Friday, December 10, 2010

Bentley dogwalk

After speaking with Stuart, we started thinking that maybe Bentley's dogwalk problems are because of his strides.  If you watch some of the trial videos, you'll see that Bentley is slowing down as he runs over the flat portion of the obstacle, then actually shortens his step right before the down side.  Once he does that, he lengthens his stride again and then punches off right before the contact zone.

I'm not sure how we created this...but my hypothesis is that it stems from when we started slowing down to protect the contact, he started slowing as well.  Now he has learned to slow right before the down side apex, and this allows him to punch off at the end.

Stuart recommended that we correct him when he shortens his stride, and tell him to get going.  It seemed like a great idea, but in practice, it's really difficult.  First of all, it's hard to see when you're running if he has shortened his stride.  Also, he has been known to shorten his stride, and still make the contact.  I assume that's a no-reward type situation, but I'm not sure.

We went out to test this, and had not-so great results.

Here's a video of my analysis:

It looks like he needs to come over the apex (before the down side) and land a good portion of the way down.  If he strides and the stride carries him just over the hinge, his final stride takes him over the contact zone.  If he shortens up at all, pretty much all is lost.

I think we are going to plan a trip to go visit Stuart in a month or so to see what he has to say.  I feel like we are ill-equipped to deal with this, and I'm hesitant to go back to 2 on 2 off because of Bentley's motivation/speed.

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