Jump to content
BC Boards

Grrrr - there's no consensus!!


Recommended Posts

Of course when starting to train stopped contacts for the dogwalk and teeter, I want to do it well. I did not do it as well as I wanted to with Dean. I made the mistake of switching up the training plan so many times that I ended up with a lot of partially trained end behaviors and nothing all that solid.

 

I have been bound and determined to do this better with Tessa and I think having a plan and sticking with it (unless there is truly valid reason to alter the plan) is key. I have already made up my mind that I am teaching the 2 on 2 off foot position using a toe board using a blend of backchaining and shaping. Once she learns it on that, I will move it to a short ramp and later to a longer board, and then eventually to the contacts themselves once she has a solid cued position on the boards.

 

The problem I have run into is there seems to be no consensus on the head position at the end of the contact. I was going to use a nose touch to the floor. Now I'm hearing that for a stop, it is better to have the head up in a natural way and a rock back motion in the rear. Aaaaargh.

 

This has been one of the most confounding things in all of Agility for me. I know how I am going to train her weave poles, and her running contact for the A-Frame, and pretty much everything else.

 

But every time I make up my mind about how I'm going to do the 2 on 2 off, I hear conflicting information from reputable sources and then I'm back to questioning my plan.

 

So, if you train a stop, what do you teach for the end position - a nose touch to the floor or target, a rock back, or something else? How has it worked out over the long haul, if you saw it through?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also butchered Brodys contacts, complete ignorance on my part as I had no idea why the position was so important, :huh:

 

There was an article within the last year in Clean Run about using the heads up position, and how the author had transitioned to only training that. I trained Rievaulx where his front paws should be, left the rest to him, his positioning came naturally to him, and he rocks back waiting for his release. If he remembers to stop he has awesome contacts, but sometimes the baby brain, and the desire to play and keep going still takes over, but we have the same problem with weave poles, in the middle of the course they are just getting in the way of getting to the next jump!

 

The lady who we have been taking additional training with this summer ( placed on the podium at AKC and USDAA nationals ) hates a nose touch simply because she thinks its mean to ask a dog to stuff its nose into nasty horse barn dirt. She uses a 2O2O on her older dog, trained her younger with 4 on the floor as a training challenge but does not like it.

 

Personally I like the idea of the dog finding what is comfortable to them, Brody is mildly dysplastic and he always hated a conventional 2O2O basically he would not come down, and when he finally did in a trial he would leap off to avoid the bottom. We have been re-training this summer, I was going for a standing 4 on the floor, but he has turned it into, standing with his back feet just in the yellow at the very bottom, works for him, works for me. I have not tried it yet in a trial, I am waiting till he turns 7 and can run as a vet in NADAC.

 

I use a stopped contact on all the equipment, 2 reasons: Rievaulx is blazing fast, and although I am a reasonably fit 46, I have to admit I am still a middle aged women with no hope of keeping up with a fast border collie, and the other is there is so much to train, that I am not a good enough trainer to manage everything well. I know there are reasons to use a running A-frame but I really do not think my training skills are good enough.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found that using a target got me a nose touch. When I stopped using a target and rewarded with food at eye level or higher, I got a rock back. I did neither on purpose, as I had no idea what I was doing. :lol: I had sloppy criteria, and I've pretty much transitioned to a running DW and A-frame, anyway, so I'm all over the place. However, if I were training a new dog, and was going to do a 2o2o, I'd ask for a natural stop, not a nose touch. I think it leaves them in a better position to go on, and also to check in with you for what's ahead. Just my VERY unexpert opionion.

 

ETA: I hope Muttleycrew sees this. She's got beeyootiful contacts with Stella.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Secret is my third dog and FINALLY I have a dog with 100% rock solid contacts. She has self-released once at a trial, but she has never been called on a contact. I totally screwed my boys up, so it's nice to finally have a dog that understands her job.

 

Secret's 2o/2o is all about hind end awareness. I shaped the end position with a clicker & a plank in my basement in the winter. I don't give a wit what her head is doing, as her end position is all about where her hind feet are.

 

I originally shaped any interaction with the board and then moved on to the hind feet placement only. It really didn't take long at all and once she understood this, it actually transitioned to full sized contact equipment with pretty much zero work.

 

I'm not a fan of the nose touch because I feel it puts the focus of their weight on the front end. Not such a big deal on the dog walk or teeter, but if you are using the 2o/2o on the a-frame there is already enough pounding on their front end. Also, you have to fade out the target -- With hind feet placement there is nothing to fade.

 

My boys have a 4-on, which I find to be one of the sloppiest, most unclear criteria in existence. But it works for Luke, so I let him do it (he was so completely anti 2o/2o, so I have to guess that it wasn't comfortable for him). And Kaiser..... Well, he's a constant work in progress with his contacts. lol I'd prefer he run, but he's a stubborn little leaper. He slides to the bottom of the dog walk at home, but generally refuses to stop at trials unless I'm RIGHT THERE pointing at the bottom. :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There was an article within the last year in Clean Run about using the heads up position, and how the author had transitioned to only training that. I trained Rievaulx where his front paws should be, left the rest to him, his positioning came naturally to him, and he rocks back waiting for his release. If he remembers to stop he has awesome contacts, but sometimes the baby brain, and the desire to play and keep going still takes over, but we have the same problem with weave poles, in the middle of the course they are just getting in the way of getting to the next jump!

