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Old 02-25-2013, 10:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Weight pull and flyball

Yesterday we went to another weight pull. It's the second that Otis has been competitive in. He did great (for us anyway) and earned his first leg towards his working dog (WD) title. Here's a video of two lighter pulls (440# and 580#) but he did pull 860#.

February at the Jym | Facebook



We also got a push board a little while back and I took some video from earlier this month. He's foot placement has gotten better since then. Here's where he was at 2.5 weeks ago:

Push Board 2.6.2013 | Facebook
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Cool vids! Weight pull looks like fun, you can tell he really likes it I can't offer any kind of a real critique for his push board turn as I am pretty new to flyball myself but I think it looks good!
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks He does enjoy weight pull. Unfortunately competitions don't tire him out because his training is enduranced based so after a long day (for me) he's still ready to play ball when we get home. I'm hoping this will come in handy if he ever becomes competitive in flyball!
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It will! And flyball will help too. People have commented on both my dogs' stamina after they had been doing flyball for a while. Both my dogs earned their fastest flyball times at a tournament when it was 111 degrees and Nikon is usually faster as the weekend goes on, not slower on the second day.
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hopefully I'll never find out how he'd do in 111 degree heat - not sure if I could handle it!
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Awesome, I think there used to be someone on here who did weight pulling with their dog.

How long has Otis been on the push board? A couple of times his back feet were a bit lower than I'd like to see, but there were other times where his positioning was very nice. I saw a comment below the video about not worrying about the props, and I agree, especially if you're not working on the box yet. At least that's how we'd do it - we'd transition from the push board to the box before we even thought about using less props, first without a ball, then a ball on velcro over the hole, then triggering the box and catching the ball. Every time the picture changes the dog has more to think about, and if they concentrate too much on catching the ball, those back feet are going to start sliding lower and lower on the box.

Even with our veteran dogs who have been racing for years we always use props at practice, and sometimes during the warmup at tournaments too. The prop (and I'd personally go with something a bit taller) is going to force him to get his back feet higher, building muscle memory for doing it right. On Kristi's thread you can see the pictures I posted of the huge prop setup I was using with Halo, and Lies posted a great video showing her training with Nikon. To fade, we'll remove an upright, or use a clear prop with a piece of foam on top, and we also have an itty bitty prop that someone in our club made, which is basically as big as the white stripe across the bottom. I should get a picture of that, I don't think I have one.

If he doesn't hit the push board or the box exactly where you want him to WITH props, he's not going to do it without them either. We don't start fading the props until we're getting consistent turns with all four feet on the box, and catching the ball and bringing it back over all the jumps. And then we might alternate runs, where there's a prop, and then there isn't, and then there is, and then there isn't. The dog still expects it to be there, and with the white stripe across the bottom of the box it's hard to tell from a distance that's it's not there. If you take away the props too soon, his turn will likely start to get sloppy, and then you'll have to spend a lot more time fixing it.

In Halo's first tournament she splatted on the box, even though she'd been doing well at practice, because we hadn't done any work fading the props yet. She only did 7 heats all weekend - 2 the first day, and 5 the second day, and she almost didn't get to race at all on Sunday. After seeing her sloppy box on Saturday my teammates were concerned about letting her keep doing it that way, even just those few more times. I totally understood their point, but I was really hoping to be able to run her some more and was glad that they decided to let me do some more heats. We didn't have another tournament for about a month and a half after that, so we focused on prop fading at practice, and she did much better the next time.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info!

When the video was made, he had been on the board for just about a month. We had been working on it two days per week with 2-3 sessions per day. We lost time though because our practice area flooded and we had to move to a new spot after missing a few days. Bright side though - at least he got to generalize it to a new area!

While the prop is definitely a helpful reminder, I was also giving him a bigger reward when those feet were in proper position than when they were not and used the phrase "back feet" as a reminder for him to pay attention to them since he knows that term from previous training. Not sure if any of that is correct, but it seems to have worked for us.

It's been almost 3 weeks since the video and our last three practice days he has had his feet in the "good" position on every push. I wanted to increase criteria and thought the next logical step would be fading out the prop by doing a session that included one or two pushes without the prop (which I actually did before posting this video with good results so hopefully that means he'll transition well). However, since everyone seems to recommend against it and you guys definitely have more experience than me, I'll just keep the prop in. The last thing I want to do is mess him up by pushing too far, too fast
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Disclaimer: I'm not an expert either! Halo and I are both still fairly "green" in the sport. She's my first flyball dog, and we've been racing for just under a year.

There are a lot of different ways to train, which is always interesting - we learn new things all the time. Our club is known for their training and we'e great about not just accepting "good enough", but always striving for better. If he's consistent about foot placement on the push board it might be time to start transitioning to the box. I would definitely do it without the ball at first though, that can be a major distraction, especially for ball obsessed dogs. Get the same four foot turn on the box that you're getting on the push board, and then add the ball. We tend to break things down into tiny pieces and only put them together when the dog is clearly ready.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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OK thanks!
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Flyball:
We haven't been able to get to a practice yet. Considering seeing if local training places have a box available to rent along with space.Our club did have a tournament though, so here's pictures from the event:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...8361427&type=3

Weight pull update:
Otis went to his last pull of the season in March. He pulled a personal best of 1380# for 20x his body weight. This will either count as his second leg towards his Working Dog title or his first toward his Working Dog Excellent title. We'll decide next season where it belongs.

Here's photos of the other dogs: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...8361427&type=3

Here he is from that day:


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