Yesterday Rio had his last agility class before we make the long trek up to Ithaca, NY this weekend for his first trial. It is the first time we had a chance to practice on full contact equipment since starting to redo his contacts about two weeks ago. Although I started our work about two weeks ago, our weather has not been quite as cooperative. In the last two weeks, our weather has been crazy hot and finding a shady place to practice is not terribly easy.
So we’ve had limited amounts of practice with our running contact revamp BUT I’ve definitely seen improvements. I’d say 65% of the time he is running off the end of the board the way I want him to (on the full height equipment, just on my practice board it’s a mich higher percentage). What was really cool was a few times today during our class, Rio clearly adjusted his stride (independent from slowing down) in the middle of the board so that he would hit the contact at the bottom (hit nice and low on the contact). His stride is long enough that it’s possible for him to run off the board (not jump) and miss the contact completely so seeing him make those adjustments is pretty awesome.
We are not nearly ‘done’ but we are on our way. I know I’ll have to manage his contacts this weekend by getting him to slow down on the dog walk and to position myself so he will run straight through the A-frame (not jump off) but I think we have a chance of him hitting most of his contacts (maybe, LOL). We’ll do a few more training sessions before I leave with my contact board, but we won’t have a chance to work on full-height obstacles until we run this weekend.
Here’s a video from our lesson today… (I forgot my camera so it’s from my phone which isn’t nearly as crisp/clear)