2o-2o Vs Running contacts, effect on structure?

Discussion in 'Dog Health Care' started by ~WelshStump~, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. ~WelshStump~

    ~WelshStump~ New Member

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    This came up in a Beauceron group, and I'm really lost on what to do. When I started training Enda in agility, I looked generally from a training standpoint on both contact methods, and decided that for pure reliability I would go 2o-2o, seems like a good idea? At one of our classes last fall, when we were doing a course run at the end of class Enda did a very nice "running contact" on the a-frame and the trainer said to us how nice that looked but "I'm sure you want to instead do 2o-2o don't you" in the form of a statement more than a question. Well, at the time of coarse I agreed and we practiced the rest of our classes a lot with the a-frame and other contacts with 2o-2o.

    Fast forward, no classes for miss special time of the year, and a discussion on the Beauceron group comes up about doing agility with the breed, and preference by some for lower jump heights because of their larger/heavier structure than the sleeker Border collies, and that's when another member cut in with her own experience, her first agility dog was ruined instead by the pounding impact created from 2o-2o on the a-frame, the dog literally slammed to the ground and repeatedly doing it broke down her shoulders.

    I never thought of that! But, it makes sense, the more I look at it the more I see it! So, now I'm really questioning where to go from here. We don't go back to agility till she's "out", until then I would really like peoples opinions here. I put this in health, because I want to know about the vs of the two techniques from a health standpoint, and what you all know, vs the use of either method on coarse as I'm sure you've discussed it before.

    Thoughts? Opinions? Why? Help me choose?


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  2. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    I don't have any science to back it up, but it just seems logical to me that running full speed downwards and suddenly stopping has to put unnecessary stress on a dog's joints. If they practice self preservation to minimize the sudden force on their joints, you end up with the horrid creep down the downside of the frame.

    I have heard of people training a 4 off stopped contact instead of a 2o/2o. It seems to me that might minimize the sudden force on shoulder/elbows/etc.

    My trainer only does stopped contacts when there is an extreme need for the handler to catch up to the dog.

    edit: Here's an article saying a possible cause of injury is 2o/2o contacts: http://www.akcchf.org/assets/files/canine-athlete/Biceps-injury.pdf
     
  3. PawsibleDogs

    PawsibleDogs Crazy Dog Nerd

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    My personal answer would be, it depends.

    A slamming 2o2o is harder on a dog than a well done running contact, but a good 2o2o (that is kept crystal clear and few maintenance repetitions are needed) is probably easier on the dog than a poor running contact (which is what I would define most "natural" running contacts as -- the dog leaps off from a usually acceptable place vs. striding through).

    IMO if you want to have a low-stress performance you need to systematically train it, regardless of what "it" is.

    If you want running contacts (for both or just the aframe), I'm a big fan of Silvia Trkman's method (also Daisy Peel does a slightly modified version, or rather I believe it's more of Silvia's original method). There's also Rachel Sanders' box method which works fairly well also. Both of these methods emphasize reps at lower heights and problem solving at lower heights so you can minimize reps at higher ones.

    If you decide to keep your 2o2o, I would work hard to make sure your criteria stays crystal clear and don't do a bunch of reps to "maintain" it. A Clean Run archives search (or in their "magazine forum" section of their website) will probably produce lots of articles on how to keep your 2o2o's sharp. :) IMO one of the most detrimental habits handlers can get into that breaks down their 2o2o is the early release. It may save time in the short term, but it often causes creeping and/or blown contacts later which is difficult to get rid of. 100% clear criteria is faster and more reliable than muddy criteria. :)
     
  4. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    The injuries is why so many people have stopped training 2o2o especially with fast dogs or dogs with certain types of conformation or a steeper shoulder etc. That and because RC's are faster.
    Having said, RC's should also be trained properly or the dogs end up leaving the zone to far up and the results in the end out be the same....injuries. That was a topic in the agility thread last year if I remember correctly.
     
  5. Cardi4851

    Cardi4851 New Member

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    I do running contacts with Chekhov because of his structure. They are faster (although that isn't why I do them), but I am constantly having to school them so he doesn't try to speed up the process more by just flying over the contact zone.
     
