Monday, September 19, 2011


If you haven't seen the video Bad Beckett Moments, you should watch it and you'll see the issues we are dealing with at the moment.

Anyway, I'm trying to decide if I'll retrain Beckett to do running contacts.  In the mean time, we are trying to re-establish two on two off as the criteria for his A-frames and to get him to drive down to the target position faster.  So this week at Red Gate, we did a lot of work on the table and the frame, trying to make both of those places, a really good, exciting place to be. 

I had noted at the last trial that the only time Beckett was seeing the small table was at a trial and wondered if that had anything to do with him not wanting to go down since he's used to the larger table. So at this practice, we only did the table using the small table.  I just told him to table and gave no other command, neither the verbal or the hand sign.  Once he went down, I rewarded the down with food and, once given the release, I rewarded the whole table behaviour with play.  Hopefully, this table work will result in Beckett going down on the table on his own this weekend at Dream Fields.  One more clean run in an Advanced Standard and he won't see the table any more.

On the A-frame, I added hoops to get him to put his head down and come right to the bottom of the frame.  We also worked with the table at the side, so we could work just the target position and not the whole A-frame. We added the target dish and ham to build value for coming to the target postion quickly. It seemed to have some success.  We also worked the 2o2o position with me calling out words other than his release word and by lots of movement (off camera so you can't see me jumping around like an idiot).  I'm going to build-up value with a variety food on the target dish and once that's solid, we'll try using his favourite thing a frisbee.

I'm still going to make a hit-it box and do the flat work for a running A-frame over the winter.  That won't affect how Beckett currently does the frame as for him there won't be any connection to the frame. Next spring, I can make the decision (or not) to try a running A-frames.

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