On Path to Q


Published on

Workshop Presentation to
Whatcom Agility Team (WHAT)

Published in: Lifestyle, Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

On Path to Q

  1. 1. On Path to a Q Whatcom Agility TeamCourse AnalysisPath managementConfidencehttp://www.slideshare.net/StefanElvstad/on-path-to-q Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  2. 2. On Path to a QClass room discussion and exercisesExercises will use only ground level obstacles Hoops (“Non-obstacle”) Gates (to help guiding the dog) Tunnels (motivator, and to work on discrimination/options)Hoops, tunnels and gates are great for training handling because: Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  3. 3. On Path to a QNo obstacle performance – the performance cannot be faulted Common problem, dog followed path, but faulted the obstacle. Or, dog missed a tunnel/DW discrimination, but did a rare perfect 2o2o. Should I reward?Most dogs love tunnels. Can use tunnels as magnets to help or to challengeGates can be used to make the right choice more obviousGround level obstacles are gentle on the dogs joints and musclesThe dogs can run fast with no airtime – handler must think quicklyAt least 75% of my training uses hoops and tunnels only. Remaining 25% is split between obstacle performance training and course handling that must account for extended/collected jumps. Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  4. 4. Course AnalysisDesign the desired path for your dog Tradeoffs: Speed / Accuracy Physical limitations (dog/handler) Environment (e.g. slippery grass)Path factors Approach and Departure angles Rest of course “Traps” Favored obstacle types (“tunnel suck”) Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  5. 5. Blue or Red?Depends on preferencesMe and My dogs: Blue or BustMost dogs and Handlers: Go for QPitfalls: Soft dogs get discouraged by failure Dogs may get discouraged if held backYour gut feel tells you Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  6. 6. Course Analysis (w/ map)Draw the dogs path on map – Step 1Straight line through jumps 1 (collection) – 3 (extension) times the jump height on BOTH sides of jumpPath from tunnel/chute exits continue the direction of travel in the tunnel, but length of that distance depends on speed and experience. Draw that exit line on the mapIf lines of two consecutive obstacles cross or if their ends create an impossible turn, either change to a more collected performance or adjust the angles (pencils are good!) Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  7. 7. Course Analysis (w/ map)Draw the dogs path on map – Step 2 Connect the obstacle crossing lines following a smooth turn, no tighter than the dog can perform at planned striding Make sure that the lines connect without a kink Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  8. 8. Course Analysis (w/map)Draw the dogs path on map – Step 3 Identify opportunities to reduce number of lead changes (e.g. #4 - #6, #9 - #10) Adjust obstacle crossing lines where needed to reduce lead changes. Remember – the dogs path is always a straight path in the air. May need to extend path on landing side or change to more collected performance. Dont overdo it – some dogs can do extremely tight and frequent lead changes at high speed. If yours can, take the advantage. Experienced dogs will adjust their trajectory based on knowledge of where they go next. Let them know in advance and plan for some collection. Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  9. 9. Course Analysis (w/o map)Analyze at walk through: Go to each obstacle and step or visualize the obstacle crossing line Look for the next obstacle and visualize its crossing line Turn around 180° as if you were to walk in the opposite direction of the crossing line, and visualize a connection line to the crossing line of the preceding obstacle Memorize the segment and continue to the next obstacleLots of on paper practice helps lotsWith experience, the individual steps can be combined to one. Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  10. 10. Course AnalysisIdentify Challenges If the crossing line gets close to (or past) the commitment point for an off course obstacle on the path ahead, the dog will (should) take the off course obstacle. The dog path for that segment must be altered. If there are challenges along the path you know will be difficult to handle using the tools you have, identify ways to alter the path. Though this is a handling, rather than path design issue, if you cant change the handling in a way that resolves the problem, change the path. Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  11. 11. Course Analysis ExerciseDesign the path for YOUR dog on the course in handout 1.Be prepared to discuss your design in terms of trade off choices, collection/extension strategy, challenges on the course that influenced the design.Dont expect your design to be the same as the others. Every dog is different and You know your dog best. Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  12. 12. Path ManagementPoint-to-point (p2p) navigationTraditional approach in most “systems”Dog is cued by the (usually close) presence of handlerDog and handler paths frequently crisscross (FC,RC,BC) each otherDog follows handlers close direction at the obstacles e.g. Derrett “FC as close to the obstacle as possible”Dog shifted between two modes: obstacle vs handler focusHandler “permits” dog to perform the obstacleHandler does most of the “thinking” for both team members Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  13. 