Saturday, November 28, 2009

Running contact progression...

About a month ago I bought Rachael Sander's "Reliable Running A-Frames", I made a box - though a slightly modified version from Rachel's so that mine sits on top of the slats and doesn't need to be fastened to the A-Frame. The thought here is that what isn't fastened can be safely displaced and what doesn't have to be fastened is a lot easier to take on and off for things like run-throughs when we might only take one or two reps on the a-frame.

So we've done a lot of groundwork - a lot of just sending to the box on it's own, some sequences and then the running grid that Rachel talks about in her DVD - essentially getting the striding right on the flat will save a lot of wear and tear for the dog on the a-frame. We've been lucky to work this once or twice a week as we're either involved in something other than working on our own or if we're at home it's been too dark after work to get any reps in.

So yesterday was the day to put the box on the frame. I skipped the back chaining part of the a-frame work. Teller is not keen on being physically manipulated and would not have liked being picked up awkwardly and placed on equipment. So I started with the 4'4" a-frame as in the video. Teller immediately got the striding and hit nicely within the box. Sweet. Let's push it a little - running ahead of him - he's getting it. Behind him, he's getting it. A wait and going the entire length of the room - releasing him (like a cannon) and he got it! Holy crap!

Today I moved the a-frame up to full height and found that I could reproduce what I saw at the lower frame. He NAILED all of his contacts and had his striding correctly most of the time (two hits on the way down). He does seem to vibrate the a-frame a bit and displaced the box once by vibration alone. He hit the box with a hind foot too - also displacing the box.

In general he's such an honest dog that I knew (know) that our contacts in trials are a result of something I've left out. He doesn't understand what his job is on an a-frame in competition. Hopefully the box-work will clear up his criteria on the a-frame...

So here's his work on day two - my word for the contact zone is "yellow" {smile} - it seemed fitting.

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