Monday, October 25, 2010

Needed: More Front Cross Training

(P.S. 03/23/11.  In re-watching the video, it is clear I'm the one who needs more front cross training.  I'm a late with my pre-cue almost every time.  Once Dusty is in the air, he can do nothing about changing direction until he lands.  He MUST have the information before his take-off stride in order to achieve a tight turn.)
This morning, I set up the Whatcom jumpers course posted October 23rd and ran it with Dusty.  When David ran Dusty on a Regular course a week ago, he encountered the same problem that I had with Dusty this morning--Dusty failed to heed a front cross and turn off a straight line.  After viewing the footage from last Sunday in slow motion, I came to the conclusion that Dusty was clearly not heeding a timely front cross.  When I analyzed today's footage, I found the same thing to be true.

Below are four series of frames from today.  In the first series, I gave timely signals, but no verbal command, and Dusty takes the off-course jump.

Front cross pre-cue given.

Handler rotation begun.
Handler rotated 180 degrees.

Message ignored.

In the second series, I issued a "come" command, but Dusty lands and then turns, adding a couple of strides to his path.

In this third series, Dusty is coming around a circle of jumps, but despite the really early pre-cue and "come", he fails to start turning until after he lands.

The last two photos are from our effort to do this course from the 15-point bonus line.  Either Dusty has become pattern-trained, or the use of "wrap" instead of "come" combined with my lateral distance has resulted in what I would have like to have seen in our other efforts.  Dusty is already turning as he comes over the jump.  Notice how he has shaved a couple of yards off his path to the next jump.

Here is the video:

Luckily, there are a couple of sequences I can set up using this course to work with Dusty on his ability to read a front cross when there is layering involved.  But another thing to keep in mind is that "wrap" may be more effective in getting him to turn off a straight line than "come."

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