(above) Takoda running to a Mark bucket on a flat DW plank.
When we returned home Sunday evening after Takoda’s first outdoor trial I decided to do a little training with him since he had been such a good boy all weekend long while spending a lot of time just hanging out. A DW plank was sitting there so we did some Mark practice. Apparently between the last session and this session, Takoda learned HOW to collect and “stick the landing” on small Mark buckets. He must have learned it while he was sleeping because the last session he was not running nearly this fast (I always leave speed up to him). I love how well he appears to understand he should keep his front feet on the bucket and his rear feet on the plank, even if I am behind him. You can see him turning his head waiting for me to catch up vs. spinning his rear feet around to face me. Good boy!
I didn’t plan to run him in the other direction but it was fun to see how he targeted the first bucket with his front and rear feet, and then how he ran to the very end of the plank vs. leaping off. I think this was because I started with Mark buckets at both ends of the plank. I’ve written about the Mark buckets in previous posts. They are the most amazing training tool I’ve ever come across. The way I’m using them is based on Sharon Nelson’s foundation training.