13. Path Management(p2p cont)Change of direction cued by crossesDog (almost) always on the lead towards the handlerTurns toward handler cued by actions that otherwise would increase the distance between dog and handlerHandler strives to be on the inside of every turnExcept for RCs, handler blocks the path and obstacle during cross Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  14. 14. Path Management“There is a dog path.There is a handler path.The two never cross”Jeff Lyons, May 2011 Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  15. 15. Path ManagementPath Management HandlingHandler cues the dogs path between obstaclesHandler path ≠ Dog pathCrosses do not cue turnsBuild on the dogs extraordinary understanding of body languageTake advantage of the physical characteristics of the dogTake advantage of the mental characteristics of the dogRequires strong connection between handler and dogHandler really not the right term Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  16. 16. Path ManagementPrimary “tools”Personal space Dog works to respect your “bubble” You move the dogs bubble The bubble is elastic – it expands and contractsPeripheral vision When dog turns his head to see you, the dog turns To prevent unwanted turn, cue the dog to not look for you Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  17. 17. Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  18. 18. Path ManagementThe bubbles are connected with an elastic Slow down and the dog will bend towards you (& slow down) Speed up, and the dog is willing to turn away The speed itself isnt very important, just how it changesYour upper body controls direction Dogs instinct is to move in the direction your torso points Use arm to expand the picture Use the arm that most clearly describes the turn the dog should make Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  19. 19. Path ManagementDogs are like cars You steer them with your upper body You control speed with your feet Stop the car, then turn the wheel. What happens?Verbals useful, but: Dogs reaction time longer – requires processing Loud verbals seem more difficult to understand Because they require processing, they can be distracting common: command that distracts dog ==> dropped bar Verbals most valuable when handler is outside dogs field of vision Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  20. 20. Path ManagementDogs notice very subtle cues Weight shift may be enough to cue a turnDog must THINK more Should enter ring in a calm state of mindArousal increases blood flow (and thus oxygen) to muscles and the motor control parts of the brain at the expense of the parts of the brain used for “reasoning”. It has been shown that dogs get tunnel vision, reduced hearing and disconnect from handlers when aroused. Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  21. 21. Path ManagementExercise 1: Speed CircleWarm up, boost confidence Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  22. 22. Path ManagementExercise 2: Parallel Turn Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  23. 23. Path ManagementExercise 3 – Work outside the box Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  24. 24. Path ManagementExercisesRemember objective is to try, train and enjoy. Learning and reinforcing the relationship with your dog is much more important than “succeeding” to run the entire course as designed!Plan your dogs and your own path following courses. Minimize your crosses (all can be done w/o any cross) See how short a path you can make for yourselfThis is a competition! Handlers with a happy dog WIN Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  25. 25. Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  26. 26. Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  27. 27. Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  28. 28. Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  29. 29. ConfidenceThe confident dogComfortable working more independently without micro managementAchieves greater speedSucceeds with difficult sequencesHas more FunIs a strong Team-MateGets more ribbons and fancy letters to put behind his name How get there? Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  30. 30. Confidence BoostersConvince the dog he succeeded when he tried Even if something went wrong, let him feel that it was OK If it went well, Let him truly feel it!Create Success Do simple courses and exercises you know he can do well Try difficult things (and celebrate success) but have a backup plan if it doesnt work Do your part the very best you canMake all interactions with you fun for the dog You must have fun too – they recognize pretending Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  31. 31. Confidence ReducersInconsistent cuesFixing errors – if it breaks flowMicro managing the dogDisplaying disappointmentChastising the dogFailing to create successes Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  32. 32. Breaking confidence and cuesTwo major issues that are very common:Destroying decel cue by asking dog to push ahead while handler slows down Common at finish line in training – handler slows down but throws toy or calls “go on!” to tell dog to run to the finish Common at gamble line in trials when handler ran out of room to advance at gamble lineTraining the same course too many times Patterning can be used to advantage, but more commonly allows inconsistent handling that inadvertently links unintended cue to behavior Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  33. 33. Exercise - Plan handling Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  34. 34. Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  35. 35. Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  36. 36. Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  37. 37. Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  38. 38. Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad
  39. 39. Copyright © 2012, Stefan Elvstad