It's been a while since I posted any updates on Strummy's contact training. I've got some new video on the camera but who knows when I'll have time to upload it.
I raised the table up to 20" on Sunday and so far his training for the week looks like this:
Sunday - 19/20 hits, 95%
Monday - 19/20 hits, 95%
Tuesday - 19/20 hits, 95%
Wednesday - 17/20 hits, 85%
The misses occurred at varying reps though usually in the first 10 reps. Today's were #3, 4 and maybe 5 or 6.
My plan is to go to 22" then 24" then introduce him to the lowered dogwalk at the practice field which I think is 24".
My biggest dilemma at the moment is when/how to proof. This week's practice sessions were all the plank on the table with the treat gizmo for reward. I can stand still anywhere around the plank/table or run beside him, run past him, etc., body position/movement don't matter as long as the treat gizmo is there. If I take the treat gizmo away and use a toy for reward, he watches me all the way down the plank-NOT what I want. He's usually successful in that he hits front feet in the yellow but he sometimes comes off the side of the plank and I don't want his eyes on me the whole time. Some days the toy gets him amped way up and success rates go down. Other days he's fine with the toy. The one thing that seems to work is to leave the gizmo out but switch off rewarding with the gizmo and a toy thrown right where the gizmo is. He's completely obsessed with the gizmo now, I think watching the treats come out is more reinforcing than the actual treats (I'm only using his regular meal kibble for treats) and I do feel he's targeting/focusing on it too much. This was my main reservation with using the gizmo, I have to figure out how to fade it and when. Do I wait until I have really solid behavior on the full sized dog walk or do I start now that I have fairly solid behavior on the plank? I'd like to start him on the dogwalk next month and in a way I think he's ready but I don't know, maybe I should do more proofing on the plank first.
One thing's for sure, he loves the training. Crazy dog was foaming at the mouth at the end of his session this morning.