I shot some video of Strummer's teeter mostly to show Team Small Dog what my big fast dog looks like doing a 'wait for the board to tip then run down' performance. I'm not a fan of the 'run to the end and ride it down' for the big fast dogs because I think it's harder on their bodies and can get super ugly when the dog is running high at a competition. If you've got a 3-4 lb toy dog, well, that's a whole 'nuther story and you may have no choice if you want to finish your run during daylight hours. There was a wee dog (10-12 lbs I'd guess, jumps 12" in USDAA Champ. division) at the DOCNA trial this past weekend that had a teeter performance similar to Strummer's first rep in the video, ie she hunkered down and waited for the board to drop before moving on and I'd say it was a pretty quick performance. This dog is awesome, has an ADCH, NATCH and probably at least one MACH if not more.
There are 4 reps shown in the video and he gets progressively farther down the board with each rep with the last one being unacceptable. The second rep is probably the ideal performance for competition but the first one is probably best for his body. No, I don't have any scientific studies to prove it, I'm going by the simple laws of physics here. On the last rep where he runs to the bottom of the board while it's in the air you can see how the teeter whip could be a problem if his timing was different and the board smacked him while he was leaving. The whole performance looks so much more out of control compared to the others. There's some board whip on the first rep where he's waiting at the tip point but it doesn't effect him all that much since he's holding still and so high up on the board. The board is settled by the time he runs off the end.
I think the most interesting thing from the video is to see the way drilling effects Strum. He starts out perfect and degenerates to unacceptable in just 4 reps. Makes me wonder about all the drilling I've been doing on the dogwalk and the crazy inconsistent mix of success and failure I've been getting from session to session. Yesterday I ran him on a Grand Prix course and his dogwalk was beautiful, even with a soft turn to some jumps. I stopped and praised the heck out of that let me tell you, I almost felt like a real dog trainer when I saw him do that. And that was the only dogwalk we did, I didn't want to press my luck with drilling him. I think if there are too many reps of something he gets overstimulated and his brain leaves the building. I've been doing very short sessions on his plank/table in the backyard and if his first 3 reps are successful I stop. I'm going to keep experimenting with these super short sessions. I've been laying off the dogwalk training at the field for the past couple of weeks because I felt like I needed a sanity break and it was taking away too much training time from other things that needed work. We've got another one day of DOCNA this weekend and one day of a non-titling USDAA match so we'll see how the contacts hold up. And if the stinker does a Superman over the A-frame I'll be stopping and letting him know about, you betcha.