This is so weird! I have been training running contacts with Shejpa, but not very often. We’ve done it a couple of times a month and sometimes a bit more. I don’t think we’ve done more than five sessions this year. I did one in April to make a video. Then I had another session in may where I tried to send her between two crates. That session was horrible and she seemed to be jumping just for fun. Yesterday, I got inspired by Justine and did another session. Shejpa was pretty much like she was when we did the video in April – if she hits the plank close to the end on her first stride, she hits the other end of the plank beautifully. If she doesn’t hit the plank well with her first stride, she runs but does not hit the very end of the plank.
I have had plans for a while to just try what she’ll do when I put the plank on an angle, and I tried that yesterday. I also talked to a friend who had sent my video to Silvia Trkman to get her opinion on the criteria. Silvia said that she would reward all of Shejpa’s tries, but jackpot the best ones. I guess I have been very picky with my criteria. I’m always trying to challenge Shejpa and work on her understanding. I have been in every body position and also put the reward on an angle to make sure that she doesn’t jump to the side. But I havn’t got even close to 100% successes with my strict criteria. I guess having strict criteria can make the dog slow down on the down ramp and it might also make it more uncomfortable for the dog to run the dog walk. I like strict criteria, so I have to think about this one…
Anyway. I raised the plank pretty high right away yesterday. I put it against the table and just ran her from the table. She did it so much better on an angle than she does running on the flat! She didn’t fail even my strict criteria and hit the end of the plank almost every time. We did another session today and made a little video of it. I think it looks pretty good, but I also think that I want to put her on the dog walk pretty soon to get more speed (I’ll get my equipment in a week if I’m lucky). We also tried to raise the plank even more and she did well with that. I just think I need to have someone holding the plank so that I can start her further up and get more speed. Here is the video:
I’m very surprised by this development. I thought we’d never get off the plank on the ground because she kept missing the end quite a lot. Now I’m thinking of back chaining the dog walk next week, but there must be something I’m missing here?