Agility training

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

  1. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Interestingly enough, Meg got far faster on the contacts when I switched her to a stopped contact. She's softer than butter, and absolutely needs to know what she needs to do to be right, or she stresses and shuts down. A stopped contact is so much clearer to her, especially when you add in human error for reinforcement timing. She would creep down her "running" contacts looking for the point of reinforcement; with stopped, she can drive straight down into it. Granted, training Meg has made me stop expecting the expected in just about everything, so I'm not sure why I'd find that surprising!

    More than anything, I think it is important for trainers and students to be willing to figure out what is right for them and their dog. It is one of the things I love best about where I train; everything is tailored to each pair. In our performance puppy class, we have two dogs doing a 2o2o, one dog doing running with a treat thrown, and one doing running with hoops. Meg's competition class has a few dogs doing super running contacts and a few doing super stopped contacts. My trainer has 2 competition dogs doing stopped, one doing running.

    Gusto is doing stopped contacts for both his sake and mine. He is a dog for whom speed and drive will likely never be an issue - control will be. He's built great for stopped contacts (much better than Meg, which is why I had originally wanted to do running with her). I like the very defined criteria myself (hello, obsessive dressage rider), and I like and likely need that moment to help my handling! I don't expect to go to Worlds where those 1/10ths of seconds count (and let's be honest, when you get to that point, you early release and fix the issue later :p). I'd like to go back to Cynosport with Gusto in a few years, and if he does as well there as Meg did with her stopped contacts, I will be over the moon!
     
  2. nikkiluvsu15

    nikkiluvsu15 Wild At Heart

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    She definitely loves it! Haven't deciding on trialing yet - I think we've still got a way to go... and by we, I definitely mean myself :p

    Here she is working on weaves in early January. Haven't got a new video since then. Trying to build drive/speed, as well as getting down different entrance positions and such.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnh2O81XTuw
     
  3. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Just to clarify, in AAC the vast majority of dogs (at least those trained in the last 3-4 yrs and the ones I have seen and/or know from Ontario and Quebec) have RC's. Yes there are some that are still training stopped or
    2o2o but those that are looking to be highly competitive have running. I also know many ppl that have retrained from 2o2o to RC lately. DW and Frame, some even have running/riding it down and fly teeters as well. And it isn't the slow dogs either, it's the stinking fast dogs. Only reasons some are still training stopped contacts (me being one of them with my young dog because I have health issues and thinking of the day when I may need that stop) is, 1) not up on the latest trends and training methods 2) need a dog to stop because of the handlers lack of skill or physical limitations. 3) Running dogs that were trained with stopped/2o2o and don't want to risk retraining or changing what works.

    As for our courses, yes very much a international or european style is present, especially at Masters. Many training facilities and seminars are now offering classes to help people prepare for it. Tight, tight courses, pull/push throughts, back jumping, nasty entries and awkward serps are the norm.

    This is the finals of the Steeplechase at the AAC Nationals from last year (2011), most of the dogs had RCs, that observation isn't from this short video of a few dogs but from being there.

    http://dogsport.org/dynamodogs/archives/4517
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  4. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Do you see different/stronger support skills being trained (directions, strong voice discrim, etc.) or are most people doing what I would do and mostly just getting some distance and hauling a** to get to where they need to be? lol

    The only reason Mira doesn't have true running contacts is because I had no contact access at all during the vast majority of her training. Not once a week or once a month...none. Moved states at the wrong time! She learned mostly on a 4' contact board. Which "worked" but contacts are the weakest part of her performance in terms of confidence and speed (though ironically she's never missed a contact in competition, at least so far).
     
  5. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    From what I have seen (granted I haven't been travelling as much to trial) is people not having 'real' RC but training a stop and then releasing early so you can still have the stop if you need to but can also have the speed of a RC. Its hard to see unless you listen for their release as the dog comes down the equip that it isnt' just a RC.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5NYJSwwo-U this dog was trained with stops, can you tell its not a 'real' running contact?

    or this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5nCx-oJvak now you can see in many cases the dog rock back and be ready to stop, but don't.

    Not saying no one is training RC! people are. But has been mentioned judges are now making traps for dogs who either have no stop or lack excellent directionals/contact discrimination. A stop doesn't have to be long.
     
  6. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    If you're well versed in how RCs are trained (not just dogs who hit them because they are slow or dogs who have HopeNPray contacts) it isn't that hard to tell, especially on the DW. With dogs trained for a 2o2o release, there will be deceleration on the down ramp. FWIW the aframe got called on that last video. Also SG now claims her past 3 or so dogs were all trained to do both RCs and 2o2o.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHgBDsWPToY

    This might be one of the first dogs to ever compete at the highest levels (2x World Champion I believe?) with a trained RC. She's 9 years old in this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGLh3u-xW14

    This gives a good idea about how turns are taught:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWDaddzV8nw

    My dog who developed a creeping issue on the contacts is a pretty bold, confident dog and not what I would call soft. I think it's often more of an anticipation issue. Regardless, if SG's recent blog is any indication lots and lots of people struggle with creeping into the stopped contact position.
     
  7. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    At least once a week for Sloan.


    Now we're focusing on weave entry because I'm finding in a full course with tight turns she's totally missing her entry. Back track and rework time.
     
  8. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Exactly. But not everyone knows what to look for.

