Rampage continues to make me stop and scratch my head in many situations. He is so inconsistent in his reactions I'm not sure what his trigger points are. He is brash and confident in some situations and then in a similar situation, for no apparent reason, he will be worried. I still can't do lessons with him; he is game for one run and then he is DONE. All of our training is done during a few minutes here and there in my back yard. I'm sure I'll figure out his trigger points eventually but he's an odd duck. But an irresistibly handsome and lovable odd duck.
I have decided to add a stop to his dogwalk because he just wasn't accelerating on the down ramp with the running. To be more accurate, he wasn't extending on the down ramp but it had the same result. Even when he didn't leap, he was just on the edge of the yellow and that's not something I can live with. If I could have done something different with his training I would NOT have practiced on the full sized dogwalk in my back yard. Due to the relatively small size of my yard it seems like the next obstacle (even if it was a tunnel) was uncomfortably close for him, which resulted in him collecting on the descent instead of accelerating down.
Rampage picked up the stop instantly in training. I put a target down, told him to target and *wham* a beautiful 2o/2o. Fading the target was simple. I had him doing 2o/2o in multiple environments; at home, at power paws, at swiss park and he was spot on almost every time.
We've been to two trials since I've added the stop and he's stopped in competition exactly... ZERO times. I figured during our last USDAA trial I would finally make him realize he has to stop since we had so many runs per day, but it certainly didn't work out that way. Since he can be weird about agility I didn't want to pull him for not stopping, but that will be my approach when we're at our next trial (which might not be until September!) In retrospect I wish I hadn't been so lax in my criteria for the 2o/2o on the teeter in trials. He has great drive on the teeter in training, but is hesitant at trials. If I had addressed that previously then I don't think stopping on the dogwalk now would be an issue.
But Rampage has been giving me some really nice stuff in trials lately. I'm still hoping that I can encourage the 'happy Rammy' and weed out the 'worried Rammy' at trials (which is the main reason I didn't want to get on his case for not stopping on the DW). The dork is qualified for USDAA nationals in all 3 events after limited trailing, but we can't get an advanced standard leg to save our lives!
This is getting long but one last thing about Rampage... His jumping has improved quite a bit over the last couple of months. We've been doing jump grids and core strength exercises and I'd like to think that is why, but I suspect that Rampage just needed to mature.
Some of the good stuff...
We had two bars in this run (The first bar was because I set him up to close to the first jump), but otherwise I liked it! Rammy likes to go in straight lines, which is a bit odd because he turns so beautifully.
Rampage won Masters Snooker and got his first super q! (Icon helped by going for less points :)