Running fast and collecting faster than fast!

After a few weeks of training Jake and Lil to target an upside down feed bucket with their front feet, we have started taking the show on the road.

Day 1: This session was their first time being asked to run and stop (4-on) on a flat A-frame.. or on any A-frame for that matter.  The reason the A-frame is resting on the ground is because it is too heavy for me to lift by myself without potentially tweaking my back.  But since I dragged it out to the yard this morning, I figured why not do one session with it flat on the ground to see what Jake and Lil do.

(above) video of Jake and Lil’s first session running on a flat A-frame and stopping 4-on

I was super impressed.  Both dogs ran with really nice speed and targeted the very end of the A-frame by collecting / putting on the brakes.  Most reps, they stuck the 4-on vs. reverting to 2o2o, a behavior both dogs have been practicing for years and years….on steps, rugs, you name it and they put their back feet on it so this was not surprising.

The reason I slowed down the video was to see HOW they were putting on the brakes.  Were they dropping their butts down or crouching?  I didn’t see much butt dropping but it might happen naturally once the A-Frame is raised… or maybe not.  One thing I’ve noticed recently was how much LESS angle a longer-backed dog has when sitting, compared to dogs with longer legs.  This translates into longer-backed dogs having less braking power when dropping their butts.  Here are 2 photos, including a quick and rather sloppy Photoshop of Lil showing how her SIT would look if she had longer legs.

Lil Sitting

Lil with photoshopped longer legs

Once I raise the A-frame, I’ll be carefully watching to see HOW Jake and Lil put the brakes on in order to do 4-on.  If it looks relatively easy for them to do, I’ll continue training 4-on.  If it  looks grossly unnatural or hard on their bodies, I will go back to running A-frames and find another way to deal with running consistently and safely over both 8′ and 9′ A-frames.

This morning’s session was such a blast.  Both dogs LOVED IT and so did I.   Can’t wait to nab some unsuspecting person who walks by our property to help me raise the A-Frame.  🙂

2 thoughts on “Running fast and collecting faster than fast!

  1. Thank you so much for your blog, you have finally inspired me to start working with my Aussie on agility. We’ve been competing in the conformation ring and Kanti has had a litter, – but now we are up for a different kind of bonding and fun
    thanks C

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