gcv-border Posted February 21, 2012 Report Share Posted February 21, 2012 I would love to get some feedback from y'all regarding if my logic regarding a training issue seems to be on the right track and any suggestions to solve it. Here goes: While reading the topic regarding USDAA trial and NADAC rule changes, some of the beginning posts mentioned problems that different dogs have with the broad jump. I don't know why, but I suddenly realized that although my dog has no problem with the broad jump (the few times he sees it), he may be confusing the broad jump with the contact zone of an A-frame - resulting in a consistent jumping over the contact zone. A little background -- We started with a 2020 which he performed admirably, although it was hard on his shoulders since he was one of those dogs that are lawn darts (i.e. he would come flying down the AF or DW to a full stop for a 2020 - often with his hind end elevating as he stopped with his shoulders). He hurt his shoulder playing ball in the backyard and had shoulder surgery and rehab. This caused me to re-examine my criteria for contact zone behavior and I decided I would train a RC to reduce the shoulder strain from his aggressive stop into 2020 behavior. (Actually, I had already started thinking about re-training to a RC before his injury, but the injury cemented my decision.) I have been using Silvia Trkman's method for training RCs - start the dog off on a flat plank and teach him to stride naturally over the plank, then raise one end of the plank gradually to full height. I throw a ball to keep him focused forward. The process has been lengthy and frustrating to say the least. We are not anywhere near full height - the high end of the board is only about a foot off the ground - and he continues to jump the contact zone. I will have sessions when he seems to achieve a nice, natural stride and hits the contact zone and then we will have a couple of sessions when he is determined to jump the zone. I joke with my friends that I should use him as a dock-diving dog since he knows the PRECISE take-off point to jump the contact zone. I have tried very hard to follow the training regimen laid out by ST, but he is just not getting it. I lay the blame on myself for not being able to convey to him the behavior I desire. I think one of his problems is that he is so excited to chase the ball that he lengthens his stride and flies over the contact zone. Based on this thinking, I have tried standing on the other side of the plank (lowered AF) and treating him when he strides and hits the CZ. Treats are not quite as motivating as a ball. this approach seems to work OK, but he needs to learn to hit the cz with me running behind him. As the title suggests, I am now wondering if he is confusing jumping the broad jump with jumping the contact zone on a lowered AF. (They are both flat and light-colored.) If so, would raising the AF help to remove the similarity between a broad jump and the lowered (essentially flat) AF? Anyway, this post is long enough. Do you think my logic is off-base or could it be possible? Any training suggestions? I have not wanted to invest in a Manners Minder, but am seriously considering it now (having exhausted all other options I could think of). Since food is not as motivating for him as a ball, he may be able to control his striding through the CZ towards a MM, whereas he is so frantic to get to the ball, hr is only thinking about getting the ball and he often overstrides - at least that is my theory. I really like using the ball because I want his energy to be high to replicate his high energy at a trial, but I am not getting anywhere with training using the ball. Clear as mud? Looking forward to any thoughts or tips. Thanks. Jovi Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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