Agility training

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Panzerotti, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    I'm curious, but not $600 worth curious. It is tempting though....
     
  2. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    $800-900 if you want to see the running contact stuff too. Leapin' heartattack Lizards.
     
  3. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    Oh yeah, and of course that's what I'd want. But I'm definitely not $900 curious!

    If I were to spring for a contact course, it would be Silvia Trkman's for sure. But for now I'll go it on my own seeing that she is super awesome and shares a lot of her knowledge for free! :hail:
     
  4. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Yeah I mean I honestly am curious because I've found her skill teaching methods to be very intuitive for me and my dogs have responded well to them. But holy smokes.

    I have no trouble at all paying folks for their expertise. I realize there are quite a few people who make a living from all this and well agility at least in the U.S. is a rather expensive hobby anyway. If it's something I truly think will be of value I will look at the price and move things around and see if I can make it fit.

    But to have information priced, right out the gate, so far beyond anything I could ever possibly justify to myself...it's just very disappointing to say the least. I guess I tend to approach the evolution of agility as a scientific effort where constant experimentation, information sharing, and innovation is part of what drives the sport to the next height. But the price tags being tacked on some things lately just smacks too strongly of commercialization and holding progress ransom for me.

    I'm not sure how to word my gut reaction clearly but that's the best I can do at the moment.

    /soapbox



    In other news Mira has her first class of the season tonight and was just flippin' fabulous. Whatta dog. I tried a couple not-often-seen maneuvers with her tonight and she drove on through them just like I hoped then transitioned smoothly to tight collection on forward send jump wraps, leaving hair on the jump uprights then accelerating out of it. As her confidence grows I'm hoping to see more and more of this in trial situations as well...hard to remember she's only 2 sometimes.

    I don't have anyone else in class at the moment since there's only one local class that I really get much from, but I did bring Webby along and practiced with him in the side field after Mira's class was over -- new place for him after a long long hiatus (read: he quasi-retired this time last year)...just recently I've been going back to a bit of skill refreshing with him with a heavy emphasis on motivation transfer...and he was really really on tonight. Demanding to work, running hard, finding paths and seeking out obstacles instead of holding back or trying to disconnect...just having fun.

    Running both M & W tonight just felt wonderful :) Go pups go!
     
  5. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    So Karen Holik's been teaching all week at the facility I work at. I just audited on Tuesday (baby dog seminar) and Wednesday (master handling), but today I ran Zuma in her contact seminar. I specifically wanted her to see Zuma's creepy A-frame and have her help me decide whether or not to do a running A-frame with her or stay with her 2o2o. The official verdict is 2o2o because Zuma decided to do her A-frame PERFECTLY every dang time. Apparently breaking her 2o2o and running her over it over and over again did the trick because she's no longer sticky. Lets just hope it stays that way!! (and by that I mean, I'm going to lower it and proof it a whole freaking bunch and MAKE it stay that way.)

    Anyways, we have a trial this weekend so cross your fingers her A-frames are nice!!
     
  6. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    Sounds like a successful seminar! Good luck this weekend!

    I have decided to go back to 2o2o contact training. I'm feeling so frustrated at the time I've wasted with running contact training. She is fine with the wide board, but I get jumping every time I transition to the narrow one. At least with 2o2o it's trainable off the equipment. Back to basics yet again. :(
     
  7. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Have you shot Silvia Trkman an e-mail? IIRC you're using her method, right? I think I would be tempted to e-mail her and ask if she has any advice before totally throwing in the towel. From what I have heard other people say, she is very very nice and happy to answer questions... it's worth a shot anyway!
     
  8. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    Meh, the way I see it, 2o2o is so black and white, the training goes so much faster. The dog clearly sees what is expected of them and what earns them the reward. What I see with RC is that most the time the dog is so high they have no clue what they are doing anyways, they are just moving towards the toy. Karen brought up some good points about training RC today (she uses both, depends on the dog), sometimes you just can't train it with a toy right away and food rewards work better. So interesting to hear the differences of all the methods from someone who has put them to real life use.
     
  9. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    I considered it, but didn't want to bother her for free advice. I'd feel bad even though she does seem super nice. I was thinking of doing her RC course over the summer, but re-thinking the pros and cons (plus my current frustration), I think I'll go back to 2o2o.

    This is what I'm seeing now. After weeks of training, I still feel that Pan doesn't really get what she is supposed to be doing. And then add in having to train turns....I feel like I'll still be training contacts all the way into next summer!

    Now I'm wishing I had shelled out the $600 for the SG course!!!
     
  10. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    Sorry to hear you've given up on RCs but i can understand. Savvy hasn't progressed quite as far as I would have liked by now but then, I haven't been working on it the way I should be. Shows, training classes and rain has meant that he's only gotten worked a handful of times in the past month. He's definitely making steady progress despite our on again, off a lot work on it.