  6. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    This. A well trained contact of either sort should minimize stress on the body. Both of my dogs have stopped (2o2o) contacts. I fought it hard with Meg, because she isn't the most well built creature on the planet, but finally accepted that for her, it was the only method clear enough to produce confidence. She's not a crazy fast dog, and we do very few reps of contacts now (and did almost all the training on lower heights).

    Gusto's built well enough (and is fast enough and literal enough in his brain) that I never once hesitated on teaching him stopped contacts. Again, it took quite a few reps on very low equipment to train the behavior, and very few to transfer it over to full height equipment.

    I don't think either is the wrong answer; I do think, from watching friends who train fantastic running contacts, that the stopped contacts need fewer reps at full height to train and maintain. There are pluses and minuses either way.
     
  7. frostfell

    frostfell Kung Pow Fish

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    can someone explain to a bumbling idiot over here what 2o2o and running contact means :s
     
  8. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    It also depends on your training criteria. If you criteria is get your body into position with rears on the contact and fronts on the ground as fast as you can -- yeah you are going to end up with a fair number of dogs slamming themselves into an extreme 2o2o.

    If on the other hand you are training the dog to get low on the contact, lower/reverse their body weight, and keep their head low (back aligned), then you are going to end up with a fast but safe version of the 2o2o. Obviously this is easier for some dogs to achieve than others.

    A local dog here has the most beautiful 2o2os I've ever seen. They are stunning. And they are faster than almost all but the most perfect running contacts, and far more consistent (he never misses and the judge never has to think) except that they make him hold those contacts for 1-2 seconds, saving their option for instant releases for big tournaments. If I have a video camera one of these days I will try to record them and share.

    Sloppy contacts are a hazard no matter what, especially if you have a dog prone to slamming/leaping. 2o2o when trained well are, IMO, no more hazardous to a decently structured dog than running contacts when trained well.
     
  9. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    In the simplest terms, they are two methods of training dogs to hit the yellow section at the end of contact equipment in agility (particularly the A-Frame and Dogwalk). In running contacts, the dogs are trained to step on the yellow as they run through -- without stopping. In 2o2o (two-on-two-off) the dog is trained to run to the end of the contact and stop with his rear feet on the board and his front feet on the ground and wait for release.
     
  10. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    I've thought about this a lot for Quinn.
    I'm about to start training her contacts now but I think I'd like to do 2o-2o for the dogwalk and RC for the A-frame due to her being very straight through her front end.

    I want to keep2o2o for the dogwalk purely from a speed factor. I think she'll be too fast for me if I didn't have some points to stop her while I evaluate.
     
  11. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    If it's only speed stopping you and you are capable of running, distance skills would solve your problem. The only time I've seen a handler *need* 2o/2o is when they had a handicap that prevented them from moving through the course.

    Nothing wrong with a 2o/2o, but I have seen some REALLY speedy border collies handled with nice running contacts, given enough information ahead of time.
     
  12. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    You have gotten a lot of good answers so far. I want to touch on running contacts a bit more. I love everything about running contacts :)

    Running contacts require a lot of dedication to properly train. It isn't just a matter of not asking your dog for a contact behavior. 2o2o you can train almost entirely away from any sort of equipment, in your living room even. Unless you have a very big living room and a small dog, running contacts will require you have a long plank (12') and room to set up up so that your dog can run to it and continue to run off of it. It will require many, many, many, many, many repetitions of running that plank at full speed. First with the plank on the ground, then with one end on a brick, then on a cement block, then back to the brick when your dog starts jumping, etc. Months of slowly increasing the height and then going back to a lower height when your dog starts jumping instead of running. You can train most of your running contacts with just one or two planks if need be but you have to get creative when it gets too high for your dog to jump onto. At some point later in the training, you will need access to a full sized dog walk. And preferably a few places you can practice different dogwalks. I was able to get away with moving Savvy from a long board to a short dogwalk (8' planks) for home practice because of his size. I'd also sometimes set it up with one long down ramp. With a Beuceron, you'll definitely need the full sized dogwalk for the later training.

