Friday, November 18, 2011

Work In Progress

Did you notice Rugby's go-outs in the Utility videos? We are so close to being full distance. We didn't get there in training and it showed in the ring. He would go out straight for the distance we have practiced, then veer to the side. That was very encouraging to see!

We modified how we were training go-outs to reflect the fact that we had a problem tacking direction, and not running straight all the way back in February.  I posted a video of it here. For whatever reason we abandoned it over the summer and started again this fall.

The exercise has evolved significantly from last winter. First, we stopped using the broad jump and started using driveway markers. I have two orange ones and two yellow ones that I set up exactly the same way as the jump boards (3ft apart in a straight line). Second, we did/do have a problem with running in a straight line. We started much closer to the channels this time and have been working our way backwards at a much slower pace than we moved before. This is mostly to give Rugby the practice of running in a straight line. I think he does need to build that muscle memory to be successful. Now he is working this set up at just over 30ft away.

There was just one problem that showed itself for the first time last week. I had assumed that my yellow markers and my orange markers were equivalent. Last week, he started something new. He was running straight until he saw a yellow marker, then would change course towards it. As soon as I realized what was making him loose his straight line, a post I read over at Tip Tail popped into my head.

He can't see the orange markers. At least not as well as the yellow. Time to buy two more of each color so we have uniform sets!


  1. When we are training blind retrieves, we use orange bumpers because the dog cannot see them, (but that is the idea). We also work on straight line running, (and swimming). Straight lines can take a lot of time and work.

  2. please send me the info on the doggie colors. I cannot find it and I know I had it. thanks

  3. At least you figured out what the problem was!