Training contacts

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Laurelin, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Okay so Summer was taught to do running contacts. My new trainer does 2o/2o and recommended teaching summer those instead. So far... it's just confusing her because she's so programmed to go fast.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Ooooh, 2o2o irritates me for some reason.... I like running contacts because they don't break up the flow of the course. 'Course Luna's small enough that she almost never jumps over the contacts, so it's never been a problem for us. I dred the day I get a bigger dog and have to actually teach contacts. ;)

    Seriously, though, is Summer missing the contacts or are you just wanting to teach 2o2o for the heck of it?

    I think the way some people in my club taught it was that they got a target - brightly colored little plastic disk, like the red lid from a treat canister - and taught the dog that really smelly treats would be on the target. The dogs then learned to look for the target at the end of the contacts, getting your 2o2o. Eventually then you'd fade the treats and then fade the target altogether. I haven't tried it, but they seemed to get decently good results.
     
  3. MericoX

    MericoX Roos, Poos, & a Wog!

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    If running contacts work for you then do them, explain to the trainer you'd prefer that versus the 2o2o. Kiba does running contacts, and so will the rest of the crew, unless (since they are still behind her in training) they are super fast or blowing contacts.
     
  4. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    steve, if we ever get back into agility, will have stopped contacts so that i have brakes. speedy freaking dog.

    i taught him largely with a target, though i never baited it with food. i used a clicker and a board on the ground (flat, and then with one end raised). i did use my body to help him find the right position (two on two off head down) at first, but he caught on pretty quickly.

    one thing i've really appreciated about the agility trainers i've had is that they never told me i *needed* to have one type of contact or another. we talked about the pros and cons of each, about my needs (super fast agility dog, completely novice handler), and they helped me figure out what would be likely to work best for me.
     
  5. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Summer is small enough like Luna that contacts aren't really an issue. EXCEPT on the teeter. She likes to jump the end of the teeter so I am definitely working on an 'slow down' on the teeter. The target approach is what they do here. It works really well for all the dogs but Summer. Summer is very ingrained to just keep going and since our class is made up of one giant dog, one medium, and a toy sized dog I have a bad habit of forgetting to move the target in closer. Because when the giant schnauzer is 2o2o the disk is way too far for Summer to reach with feet still on the contact.
     
  6. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Summer's a medium speed dog. She's the fastest dog in our class by far though regardless of size. The other two are kind of big lumbering type dogs (one is an aussie but she's the least drivey aussie I've ever seen). I don't think blowing contacts for speed is a big problem for Summer (minus the teeter again).

    The teeter just takes a few seconds to tip since she's so small. She gets impatient and jumps for it.

    ETA: I've also noticed Summer doesn't do well with breaks in the middle of things (like waiting at the end of a target). She sometimes loses focus and it takes her a minute to regroup whereas without the 2o2o, she will keep going much steadier.
     
  7. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Oh yeah, I forgot that Luna does jump off the teeter. :) Basically when I taught her not to jump off, I'd just run up in front of it, facing her, and pretty much body block her to keep her on. Now I still have to babysit her teeters, running beside her (instead of in front of her) to slow her down on it.

    I think if I were to do the teeter all over again, I'd put her on the end of it and click when it hit the ground (letting it fall in a controlled way, of course); then treat her on the teeter... trying to teach her to make it go down herself.

    As it is, most of the time we have teeters I just make any excuse to do a front cross while she's on the teeter... it really masks any "issues" we might have. ;)

    Did I mention that I'm SOOOO not an agility pro? LOL.
     
  8. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Laur, I am a little confused, you have running contacts for the teeter? I wouldn't advise that, nor do I like 2o2o for the teeter as it often can bounce and hit a smaller dog in the belly. Therefore I teach a rock back, ride it down and a stopped contact for the teeter. For the DW, I like a stopped contact or 2o2o, mainly because of our Gamblers class in AAC where it is common to flip the dog in a 180 away from the handler to another obstacle and because it can be hard to beat a dog to the end of the DW.
    So my dogs and students dogs, learn ..............
    DW = Stopped
    Teeter= Ride it down, stopped.
    Frame = Running, and/or a very fast 2o2o.