    I can't say I haven't had the same thoughts as you - that maybe it would be quicker/easier/better to switch to 2o2o. Teaching RCs is based on the thing I probably like the least in training - lots of repetitions with very, very small steps. But then I think, I'm not sure how much faster it really is in the end. I mean, you definitely can get the dog doing full height equipment with a stop vs RC. But when you add in all the proofing and problem solving if the dog gets creepy and what not, I'm not sure 2o2o really is faster or not. That is getting a fast and reliable 2o2o with a fast, driven dog vs. getting a fast, reliable RC with a fast, driven dog. I know quite a lot of dogs who I'd consider to be very well trained on 2o2o and trained by good trainers who seem to regularly need "tune ups" on the contacts. Either because they aren't sticking them in trials or because they are creeping. There's definitely challenges with both methods. It is convenient that you can practice 2o2o just about anywhere though. And it's a more, I don't know comfortable method for most people? Familiar? I have never known anyone IRL who's taught RCs. Everything about the process is outside of my realm of experience.

    Silvia Trkman says that you should be able to teach a RC in about 4 months. But it seems a lot of people never get past the very beginning stages or they struggle with it for over a year. I think it's possible for most dogs to learn RCs but I'm not sure it's possible for most trainers to do it. I'd really like to get into her May RC class but I don't think I'll have the money for it.
     
  11. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    Yeah, I ran out of patience. It started getting annoying piling stuff up to raise the board increment by increment, then trying to make the board stable and not wobbly. And it's so frustrating when she can run the wide board perfectly but reverts to launching on the narrow one. I really don't like to feel frustrated with my dog when training, especially when she is obviously having a blast soaring off the board, lol. I initially thought that RC would be more fun for both of us, but it didn't turn out to be the case.

    I know I could have stuck it out, but I was also running out of ideas as to how I was going to be able to practice enough once she reached full dogwalk height. I underestimated the amount of reps and time the method requires, even though Silvia warns about it first thing on her website.

    I'm still super interested in following along with your RC training though....it would be cool if you could swing taking her course over the summer!
     
  12. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Sorry you guys are having a rough time with the RC. Aleron, I hope you can work through it with Savvy...Panz, good luck with retraining. Hopefully all that running has laid a good foundation for striding out along the board and you will be able to segue that into a quick & glorious stopped contact.

    Don't have any advice...haven't personally done true RCs yet...just wanted to wish you both luck.
     
  13. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    Yeah it's definitely repetitive and you can't really do much with contacts in training until you have it. I made the mistake of going up in height too quickly a couple weeks ago and started getting lots of jumping. The instructions are for really, really gradual increases in height. I went up maybe a foot to get him on the lowered DW because...well it's easier than the raised plank. He was good on the plank and I really didn't think it would be a problem but sure enough, he started jumping more than not. So back to the plank. We're now doing a mix of fast approaches (running out of a tunnel) and slower approaches (from a sit) on the plank and he's doing pretty good. But sometimes there are set backs and that does get frustrating.

    Still have a few weeks to decide on ST's course. It'd be really cool if I could take it! Maybe it will help me focus!

    Thanks!

    I'm planning to stick it out with Savvy. I don't see him being ready to compete until next year anyway (he only just turned a year old) and with three dogs trialing to some degree, my wallet is in no hurry to start trialing him ;) With us, I think it's more that I just haven't put the time in than anything else. I can't really fairly say we haven't made good progress when I haven't been working on it regularly. And I'm still pretty set that I really want RCs LOL It's like a training challenge!

    I have gone back and forth with Whim but right now, I sort of don't want to fix what isn't broken. I'd love for her to have RCs too but I just don't know if it's worth it to retrain her because I do think retraining can cause confusion in some cases. But of course, there's people who have both a 2o2o and RC on different cues and their dogs seem to do ok.
     
  14. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    Ah, yeah, trialing does get expensive so I can see how you don't mind taking your time with Savvy. :) Do you have any more video of your RC?

    To me training a solid 2o2o is also a training challenge since I've never done it. My last dog had kind of stop/slow down whatever contacts, lol.

    I reintroduced nose touches on a little target last night and she loves it. Plus we already did 2 sessions of practicing holding 2o2o on stairs in our building. Woohoo!
     
  15. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    LOL it sure does get expensive! Two of the dogs I'm trialing right now are 9 and 10 years old and mostly just for fun. I figure Savvy will be ready when they are getting close to retirement but of course, I hope they will stay fit and able to run for longer than that. But with Savvy being an young boy dog, I figure he probably won't be ready for another year. I love boy dogs for performance but IME they often take longer to come together.

    I will have to get some new RC videos. We are having hard drive issues and for awhile, I couldn't even upload anything to the computer so I sort of got out of the habit of videoing our sessions. I really need to start doing that again though for sure!

    LOL that was what I usually did too! Whimsy is my first dog who's actually trained a 2o2o and has a nice stopped contact. Jagger was 4on and has a very poor stopped contact (creepy, anticipating, etc). Everyone else was just...hope for the best!

    Yay!!
     
  16. Finkie_Mom

    Finkie_Mom It's A Red Dog Revolution

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    I'm not sure what Kimma is doing LOL. Well, I mean, she never misses a contact now, so we've just been doing running. I never trained a RC, but I did work on 2o2o for forever and somehow it never transferred from, say, steps somewhere or a curb to the equipment. It was super frustrating! If I had any contact stuff at home, I think it would be different, but it is so much easier to just let her run down. She's also smaller than most of your guys so maybe that has something to do with it?

