Friday, March 15, 2013

Running Contacts Session 21 - Introducing Handler Motion

Yesterday, I tried running with Belle during our running contact session.  I didn't video the session yesterday, but we did somewhere between 15-18 reps, and Belle missed the yellow at least 10 times.  On the plus side, Belle didn't do any checking of her stride before the yellow despite so many NR reps.

The problem with a DVD is that it is often difficult to locate exactly what you're looking for.  In this case, I needed to find out when Silvia suggests introducing handler motion.  Maybe I need to go back to the plank on the ground?  Maybe I should wait until the DW is a little higher.  I was able to find my answer with a little searching, and it looks like I'm introducing differences in handler motion and position just about where she recommends in the training process.

Yesterday, I foolishly used the three-hoop lead in sequence so I could get ahead of Belle.  That was just a wee bit too extreme at this stage.  Today, I had her sit in various spots on the 12" high dog walk while I lead out and ran at various speeds and with a variable amount of pre-release revving-up.  I was quite happy with the result.  We went from a success rate of about 20% yesterday to 57% today.  (Since I'm working with a video camera, I decided I would stay on the same side of the DW for all the reps of a single session, and we would only run in one direction during each session.  On subsequent sessions, I will change direction and/or side.)

Notice that I'm now throwing the ball before I run.  Yesterday, I'm sure throwing the ball as I was running was just a bit too stimulating for Belle.  Also, my aim is so much better when I'm standing still.


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