    As for her being confused, give it time, they can be retrained to change the contact criteria, but make sure you change the name of it.
     
  9. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    No, we don't do 2o2o for the teeter. I'm just having trouble slowing her down on the teeter and she's essentially just running off the end. But the other contacts she's fine doing running contacts and always (for the most part) hits them without stopping. But my trainer and the other students all do 2o2o. I just don't know if I should change Summer to 2o2o or keep her doing running contacts.
     
  10. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Backchain the teeter and teach her how to back up (on the flat first) which is how get them to rock back and tip it down. Make sense? If not I can explain in more detail.
     
  11. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Please do? You teach them to back up while the teeter's going down? How do you then backchain that?
     
  12. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    K that makes sense. It seems as she's gaining confidence her speed is increasing and I'm pretty sure there's going to be a point where I'm going to end up in a situation like you mentioned with the dogwalk where she's reaching the end before me. She's not super fast but she's still faster than me.

    Can you explain a bit more? I'm working her on a flat board at the moment.
     
  13. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Ok, this is hard to explain but I'll give it a go lol.

    First off, no you don't teach them to back up the teeter. You teach them to back up on the flat, good place is between a sofa and a coffee table or other object where they can't turn around. Teaches them hind end awareness and how to rock back onto their hind end.

    For backchaining the teeter, you prop up the down end so the Up end is on the ground. Have the dog get on it and do your contact criteria, which of course has already been train with a target and a plank or contact board.
    Make sure you don't forget your release word before allowing them to leave the contact zone.
    When they are on the teeter in the contact zone, put your foot under it and move it up and down a couple of inches. The goal is to get the dog to get on further and further up the teeter from the side and moving down to the contact zone, bounce it, release. Also work on lateral distance and moving ahead of them with them remaining in the zone until released.
    Then we add a pause table on the side of the teeter, so the dogs can easily get on closer to the middle. We also change the angle of the teeter by changing how it is propped up. By raise the end off the ground and increasing how much they have to bring it down. By the time the dog is getting on the side at the pivot point, the teeter should be almost level, so the dog learns to bring it down. At this point we ask them to back up 1 step, to teach them that they control it at the pivot point.
    You just keep moving the pause table back towards the start of the teeter and the angle of the teeter progresses to being in the normal teeter position.

    Another method is to put the pause table under the teeter at either end, so the drop isn't so far.

    Also by the time you have backchained the teeter, you have done your contact criteria countless times.

    Make sense?
     
  14. MericoX

    MericoX Roos, Poos, & a Wog!

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    Kiba is trained to run up and stop a little more than halfway (she stops when it starts to tip) and then continues on when it's dropped.
     
  15. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Yeah, that's kinda what I had pictured, I just never thought of using a backup to teach them to control the pivot point. Interesting!
     
  16. SisMorphine

    SisMorphine Your Mom

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    Teeny has running contacts, though her basics were in 2o2o (we went to different training facilities for her basics vs. when we actually started running). I was told that I would have problems with the running contacts since Teeny is so big (she's only 62 pounds, poor girl LOL) and so fast. Thus far (fingers crossed) it has not proven to be an issue. If she flies off of something (which I think I can count on one hand the number of times that has ever happened) she gets a negative marker and we go back to the beginning of the sequence.

    As far as the teeter, I literally taught Teeny nothing new. She already knew that the "wait" command means "stop walking towards me goddamnit!" So I give her the "wait" and she hangs out until it bangs and I say "okay" (which is her release) and we keep on hustling.

    Teeny is WAY faster than me. WAY faster. And though we're still working on our distance handling, she has enough OB on her that she listens to my commands and I can quickly pull or push her in different directions if necessary. We're getting ready to start on our distance handling once we're done with PSA regionals in Sept. I can't wait!
     

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