Thank goodness for videos! I just went through videos of Java’s training over the last ten days, thinking we haven’t really done much as we have been just mucking around with this and that. Ha! Who did all these awesome things then?
- Started real teeter training. Finally. (This one I remembered 😉 )
- Tried recalling past jumps and layering a jump (sending around a jump to a tunnel) – Java was awesome!
- Set the first ever tunnel trap, setting a tunnel 3m after a jump and then sending her over the jump into the tunnel first to make it more tempting, then on the next try sending her to a wrap – Java was awesome AGAIN.
- Doing boatloads of extension to collection to extension a.k.a. setting up a really fast line for Java, then cueing a wrap and again into a fast line – have I mentioned Java is awesome? Because she is.
- Sequences at 40cm!!! Suddenly it looks like she really has to jump 🙂
The biggest surprise to me was that she can wrap really nicely at 40cm when approaching at full speed. Wow. I can’t believe she knows how to do that. You see, I haven’t corrected any of her wide wraps in months (in Silvia Trkman’s training wide wraps are corrected by sending the dog around the stanchion again – i.e. multiwrap).
It’s not that I haven’t invested in wrap training – I have. I thought about this longer and harder than any other topic in her training because I discovered early on that I cannot use multiwraps for Java. That makes her slow and careful. I have to set things up so that she decides that the fastest way to her goal is to wrap tightly and stops thinking about what she did wrong.
Her wraps exist in a delicate balance of:
- Getting her to *want* to wrap
- Showing her that wrapping tightly is the most efficient way
- Showing her how to handle her body over the bar
- Don’t make her think
- Trust her to make good choices and RUN
I reward every wrap, even if it’s not tight. Often I don’t even watch her wrap, I just run away and reward. It took me a while to gather the courage for this. I was afraid that I am going to ruin any chances of getting tight wraps if I don’t ask her to repeat when she goes wide. But clearly the video evidence says otherwise. 🙂
These days if she goes wide I look at the setup and at my handling. We still have a long way to go, but I think I will be able to get decent wraps just by tweaking the setup and never letting Java know that we are training for tightness. I am just a ball thrower 😉