    Like she's just fine here:
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcXWwsxHTQw
    And here:
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CRdRa1zDJ0
    And a bunch of other times. But I never "trained" a RC. Is that wrong???? 2o2o just wasn't working even though she could do it other places besides on the equipment LOL. But I'm wondering if her getting rewarded for doing 2o2o in the past helped her RC? But now that I'm re-watching some of her videos, she does slow down a bit it seems, though....
     
  17. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    Kimma is super cute - I think she's the first of her breed that I've seen doing agility!

    Some dogs can always hit contacts and never have it be an issue without any special training. Those contacts aren't really the same as RC. More like "natural contacts". I know a lot of dogs who generally hit their contacts and have for years but were not trained in any specific way to do it. It is true many small dogs seem to naturally run down low enough to hit the contacts. I know quite a few big dogs who do as well though. However, IME the higher drive your dog is and the more crazy they are for agility, the less likely it is that you will be able to maintain reliable contacts without training. And if you have a high drive, bigger dog it gets even harder. Some dogs have good natural contacts until they build up more speed and contacts become more iffy. Or until they learn it's fun and easy to fly off. I'd say that a fair number of people I see trialing in my area do not have a trained contact. So it's not that uncommon to have untrained contacts and be able to trial. Although it certainly works better for some than others (and not at all in some cases LOL).
     
  18. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    We were discussing it in Gusto's class last night. I'm lucky enough to train at a training center where we have one instructor who has had great success putting running contacts on multiple dogs (good trained running that hold up in trials/turns/distance, not baby sat, or slow and pray!) and one who has trained fantastic stopped contacts. I knew from the start Gusto would have stopped, for both our sakes. A lot of it is handling - I simply can't get where I need to be without a pause.

    But some of it is that I care about consistency. It doesn't matter how good your running contacts are, sometimes they are going to fall apart and sometimes they are going to get called because of judge error. I remember a few years ago, a competitor/trainer who I see at trials a bit had a super round in the finals at the AKC finals. By "super" I mean winning time, totally clean - but called on a contact. The video was posted on YouTube, both in slow motion and regular speed, and in both, it was very clear the dog ran through the yellow. Judge's call. Lost the finals. I also don't trial that much. I'd rather be a second or two slower and get the Qs than lose some of my runs due to missed contacts, real or imagined. Plus, I can pick up the time by training my turns and lines better than others.

    I think there is nothing more fun than watching a dog with killer running contacts (except maybe dogs with killer four-on-the-floor, which I think looks really cool :D), but I'm glad it isn't me and my dog out there!
     
  19. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    2o2o isn't always 100% reliable either. IME 2o2o often requires maintenance or it will fall apart over time too. Like I said, where I train there are dogs who have excellent, reliable 2o2o but it seems like they need regular maintenance. By need maintenance I mean that over time, they start either not stopping at trials or getting creepy (usually the not stopping comes first, then when that is addressed they get creepy). I have seen this cycle repeated over time with them. So while they usually have great 2o2o, they fall apart over time and need a tune up. I have heard RCs require less maintenance in the long run because they are more self rewarding for the dog. I can't say from experience though because like I said, I don't know anyone who has a true RC. Untrained contacts definitely often become less and less reliable over time.

    I don't think there is any method that is going to be 100% with 100% of dogs. Just like dogs sometimes miss entries in weaves/pop out early or knock bars or misjudge where to take off, dogs will sometimes miss their contacts. It doesn't mean the method is wrong or that type of contact is inconsistent, it means you're working with a living being who can make mistakes :)

    That really is too bad about the dog's clean run in the finals. It certainly happens but I don't really think that is a reason to not train RCs either. Certainly World and National Championships have been won with dogs who have RCs. People do trial extremely successfully with RCs.

    My reason for wanting to teach RCs isn't really about trying gain some split second advantage or something of that sort. I'm not really that competitive minded. It's more about my picture of what a perfect agility run looks like. I started agility as a teenager in the 90s, when it was still new to a lot of people. No one taught stopped contacts then but most of the dogs weren't all that fast either. Within a few years though, a lot of people were. And it never seemed quite right to me...to encourage your dog to run as fast as they could then bring them to a stop at multiple points on the course (I dislike the table too LOL). While I definitely see the merits of a stopped contact now, it still doesn't fit into my picture of what agility should look like. RCs very much do. Just like, I'm not really an obedience person but I dabble in it and sometimes compete. I don't teach my dogs the style of heeling I do because I'm ultra competitive. I teach them the style of heeling that I do because to me, that is what obedience should look like.
     
  20. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    1st and Q in JWW! Woohoo, our first JWW Q. Zuma has a tendency to have her mind explode on jumpers courses but she held it together very nicely! However, her mind did explode on the standard course. I couldn't do anything to salvage it, so I just laughed instead. It's hard to remain srs when your dog is having a ball going from obstacle to obstacle like a crazy lady. Don't worry, I'm pretty sure my friend got a video of it.

    Cross your fingers that Zuma doesn't have another mind explosion tomorrow!
     

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