Monday, January 23, 2006

Progress On Contacts

Wyatt and I had a very good weekend at the CPE trial in Manchester, NH.

We got 5 out of 7 possible qualifying runs (Q's) with placements in each of the 5 Q's (1 first and 4 fourths).

Here's what I think definitely helped.

1. Sitting him at the start and doing a slow and careful lead out to center both of us.
2. Running more slowly.
3. Getting eye contact and vocal contact before the end of the contact.
4. Giving a clear "spot" command (or two) in time.
5. Slowing down gradually maintaining eye contact at the down contact.
6. Giving physical cues to support a 2 on 2 off position. This includes a wait signal and moving in front of the contact a bit especially on the A-Frame.
7. Doing 2 run throughs at All Dogs Gym including one the night before.
8. Working on independent 2 on 2 offs at home including when I am behind him and working on driving to the bottom.
9. Giving a clear "Tip It" command at the correct time on the teeter.

Here are some possible things that may have helped.

1. Chewing mints before the run.
2. Walking slowly and calmly before the run,
3. Having him sit on my lap for quite a while before the run.
4. Waiting until we are 3-4 dogs away before going over.
5. Doing some focused obedience before the run.

For our wildcard run (NQ), he seems pumped up before the run and we missed a dog walk. He was way ahead of me and jumped off when I gave a command. I was luckily in our jackpot run that he flew off the teeter but was able to go back and redo it since it is a gamblers type game. I was especially happy that we got the dreaded standard Q when he got 3 great contacts and weaves too.

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