So, I am so excited, I finally feel like we are really doing Running Contact training. Up until this point, I was really just doing prep work; getting her confident in running quickly down the board. I knew that in order for me to be able to withhold reward when she misses the target spot, she would need to be confident enough in the behavior for her to be willing to try again. Now, in the last two days, I have added some height, and changed my criteria...this is where the REAL challenge comes in for me. Now I have to actually watch and only click what I WANT. Two days ago I had two sessions on the height change only (no change in criteria). She gave me 100% in the contact zone and what would be my new criteria. Both were GREAT sessions, and helped me decide what my new criteria would be, what looked to be natural for her. So yesterday I decided that is was time for the real training to begin, and start only marking and rewarding the behavior that I want. Her new target behavior is to have two paws at or below 30" while running FAST. So I painted the 30" point, and started practice...well can you guess what she did? She jumped the painted part! It was the first real jump she had ever given me =P. It took a little bit to get her over it , she jumped it a total of 3 times before I ended up going back to having her just start at the middle of the board, and she ran it no problem. I was able to mark her feet landing in the target spot, and then she finally got the reward (which had been withheld up to this point since she had been jumping). I was very happy that she continued to try to get it right, rather than shutting down because she did not. Once I had her start from the middle four times (twice with me on either side), I started her from the back again, and she gave me 7 really great ones, then the jumped, did not get marked or rewarded, and then two more really great ones. I think that she is starting to get it!!! I have found that if I run with her, she is more likely to jump it. I worked on sending her and recalling her over it. I do still have 3-4 gates up on the board. I think that once there is more height, I will be able to take them off and it will not be a big deal...at least I hope so =) I have not seen anyone else using any sort of gate, so I am a little nervous about that. But I do feel that this is what my dog needs to be successful, and I am confident in my knowledge and application of dog learning theory, and I do not see why this would not work...please Lord!
In : Agility: Foundation
Tags: "running contacts"
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