That is the question!!!
I'm up in Eau Claire, WI this weekend at Ann Braue's facility. She has Jen Pinder in and she's working with us on 'Running' A-frames and also, driving into 2 on/off on Dog Walk and Teeter. Today was an action packed day and we ran 90 minutes over what was planned. I give Jen a LOT of credit for making sure each working dog got what they needed in order to proceed tomorrow.
Working are one Golden Retriever, one Miniature Poodle (Yes, Meme....Marti is here with Kit!!), Two Shelties and 6 Border Collies. It's a nice group of working dogs, each very motivated and handlers are experienced.
Seeker spent some time, as did most of the other dogs, working on keeping his head down. Actually, I guess I should say NOT UP!! Most of this is due to rewarding him in an upward region, this is very common. Think about what's easiest for the handlers? Yep, UP!! So, I really need to work on rewarding him level with his head, or lower. Same with tugging!! Very limited up position to tug. This will be a very difficult change for me.
I'm still not 'totally' sold on the running A. You need to either 'do it' or not, there's not an in-between, or a choice to do both. I know some would argue that a running A is easier on the dog. I guess, I'm not convinced of that. Teaching a true running A-Frame will take a lot more work and repetitions than a 2/2 A Frame.
I'm still on the fence. I do think it's faster, if trained and executed correctly. I've seen so few dogs that actually have a nice running A-Frame, that I a bit hesitant to go there. I guess only time will tell.
In the mean time, we're getting some great ideas for dogs that aren't doing as well as they could on the dog walk and teeter decent.
Tomorrow, we'll be continuing on with what we've learned today, understanding of course that we'll need to be sure to go back to the basic foundations learned today.
An Open Letter to My Students
2 months ago