    Running contacts take time. I started Savvy with Silvia Trkman's method last February and he his first full sized running dogwalk was in November. I only recently started really working on the a-frame and we do seem to have gotten it without much extra work. He is not solid in trials yet but that is pretty normal. You can see some videos of his progress here: http://www.youtube.com/user/NPuccini

    While it is a lot of work, it's also a lot of fun. It was a great way to exercise Savvy all through spring, summer and fall...running back and forth, back and forth at full speed. It lays an excellent foundation for obstacle commitment and confidence and it builds drive, enthusiasm and speed. Those are things that you don't get with 2o2o training.

    I'm not entirely sure a true, 100% trained 2o2o is all that much quicker or easier TBH. Most people seem to have "somewhat trained" 2o2o, at least around here. By that I mean the dog will stop if the handler stops or slows down and gives cues for the dog to stop. To train a dog to a super reliable 2o2o where they will stop no matter where the handler is, what the handler is doing and remain there until released probably takes at least as many reps as a running contact for most dogs. However, like I said you don't need access to the full sized equipment. You can practice on steps, short boards, etc. I don't think running contacts will be harder to maintain for a fast dog. It seems to me that stopping is exactly what most fast dogs don't want to do and over the dogs competitive lifetime, they need fairly regular reminders that staying in 2o2o is rewarding...because they'd rather be running.

    There is a huge difference between having a running contact...and just letting your dog naturally run over the equipment and hoping for the best. I had one that I allowed to natually run over the equipment. She hit the contacts naturally, every single time for the first 2 years. Then one day she realized how much faster jumping off midway was. And this was her at 10 years old:
    [​IMG]

    Just not doing anything and hoping for the best is the least reliable method of contacts for sure. If your dog is slower and remains slower, it might work. If your dog speeds up though, it will change their striding and they may stop hitting the yellow. If your dog is already fast, they may realize there is a faster way to do contacts.

    So that's my take on running contacts. I don't think anything about the reps needed for it are at all harmful to the dog. I know that is something that is commonly brought up as a concern. With ST's method, you don't even really train on the a-frame very much at all and I don't think running a plank is all that high impact or concerning. Even running the full size dogwalk, I don't know how that would be too concerning. But then my dogs run and jump and are crazy in every day life. Anyway we go for a hike in the woods they are doing far more concerning things than running over a dogwalk ;)
     
  13. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    I do a stopped contact with Zuma and am training a modified stopped contact with Zinga. My biggest concern was the A-frame and I battled with the decision for quite a while for the same health concern. However, in the end I decided that with her being the explosive fast dog that she is that I needed the option of stopping her for certain handling situations. Now that she has a defined criteria and is consistent with it, I rarely drill her on the a-frame. In my experience, it's the reps that do damage to the dog whether its slamming into the 2o2o position or weaving or any of the other motions they do.

    For Zinga, I am training 2o2o right now to get her thinking about being able to stop and I plan on dissolving it into a "running" contact later. From there I'm training an extremely reliable down at a distance and plan on using that at the bottom of contacts when needed otherwise letting her run. One of my favorite local handlers/instructors uses this method and we've discussed it at great lengths. I am excited to see what happens!
     
  14. ~WelshStump~

    ~WelshStump~ New Member

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    You guys are amazing, really.

    Those are all great points to be made, and something I was thinking of, I do notice with Enda she slows as we get towards the bottom, but she does sometime plop half off slamming her front to the ground, where others she will slide towards the end of the a-frame and stop. I think I'll do more of what SaraB is doing and modify the technique, as well as see if I can shape her for more of the sliding and leaning back, while trying not to reward the actual 2o-2o and slamming off. I think that's one thing that's disrupted our training a bit too, and I'll see if I can discuss this with our trainer when we go back and hope she understands what I'm going for.

    I would love to see a video, in fact I'm sure everyone would and it could be very beneficial for anyone who's training to watch, to have an example out there of what it looks like when it's done right!

