Monday, February 10, 2014

This is why I adore Tip

Let me preface this with saying that Tip is basically retired.  I don't have any goals for her, but I do run her in an occasional trial.  She still joins our practices several times a week. It keeps her connected and happy.

I am retraining Split's dog walk to a running dog walk.  It is kind of messed up anyway, so I decided that I might as well mess with it more :)


So, since one dog gets to do something, Tip must never be left out.  Especially if it involves a thrown ball!!  So, just to entertain her I was letting her do a couple of running dog walks each session as well.  She wasn't bad, but she did leap some.

About a month ago, for some reason I gave her the command "hit it" (curious what she would do with it).  I used "hit it"  for Rachel Sander's box method when I was retraining Split's 2o2o AF to a running AF.  Again, I had no intent to apply the box method on a contact for Tip, but it involved those two ingredients 1) another dog getting to do something 2) a ball being thrown. So, Tip ended up with a stupid pet trick where she can target a box on the run and I will reward it with a ball toss.

Just a side note, if I don't think it is going to hurt any current training I will always teach all three dogs the same thing.  You never know when it is going to come in handy :)

So, for a month now, a couple of times a week when I work Split I will let Tip run her dog walk with the "hit it" command.  Her version of a RDW has been amazingly reliable.  Most sessions she never misses even one contact. 

Now, would I do this with all my dogs--never in a million years.  Tip has some unique skills that make her a great candidate.  She is uber confident, she has a ton of forward motion, and she is amazingly smart.  So, she can actually slow down, hit the contact and then drive at full speed again to the next obstacle.  Split and Tangle would just end up confused.  They would slow at first, but if some slow is good they would slow more.  We would eventually end up with walking at the end.  They are both smart, but don't have the confidence that Tip has.

Here is video of her this weekend and again today.  Notice today I had carpet on the end of the contact.  That was there for Split, but somehow she still knew where she needed to slow down and she did.  She never stops amazing me!!

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