Posted by: allstaragility | April 4, 2010

RDW Progress

Wow,  I saw some spectacular running dogwalks at AKC Nationals and the difference they made in the both the challenger’s round and finals!  I came home fully recharged to continue the training process with Solei.  She has been doing very well, but I was at a point where I really needed to start getting serious and raising the height of the dogwalk.

On the lower dogwalk, we had advanced to the point where she was striding correctly nearly all of the time no matter where I was positioned or how I was moving.   I faded having her drive solely to a toy as I worked on having her continue forward to a jump and  I varied where the reward was, either placing past the jump, throwing it for her after the jump, or having her return to me to play.    I am pleased that she quickly picked up to maintain focus and motion forward through the end of the dogwalk and on to the jump, even when I had her reward in my hand and was driving from behind.

Last week, I was able to raise the height of the dogwalk by about 4 inches and maintained about the same success rate.   Silvia Trkman mentions on her site that she raised the height fairly quickly as long as the dog is consistent, so I raised it another 4 inches today and moved it to a different location.  It was also quite windy this afternoon; however the dogwalk was positioned so that it was either a head/tail wind- not from the side.   I am happy to say that I feel her striding is only getting more consistent as our training progresses!  I will have to measure just how high the dogwalk in right now, but I would say there is maybe only 6-8″ to reach full height.  Yippee!  Now I mainly just have to work on me so that I can haul my butt to handle it… 😉

It was so nice yesterday that I took the dogs for a hike on the farm.  The spring is running and the pond is full so it was impossible to resist letting Zoom and Caper swim.  Solei wasn’t so sure, but after retrieving sticks from the “shallow” end, she did venture into deeper water and actual swam across once, then decided it was a little more than she had wanted to do!  Bode preferred to run along the shore and bark and only succeeded in turning his legs a muddy black.

I hope everybody has a great Easter tomorrow!

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