    This is also something that I've seen in the Beauceron group, many people were mentioning training just the a-frame as a running and the rest still as 2o-2o, I'm not sure about it, it seems like it would get just a little confusing possibly? I will say though, that when I was training Jinjo I used what is now called running contacts (I'm not actually sure how much was labeled by a technique back then? I can't believe it's been this long!), seeing as how he's so freaking short, I had no worries about him jumping off the end of the contacts, lol! So I just trained him to make sure he went all the way to the end of the board before coming off strait and rewarding him. He was awesome! I almost can't wait to train another Corgi, and I've only just started with Enda, I must be crazy.

    This sound like a good plan! And I think in the end I'm going to try for a modified version of 2o-2o first.

    And @ Aeron, For anyone who is interested, I did rent an excellent DVD that did break down all the conflicts in training 2o-2o that was mentioned and I recommend anyone watch it if you want to train that way: "2-On/2-Off Contacts Made Easy". Unfortunately I am having problems with Enda and either not stopping or stopping once she's all the way off if I don't slow down or don't get ahead of her, and I don't have a good set up right now to practice so it might have to wait till classes start again or it stops snowing/being muddy outside (my basement was "rearranged" so I can't work down there currently! UGH!).

    (two Captchas, check out this one! "the mjias" ...EDIT, 3rd captcha!!)
     
  15. PawsibleDogs

    PawsibleDogs Crazy Dog Nerd

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    Be careful with the sliding -- for one it probably won't hold up well on rubberized contacts, and also on sand-based contacts she could jam or even fracture toes on the slats.
     
  16. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    This. Also, wearing down of paw pads on both types of contacts is something to watch out for.
     
  17. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    I would be very, very careful with the idea of training a 2o2o and then just changing to letting them run without ever asking for the 2o2o again. A lot of people who try that seem to end up with fly off issues down the road, at least with faster, bigger dogs.

    It sounds like your biggest issue is that Enda doesn't have a solid understanding of the criteria for her contact performance, resulting in contact behavior that isn't solid. A lot of people do quick releases once there dog is solid on the contacts, although IME some people strt them and quickly lose their contact behavior all together. Dogs really just want to run ;) But even for a quick release, your dog needs to have a solid contact performance to start with or you're just muddying the waters even further.


    This dog is being quick released on the DW I would assume (or she's trained for both running and stopped...hard to tell as SG has contradicted herself a bit on her contact training) but her teeter contact performance is a great example of a 2o2o where the dog is trained to rock their weight back. This sort of contact is trained by using a nose target on the floor.

    This video shows how to start training this nose touch contact behavior:

    http://youtu.be/bLo3uUp_vfI

    There's also the Four On The Floor method, which is a "modified running" or "modified stopped" contact depending on how you look at it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtVqdPy7GXo

    I think most people who train this early release in trials.

    You could also train for a four on the equipment stop, which would prevent the slamming into the floor.

    Corgis can definitely fly off. Trust me :)

    Running a-frame and stopped dogwalk is pretty popular these days. Rachel Sanders running contact method is only for running aframes, not dogwalks.


    This sound like a good plan! And I think in the end I'm going to try for a modified version of 2o-2o first. It seems very do-able and is another option to consider.

    The main thing with contacts, regardless of what you pick is you need to have clear, easy to understand criteria, start super easy so the dog is able to be right more often than not, very gradually increase the difficulty and don't be afraid to make it easier again. I think very, very often people settle for "good enough" contacts because they want to be running sequences in class or getting ready to enter trials. I have been guilty of this myself :) But when you allow big holes like that in your foundation, you're eventually going to have to go back and fill them in...and it's almost always easiest to train it the right way from the start than try to fix it.
     
  18. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Btw if you want to see gorgeous 2o2o contats check out gabrielle blackburn & Zing on YouTube. I think her screenname is ZingQ. They are one of the fastet teams in the US (they won their height divisions at *both* AKC and USDAA nationals last year) and very fun to watch.
     
  19. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    Kes has a 4 on contact behavior - avoids the shoulder issue and is clearer for me than 4 off. That said, it's not something I trained super well, so I still use body language to get it solid, but it's held up in competition even when his focus has been elsewhere and that makes me happy. :)
     
  20. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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