The Boys and I trekked to the eastern half of our state this weekend for an AKC trial. It was a new location for us, and turned out to be a great opportunity to try out our running dogwalk contacts in competition. Little Desmond was a gem, and was often found upside down, napping in his crate in the car.
I switched Duncan to running contacts (instead of stopping him at the bottom) about two years ago to keep his motivation high throughout the course. As usually happens without any extra training, running turned to jumping, and in the excitement of a trial, jumping the entire yellow contact zone was pretty easy for my little guy. I’ve been taking an online running contact course since the spring, and am starting to see Dunc figuring out that his job is to run off the end, with no leaping. He still does the Flying Puppy imitation from time to time, but more often, the faster I go, the lower and faster he goes, and he’s coming down the entire board, running right off the end. Retraining his contacts has been a long haul, with the acceptance that we’re going to miss some Q’s. While we’re not done yet, I can see definite progress, and his confidence and speed are on a steady increase, too. I adore seeing my boy run with joy like this.
Here’s a short video of our running contact progress in trials this year:
And if you’d like to see the entire run of the last part of the clip, here it is: