Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Running contacts - progression #3!

With several sessions of running the plank flat on the ground, and slightly elevated (about 1.5 feet) we've progressed to a more elevated plank, now at about 2.5 feet.

We continued to utilize our patio, propping the plank up on more bricks, added in a table at the beginning of running the plank with an indoor, non-skid thin carpet on top. We're pleased with the set up - it's stable and gives enough room to get a fairly good run in.

Progression to this elevation didn't occur until both me and Gracie were running at nearly 100% with the first elevation, even though Gracie's striding is still not completely running through the yellow. She's hitting the yellow continuously with her back feet about 3-4 inches into the yellow. So we decided to continue elevating to see what effect that would have on her striding.

She faltered a bit with this higher elevation, and was hitting the yellow at about 60% in the beginning, so we lowered it back down for her, taking out one level of bricks. We did a few sessions with her back at this first elevation, until she was hitting it at about 100%.

Mum's happy with the progress. My striding is great, hitting the yellow right in the center (this is USDAA measurements). And my speed is good with the target out from the plank about 15-20 feet to keep my speed through the yellow. She's continuing to vary her placement - running out both sides, standing still, running full out (for her anyway :), etc.

Gracie still needs work at this level for several more sessions we expect. I may be ready for a higher elevation at this point. Now the trick is going to be how we elevate the plank to mimic the elevation of a regular dog walk plank, but she has some tricks up her sleeve. Mum's still getting the hang of clicking at the moment we hit the yellow, and not clicking when we don't - not an easy task.

We know that we are weeks away from seeing a full size dog walk. Maybe even a couple of months. We're going to take it slow and thorough. So for now, here's the vid for progression #3.

This is the third in a series of posts about re-training my running dogwalk contact. You can see the first and second post here:

Johann & Gracie running dogwalk retraining - progression #1
Johann & Gracie running dogwalk retraining - progression #2


  1. Good job with the contacts Johann!

    Butt sniffs,
    Solid Gold Dancer

  2. Hi Johann! You guys are doing a great job of learning this on your own! All three of you are looking really good! It'll be so exciting to see you on a real dog walk!


Thanks for barking in!

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