The Story of two Agility Dogs and Their Very Novice Handler(s)
Friday, January 14, 2011
Contact set back (Lexi, for once!)
I'm a little bummed. Lexi seems to have had a big set back with her contacts (2o2o). She has had an awesome 2o2o for the past few months. It seemed to come very natural to her. We got rid of the target plates, and she has slowly started to be unsure of where her 2o2o should be. Just the other day I started adding the target plate back in randomly, and she did better. But the other night we had run-thrus (gamblers) and she creeped a little bit on the dogwalk, and then blew her a-frame contact! I think it was because the a-frame was part of the gamble, and we were a good distance lateral from it. Since we couldn't be right there to "manage" it, she was unsure of the behavior. I'm a little bummed, but it's obvious that we haven't trained her to get her contact independently (no target plate, no us standing right there).
I think the problem is that we moved the target plate away and continued where we were (which worked). BUT, I just assumed that she would be able to generalize the behavior in any situation. But in reality, she was keying off of us to tell her what behavior she should present. So when we were removed, she was confused, We will need to go back to sometimes targets, sometimes not, with the handler in different locations. I think we practiced too much with us standing right next to her or running ahead--not behind or way out to the side.