 

You know, I remember seeing that. At the time I wasn't training a new dog, so I didn't really look at it all that closely. I'll have to hunt it up and check it out.

 

The lady who we have been taking additional training with this summer ( placed on the podium at AKC and USDAA nationals ) hates a nose touch simply because she thinks its mean to ask a dog to stuff its nose into nasty horse barn dirt. She uses a 2O2O on her older dog, trained her younger with 4 on the floor as a training challenge but does not like it.

 

Yeah, that's exactly what I mean!! :lol: There are so many options and all of them have some "this is the best because . . ." attached to them. And, to muck it up, it's not "best" necessarily for performance criteria but for the health of the dog. I can easily make a choice when performance criteria is at stake. But when the dog's long term health comes into the picture, it gets more complicated.

 

I don't know why I thought it would be easier this time, but now that I'm at the point where I need to make a plan I find that it's not.

 

Personally I like the idea of the dog finding what is comfortable to them, Brody is mildly dysplastic and he always hated a conventional 2O2O basically he would not come down, and when he finally did in a trial he would leap off to avoid the bottom. We have been re-training this summer, I was going for a standing 4 on the floor, but he has turned it into, standing with his back feet just in the yellow at the very bottom, works for him, works for me. I have not tried it yet in a trial, I am waiting till he turns 7 and can run as a vet in NADAC.

 

That's exactly what ended up happening with Dean. He didn't leap off to avoid the bottom, but once he had his paws on the ground, he would throw his back paws off the board. In the end I concluded that the 2 on 2 off position is simply not comfortable for him and I changed it to a 4 on and that works better for him.

 

I can tell already that Tessa is perfectly comfortable with 2 on 2 off, and that's a big part of why I want to train a good one with her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found that using a target got me a nose touch. When I stopped using a target and rewarded with food at eye level or higher, I got a rock back. I did neither on purpose, as I had no idea what I was doing. :lol: I had sloppy criteria, and I've pretty much transitioned to a running DW and A-frame, anyway, so I'm all over the place.

 

Sounds like a lot of us are in the same boat with this kind of progression!

 

When I started with Maddie, we were just taught to do a stopped contact. I met her with food at the bottom of the equipment and she stopped with two on the ground, she got a treat, and off we went. That ended up sort of becoming a slow down at the bottom, and that was that. She's not a highly competitive dog and it worked for us.

 

I did try to do a lot better with Dean, but ended up mixing too many methods. I started with a nose touch to a target. Then I switched to running. Then I went back to the nose touch. At some point he was doing a sit at the end with his rump on the board. Etc. Etc. Etc.

 

Oddly, the piece of equipment that he has the best understanding of the contact position on is the teeter!! He knows to stop at the bottom, although he does stop with 4 on.

 

That's why I'm bound and determined to try to stick with the plan this time, unless there is a very good dog related reason to change it.

 

However, if I were training a new dog, and was going to do a 2o2o, I'd ask for a natural stop, not a nose touch. I think it leaves them in a better position to go on, and also to check in with you for what's ahead. Just my VERY unexpert opionion.

 

That makes sense to me!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I originally shaped any interaction with the board and then moved on to the hind feet placement only.

 

That is generally my plan. She is interacting with the board nicely and we are ready to focus on the feet placement.

 

My boys have a 4-on, which I find to be one of the sloppiest, most unclear criteria in existence. But it works for Luke, so I let him do it (he was so completely anti 2o/2o, so I have to guess that it wasn't comfortable for him). And Kaiser..... Well, he's a constant work in progress with his contacts. lol I'd prefer he run, but he's a stubborn little leaper. He slides to the bottom of the dog walk at home, but generally refuses to stop at trials unless I'm RIGHT THERE pointing at the bottom. :P

 

I can certainly relate to this! Maddie was the same way with a stop back when we did it. I had to be right there. But she's super velcro about just about everything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Oddly, the piece of equipment that he has the best understanding of the contact position on is the teeter!! He knows to stop at the bottom, although he does stop with 4 on.

 

 

I don't think this is odd, it was the first piece that Rievaulx mastered.

 

The biggest training issue I have had is maintaining speed on the down slope, I honestly think it might be a consequence of training a target with a treat at the bottom. I have quietly resisted my regular trainer who uses this I have either fed treats from my hand or rewarded with a toy. Every dog in my class creeps down, and that is not acceptable to me! We have speed now, well Rievaulx does.

 

We have pretty good stops now, what we have to work on is the release, my summer trainer has pointed out I have great contacts which I am in danger of ruining by being predictable on the release, so he self releases and I do not notice! So I have been putting lots of time into doing daft and weird thing while Rievaulx waits for a verbal release.

