It was warm enough to bring a short tunnel out of storage and set up the course I posted yesterday. I had hoped to work on a bunch of different sequences, but I quickly discovered that getting Belle to run to the second tunnel using the numbers in the white circles was not that easy.
The problem turned out to be my mistaken belief that standing parallel to Belle's path from #3 to #4 was the way to go. Some of the runs were successful, but certainly there has to be a way to be more consistent. I confess I was unable to spot the problem in the video I shot (mostly because I used a tripod and I'm so far away from the camera). I figured out what I was doing wrong by accident when we later in the afternoon to try again.
Because of the constraint of the bonus line, I was stopping while Belle was in tunnel #3 or shortly after she exited. This is something that happens when you are sending your dog 50 feet or more away from you. Sooner or later you run out of real estate. Coming smoothly and gradually to a stop after Belle exits the first tunnel is probably the best plan, but it's not always easy to execute. In training, I'm trying to get Belle to realize that I want her to go on when I come to a stop with my feet in a wide stride, my hand out-stretched and my voice cuing her to continue. What I failed to realize was that standing parallel to the path I wanted her to take wasn't supporting her line to the second tunnel. Without that subtle pressure on her line, Belle had to guess what I wanted. Since a dog tends to turn in toward her handler, much of the time, she turns left. Even when she took the second tunnel, you can see she slows down and looks back at me.
Since getting to the second tunnel turned out to be difficult, I should have rewarded Belle upon exiting the tunnel when she made the right choice. When we went out a second time, later in the afternoon, I made sure to reward the correct choice by tossing her ball for her as she exited the tunnel. Hopefully, we'll be able to go out tomorrow and work on this some more.
I also took Dusty out to work. We concentrated on the dark circle sequence, beginning at the straight tunnel. Once he was successful with that, we backed up to the second jump and then to the first. For Dusty, the bonus line was at the exit of the first tunnel.