Sometimes You’re Up, Sometimes You’re Down

When running contacts still included... you know, running

When running contacts still included… you know, running

Java’s running contact training has been going really well when we were able to train a few times per week. We even had a 10-day long pause one time and when we started again the dog walk was a bit higher than before and Java was still running like a champ. But we were only able to squeeze in a few trainings before life interfered again and this time we were unable to practice for three weeks straight. And then it all went downhill.

Java started to improvise. Jumping over the last part of the plank (i.e. the contact) was her new way to run. It was not due to starting spot, and not due to increased speed. It was pure leaping. I could get her to run nicely over a plank on the ground or lifted on bricks, but not if the plank was on dog walk. She even invented her very own not-leaping way to miss the contact. It looks quite deliberate 🙂

When training running contacts it’s good to remember that running all the way down is not natural, the natural thing is to leap at the end. Until the dog really understands that we’re asking her to stride through the contact zone we are relying on muscle memory carrying them through. I guess that memory must have faded during the long pause.

To keep me from obsessing over this problem I made a video of Java learning to take the back side of the jump. This was her second session. The first session was on the same day, but the camera wasn’t on. By the end of the session she pretty much gets the idea! It’s funny how I have to make a conscious decision to value the skills that didn’t require a ton of time to build. 🙂

Now this makes me feel a lot better 🙂

Photo by Stisnprtisn!

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Sometimes You’re Up, Sometimes You’re Down

  1. Ania

    This is your new follower saying hi! 🙂 Java looks lovely and it looks great how you wait for her next move instead of pushing her through the course – if it makes sense what I say 😉 great job!

    • Hi Ania, thank you for nice comments 🙂 I think I’m waiting for her because I’m checking to see that she is commited to an obstacle before I move to the next spot. That is if I understood your comment “wait for her next move” correctly 😉

  2. Penny

    Her acceleration makes me dribble on myself. So much Lava love!

    • You should see her chasing show whippets around here. It looks like she’s running fast and then suddenly she puts in a higher gear and zooooooooooom! And then the show whippet makes a turn… he he he poor Java 🙂

  3. You are brave to try running contacts. 🙂 I don’t think I’d ever try it with my greyhounds. I can’t imagine explaining the concept to them. 🙂

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