    AND I would rather my dog rock back on their hocks and not slam into the ground with the front end at the bottom of the frame. (dog walk is no biggie)
     
  9. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    I swear I know a thing or two about training dogs, but when I read some of these responses, I don't know what the **** you guys are talking about :) I need to learn some new lingo apparently as I am definitely not well versed in agility speak :D

    RC's, isn't that a remote car or airplane?

    HopeNpray- is that something in church? this could be very valuable in dog training as well. I'm sure we've all been there before.
    DW? Divorced wife?
    2o2o, ( think is 2 on 2 off??)
    SG's (that's a rating to me :) )
     
  10. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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  11. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    RCs should be remote control cars because they are awesome :p

    RC = Running Contacts
    DW = Dog Walk (obstacle)
    HopeNPray = Again I like your definition better lol. In this context, basically contacts behaviors that aren't really trained reliably so the handler has to manage them and/or pray the dog happens to step on the yellow as they fly by... :)
    2o2o = Yup two-on-two-off contact behavior
    SG = Susan Garrett, a big name in agility (who will put RCs on your dog in 3 weeks if you have $5k to spend :p)
     
  12. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    RC can also be rear cross.
     
  13. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Yeah probably depends on locale. Here we use RX for rear rosses to avoid confusion.
     
  14. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    ahhhh, it's starting to make more sense :) thanks for the interpretation
     
  15. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    :rofl1: I'll give you a chuckle about new lingo, years ago I had a working spot at a Greg Derrett workshop/seminar for a few days. While different people were out on course running the exercise he would yell 'Run!!', during my turn he yelled 'RLF, RLF!!!' At a dead run, all the agility terms and acronyms were flying through my head and for the life of me, I didn't know what RLF meant. At the end of the sequence (short course/exercise for skill building) I turn to him and asked, 'What the hell is RLF??" He comes over, leans down and whispers in my ear..........Run Like F.......K lmao.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  16. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Shai, yes absolutely, the skills sets on the dogs and handlers is so much higher than it used to be, even 5 yrs ago.

    We are seeing some very interesting courses, a blend of N.A and European. In Europe with the courses being so tight, pull/push throughs etc the dogs run in a state of collection, according to my trainer who has competed and won at Worlds and recently. Where as here in N.A the dogs have to run more in a state of extension until recently, now we have a mix of the two styles.

    People are training directionals and esp. decel/accel cues. It isn't the norm to see dogs arch or take wide corners anymore. In short if a dog arches or turns wide the question becomes was the training correct or was the handler late with the cue, therefore the dog not being able to read it properly and not prepare for the turn before the jump. Another thing that is also very common is actually teaching dogs HOW to jump properly, as part of the foundation training and it is a large part of the training programs.
     
  17. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    It always amazes me how much has changed. It has always been a extension/collection combination in my time (except for the above mentioned venues) but even in my short stint in agility so far it has become more so...it's fascinating :). And I came on board after the jump training revolution (so to speak) but since my first training facility was way behind the times I didn't catch on to that part til some months later...fortunately my first dog is a nice natural jumper...

    Thanks for sharing your observations...always nice to see the perspectives of people who've been in the game longer and really excel :)

    Since the courses are still relatively open in the US we don't see as many verbal directionals (depending on locale) unless it's very particular or the handler is attempting to compensate for a mistake. Exceptions being say Stuart Mah and cohorts. But the more the courses tighten up, the more those skills come back to the forefront even in the people winning at the top. It's interesting...for a long time verbals were eschewed by many who followed the Mecklenburg type method which spread rapidly...

    OT question: was the RLF comment with regard to running Petey? Lol
     
  18. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    He is hilarious. I audited a seminar with him once and got a kick out of him calling people mother-flickers when they were handling their dogs. ("Flicking" your dog away from you with an arm is frowned upon in his handling system.) Lol.
     
  19. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Oh yes, I love it, agility is almost a science now. The top handlers and trainers are dissecting everything to try and figure out how to get an edge. When you consider that at Worlds, there can be a second or less between 1st and 30th place and only clean runs count. Any fault and it is a big ol E.
    These people are just not looking at how a dog jumps, they are training to a level that they control everything about how their dogs jump. Specfically where the dog takes off (and that changes with the decel/accel), lands, turns (IA) and they obsessing if the dog jumped closer to the middle instead of tight to a standard. Then, how they could have trained or handled it better to get the results they want. True it is only a small percentage that is like that but we are seeing the results as it filters down to the lower levels.

    Yes, the RLF comment was when I was running Petie :D At almost 13 yrs of age, he is stilling running agility and at 5 yps (yards per second for the non agility folks) and he has slowed down from his age alone. I had stopped trialing him, but he started to fail a bit and was a tad depressed, so we started again. I had to get over my fears because he goes hard and fast and frankly scares the crap out of me. I was trying to babysit him and trying to slow him down and it just wasn't working. People told me to get in gear and RUN him. He still wanted to play and my efforts to slow him down were not working. He is flying, laying down clean runs and having the time of his life still and he is so much fun to run, always has been. He'll tell me when he can't compete anymore, so he calls the shots. It does't matter whether or not he Q's or earns anymore Titles. We just have fun. At the trials everyone still loves watching him run, he still has the 'wow factor'. They love it more when we cross the finish line and my ol grey faced boy races around me in a half playbow with the happiest grin on his face..........Priceless.
     
  20. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    lol, yes he is. And flicking is so bad almost in the same league as evil arm :D
     

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