Monday, July 19, 2010
Building a go-to-ground tunnel
In an effort to get Gordon more accepting of going to ground, I've decided to make him a tunnel to practice on.
I'm following the basic plan outlined in American Working Terriers.
I've altered it just a bit, making the tunnel 8x8 instead of 9x9, as I know Gordon is small enough to fit. The tunnel is still a work in progress, but we've been able to start training already.
I started by cutting 4 feet off of a 4x8 piece of plywood. My main tunnel would be four feet long, and I would have some left over to make a 90 degree turn, and another stretch of tunnel later.
I cut eight inch wide strips from the one side, leaving space left over in the middle. Then I measured out a 90 degree angle and cut that out as well.
I put together three of the sides by screwing them into cross pieces made by 1x2 scrap. I hinged the fourth side so that I can open the top of the tunnel should I ever need to. I've closed it temporarily with one screw.
Then we start training.
It was easy at first. Put some food at the front of the tunnel. Dog comes and gets it. I would put the food further back.
Gordon would start by balking, then barking at the end of the tunnel. Then he scurried a little way in. then further, and next time further.
Right now, he'll go all the way to the end of a four foot tunnel, but is still tentative. Next we will add a corner and more tunnel.
Once the dog is running the tunnel, we'll add a critter and see how he reacts to that.