonny shot some video for me and I feel obliged to post it even though the results are not at all what I wanted. But it's important to document the bad stuff as well as the good. The best part of the video is the start where my snarky husband says, 'This video brought to you by Crazy Dog Lady Fashions'. Unfortunately this is a common dog outfit for me for winter and in fact it gets worse. I knew it was bad but I didn't realize it was quite that bad. It was snowing while I was taping so every once in a while there's a white streak on the video, couldn't do much about that.
Saturday's training session w/ the full lowered dogwalk:
Yesterday's performance was still bugging me today so I decided to run Strum back to the field to try some backchaining. I'm not sure if he was having problems because he still doesn't understand the concept of adjusting his stride to hit the yellow zone or if he understands but couldn't figure out how to control himself to do it. He's so fast and big strided, there's little room for error. Or maybe he simply didn't generalize the idea of the plank/table set-up at home to the dogwalk at the practice field. I've worked the plank/table set-up at the practice field but not all that often and not recently that I can remember. I put the table next to the up side of the down ramp so he had a way to get up on the dogwalk and I tried some reps. Then I gradually moved the table back so he would have more of a running start. The further back the table went, the worse his results. I made a big mistake of doing way too many reps. I should have stopped at 15, his success rate would have been 14/16 (89%). Instead I did a whopping 34 reps for a final tally of 21/34 (62%). The good news was that my timing with my clicks was much improved and I only rewarded one miss (by mistake of course). Toward the end of the session when he was starting from further back and having more misses I decided to move him closer so he could have some success and he did. I didn't have the patience to edit 7 minutes worth of training video so I included the reps at the beginning of the session and the end. It's mostly to document the process so I don't feel like I need every single rep recorded for posterity.
On a positive note, his weave entry training is coming along really well. I don't like to work him 2 days in a row on weaves but as we were leaving I couldn't resist doing just a few reps and he was perfect, getting entries that were plaguing him at the beginning of the week and flying through a set of 12 poles after a tunnel. Whee.
The other people that train at the field must think I'm crazy because I was leaving at 10 am with Cody & Lola when they arrived then returned again at around 12:30 just as they were leaving. I took Team Old School out there in the morning to do the weave and contact exercises that were set up. They did fairly well, no missed contacts at all (maybe some dogwalk ups, I wasn't paying attention to that) and I think only 1 or 2 missed weave entries per dog. It was cloudy and nice and cold-low 30's I'd guess-and the dogs were running wild. Fast, happy, excited hyperpants dogs, I love winter agility. I was overdressed in that puffy vest and sweating by the end of it. Now if only the serious snow will hold off for another few weeks so I can get that darn dogwalk perfected.