Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Running Continues--With Help!

Jonah and I got a big boost on our running contact training today.  We had a half hour to ourselves with Grace, and she really got us on the right track.

...well, to start, she said we were already on the right track, which is always good to hear :).  She said we didn't need to use a carpet and could go right on to the board.

We talked about different ways of motivating Jonah.  I told her I'd had trouble with the ball, but she showed me how she used the ball, which was far better than what I'd done.  Instead of running with him and tossing the ball as he's getting on the plank, she had me toss the ball before he started, from about 15 feet away from the board.  Then I stayed pretty much still, just taking a few steps forward.  It worked really well.  Then, when he hit a Jackpot, I'd chase after him and get excited, roughing him around a little.  Eventually I tried feeding him when he did a Jackpot.  He liked that, but it meant the ball's value went way down as soon as he realized there was food around.  Anyway, he kept chasing the ball over the plank, he just stopped for food afterwards.

So, after a bunch of trips over the board when Jonah was doing really well, Grace grabbed some blocks and raised the board into a little ramp.  It was probably only about 4 inches up, but still--progress!  Jonah never missed (that I can remember anyway), and really didn't even seem to notice that anything had changed.  Wahoo!

The plan from now on is to raise the plank 4-6 inches after 3 or so sessions at a given height, assuming his success rate stays very high.  I'm excited!  We'll try to do 2 sessions of about 10 repetitions each day. That means, if all goes well (which, probably at some point it won't), could be less than 2 weeks.  Wow! We do have a trial next weekend, so I'm thinking I may have him do a 2o2o then, but we'll see.  It will really be a scary moment the first time I ask him to run a DW in a trial!  Hopefully we'll get some good practice at class first.  This could be a disaster, but I'm up for that risk.  It should at least be a fast, exciting disaster!

In other news, Laura Dolan who we've been training with just *won* the 12" division at AKC nationals.  Amazing!!

No comments:

Post a Comment