Then There Were Turns

Here’s where we are right now with running contacts, not training as often as we should, but still making progress. We started doing some 90 degree turns. I decided to put props at the end of the mat to make it very clear what is good vs bad execution. She can still do a “bad” turn by jumping over them, so I’m hoping that will work in my favor and they will be easier to fade. Plus, they stack ๐Ÿ™‚

Aaaaand we finally took the show outside which means we have more room to practice from different starting spots! There was some confusion with 2o2o in the beginning, but turns are helping with that ๐Ÿ˜‰ Then for a while she was quite prone to jumping over the mat, probably from the added excitement of training outside. Now she seems to be back to hitting almost 100% of the time so I can be picky about which hits I like best. That would be:

  1. two front feet
  2. a combination of front and rear feet
  3. just one front foot, but in the middle of the target

I don’t like to see just rear feet or one front foot on the edge of the target.

She is running toward a food bowl for now, but at some point I will have to replace it with static toy I think.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Then There Were Turns

  1. joycejaskula

    Inspring as always. Our snow is gone and this makes me want to get out my long carpet and train this behavior. I have some cones that are much larger than yours (harder to fade?), and also wondering if I can use my stick in the ground weave poles? I think it was Kathy Keats who had an article in Clean Run magazine not too long ago about teaching turns off the contacts using a pole.

    Are you using a clicker here? I’m not sure I could be picky enough about foot placement to use one while my dog is running, meaning, I’m not sure I could see any criteria well enough to click properly.

    I know what we’re working on later today! Keep it coming! Love this.

    • Thanks, Joyce ๐Ÿ™‚ How do you plan to train it on a long carpet?
      I started with a taller object as well, then I replaced it with a smaller and smaller until I found these stackable cups and now I just take one off when I want to make it smaller ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m going to stay at this height for a while, because I get some mistakes with it, so Java can learn what is the criteria, then I will make it smaller again. Very interesting about Kathy Keats article, I don’t have a CR subscription so I haven’t seen it.

      I didn’t use a clicker at any point, just marking with my voice and even that I don’t try to time precisely. You can learn to see the feet better in a few sessions by looking at the contact (NOT at the dog!) and pointing where you think dog’s feet hit. After the session review the video in slow motion (always video running contacts training so you know what is really happening vs what you think is happening) and check how the actual hits compare to where you thought the dog hit. After a while your brain will consolidate what you see with what was observed on video and you will start to see hits correctly.

      Have fun ๐Ÿ™‚

      • joycejaskula

        I was thinking that i would put my carpet out on the grass and use 4 cones. 2 at the end like you did, and 2 at the beginning i think. i have to review ST’s running contact dvd, but i know i saw students practicing this way. i haven’t seen it for awhile, so i’ll be sure to review before i begin. i like that your carpet is the length of the contact zone. i may graduate to that, or not, just thinking about all of this. isn’t it so much fun to train? i actually like training more than competing. for me, competing (much as i like it) is more of a test to see where we are with our training. it certainly shows me all the holes!

        • Oh I see, I thought you were going to train RC target with a long carpet. ๐Ÿ™‚ That wouldn’t work. Yes, I remember the setup you describe from ST as well.
          What I’m doing now is not ST method at all… totally different concept.
          Yes I love training, too. I would love trials, if only they gave me more chances to get it right. ๐Ÿ˜› I hate that I can’t re-do when there was a mistake. I’m fine if they NQ me, I just want to run the course again and get it right ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Awesome! I was thinking about using a target mat in training turns for Zumi’s future running contact turn training but hadn’t yet seen a video of someone doing it! Keep us updated!

    • Interesting, which method do you plan to use for straight exits?

      • Current plan is Silvia’s for straights or exits where the dog can be in extension. Then also teaching Zumi to target a small mat and using that concept for collection. I totally failed in using Silvia’s method to teach Vito turns so he has running which I use 90% of the time and then he has a stopped which I use on turns where there’s nothing ahead for him to target and I can’t physically be ahead of him on course. I feel like the running vs collection training is basically 2 different concepts anywhere for the dog, so why not 2 different methods!

        Of course right now my plan with Zumi is still theoretical as we haven’t started ๐Ÿ™‚ But I plan on starting later this month or for sure by early May!

        • Interesting thinking ๐Ÿ™‚ I look forward to seeing Zumi’s training progress and especially what she will make of the two methods! I would be careful to keep a variety of paw hits in ST method (not just RF hits), because I think sharp turns get very difficult if the dog gets an idea that RF hits are the most desirable kind.

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