Sunday, 27 November 2011

Rivi and Raised Plank - the Project Continues

As we reach the end of November I reviewed our project's progress. Originally I planned with Rivi to progress with her RCs as quickly as possible so that we could get back to competing in the new year and coz I was concerned about the plank raised on a table. However, the winter daylight hours have totally screwed my project time line up. Two good things have come of this [1] it has made me get use to the plank on the table [2] the fact that it has taken  until now in a training session for Rivi not to offer 2o2o position which has been embedded deeply.

It will be more realistic to think about heading back into the agility ring in the spring. It is a long time to be out of doing the most favorite part of agility. Jumping classes are good and give a buzz, but to me Agility is Agility when the contacts are in the course. It is what it is all about.

With teaching Rivi RCs I have learnt so frickin' much, even just stuff like the foot(paw)fall, the speed , using the reward mark to get the desired footfall (3 paws plus) and the impact if I change the location of where we do it. Then, progress this week is Rivi is really starting to shift, by that I mean starting to actually run and she is not offering 2o2o.

It is blooming gratifying. And if I can get her to like RC as much as the poles and jumping I will know my babyoli is a happyoli :-) and that is the ultimate for me.

The next step is to progress to the dog walk....

p.s Also in the video it is Zev and Nuts having a real good time watching Rivi doing her RC training

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Rivi and Intro to Raised Plank - Project Continues

As mentioned previously my education in training Rivi continues - We hit a real low the previous week as she would not even go on the plank. We worked through it and I decided to raised the plank height as the 'inbetweeny' height was just not for her.

This is Rivi's sixth session on the height that is set so that the angle is fairly close to a standard height jump. I want to move off this raised plank as quickly as possible, as I am concerned about safety. Although I always keep risk to the minimum and make it safe as I can.

The main progress is Rivi is getting to understand that bounce or jump over means no reward. I had to sort out a criteria. Which has come to be at the moment:-
- leap over - no reward marker
- two paw hit equal one reward
- 3 paw run through equal jackpot

This criteria is suiting me and Rivi at this stage, as it really is engaging her brain in a very positive and determined way. As she wants that MM to keep dispensing. (good progress after her initial reaction to the MM) It also provides 'building blocks' towards our end goal and gives us a chance as a team to work together to achieve that aim.

At the end of the day, far as I can work out the dog is targeting the contact zone at speed. There is no reward for leaping/bouncing over it. What I need to achieve in the end product is a definite drive down to and through the contact zone with ideally 2 or 3 paws hitting the said zone. It is going to be an interesting few months as our journey with this progresses.

The pressure is on for me as I must achieve this goal, as Rivi is such a fabulous dog and I want the bonus of us doing agility well together -  No bias there then!!! ;-)

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Rivi and Intro to Plank - the project continues

The retraining of Rivi progresses. With the intro to the plank, our biggest thing to over come here is for Rivi not to think about stopping at the end of the plank. We have been through a real learning curve this week.

This retraining is about complex levels of interpretation, stringing behaviours together and encouraging Rivi to have belief in offering new behaviours that are in conflict with 3 years of previous training. It reminds me very much of the crossover stage when the use of clickers became available to reward mark. I’m trying to achieve something and not sure what the end product will be.  I have to think about my judgement calls in terms of  - how to progress, what to reward and jackpot. In the great scheme of things it is very early days. However, we will continue the project...