 

I have a feeling that contacts will be a continue changing target, with fashions changing. Running contacts being all the rage now, but most people with fast dogs are not really able to handle them, or have Slivia Trkmans training skills and patience, I think it was in Clean Run this month, that if you can not train a good 2O2O you are never going to get a good running contact!

 

Good luck with your choice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have an end zone creeper, and I never used a target plate or anything like it. I backchained his contacts, taught him a 2o2o on a flat board, then a slanted board, and on stairs, and then moved it to equipment. It worked beautifully for Piper, who has amazing contacts (fast, accurate, solid, gorgeous). It didn't work for Dex at ALL. He is very fast over the equipment and then strolls down to the end. I actually busted out the target plate just recently, and thinking I might move up the big guns, the Manners Minder, because I'm not sure what else to do. In retrospect, I wish I had gone with my original intention, which was a running contact.

 

I sometimes think he still doesn't really understand the criteria totally, though he will hold a beautiful 2o2o when he finally gets there, so maybe not. I think maybe he just doesn't like stopping when he thinks he should be running. He's an extension type dog.

 

RDM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow Paula...thanks! :-) I love training contacts, and since I'm a pretty OCD trainer it works well. ;-)

 

How I trained Stella's (and now my new young dogs') contacts was by freeshaping a rear foot target in a 2o2o position and then back-chaining using toy drive. I start with one obstacle first (usually DW) until it is roughly 98%. I find most dogs then transfer the 2o2o onto the AF/teeter with no issues....the only thing i mess around with is teaching them to jump the apex of the AF and/or run past the tipping point on the teeter. It will take forever to explain, but if you would like more info please PM me. It didn't take long to train and Stella has always had rock solid contacts. My young dog is on her way to having the same contacts.

 

Stella's contacts (OK, this is the most recent thing I can find with her contacts in it...you'll have to weed through it....sorry!!):

Remedy's teeter:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think this is odd, it was the first piece that Rievaulx mastered.

 

The biggest training issue I have had is maintaining speed on the down slope, I honestly think it might be a consequence of training a target with a treat at the bottom. I have quietly resisted my regular trainer who uses this I have either fed treats from my hand or rewarded with a toy. Every dog in my class creeps down, and that is not acceptable to me! We have speed now, well Rievaulx does.

 

 

 

I also agree with this statement, I've seen the treat on target turn into a creep when I was told to do it I stopped almost right away and I'm glad I did. It gave me a slight creep and a slower descent than I'd likk and I've been working on speeding his dw up.I also faded the target insanely fast. Jude has a pretty good 2o2o, he knows exactly what I want. We don't have a nose touch, but we do have a head "bob", all I ask for is back legs on the board. We've been working on mixing up full stops and quick releases lately, now that gave him a reason to blow his contacts for a day ,seem to be over that now tho, lol.

 

I also have a nice teeter performace. (Well I think it is anyway, for my first dog) He seems to fully understand it, I think if the dog doesn't have any phobia the teeter seems to be pretty easy to teach because it's a consistant thing. You stay on teeter until it bangs ---I'll either release you asap, or you want in your 2o2o.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also have a nice teeter performace. (Well I think it is anyway, for my first dog) He seems to fully understand it, I think if the dog doesn't have any phobia the teeter seems to be pretty easy to teach because it's a consistant thing. You stay on teeter until it bangs ---I'll either release you asap, or you want in your 2o2o.

 

Yes, that's why it's odd that Dean's teeter is his best contact. :) He is severely noise phobic and it has actually taken years for him to be able to operate the teeter, with no cushion underneath, all on his own. He controls the bang to make it as light as he can and then he goes to the bottom and stops. It's actually pretty cool.

 

But I think it is so good because I met him at the bottom with treats for such a long time while someone else controlled the teeter movement. He's just used to stopping at the end and now that I'm not babysitting the end anymore, he knows he's supposed to stop there! He stops and looks at me like, "I'm supposed to be here!!" Hahaha.

 

Irony of ironies, the teeter is already Tessa's favorite piece of equipment. I think it is one of the first things she is going to master completely. It just goes to show how different these dogs are from one another.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It will take forever to explain, but if you would like more info please PM me. It didn't take long to train and Stella has always had rock solid contacts. My young dog is on her way to having the same contacts.

 

 

I'm going to hunt up that article, but if I have questions after that, I will definitely let you know! Thanks!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Love those sliding teeters!!! Have they changed at all with the rubberized contacts?

 

I alway worried about freeshaping the rear touch is the dog backing up on the contact if they missed it the first time at trial. Its a instead E.

 

Cressa we used a target and never had an issue lol till recently when she was introduce to running contacts for nationals. She has since decided runnin contacts was more effienct. But she still has lovely contacts and always nail the yellow. Our only issue is the teeter. She hates the bang(movement and noise). Will be working on reshaping the teeter. Hope they get a different teeter for nationals then the one they had last year. It was awful wobbly and it was flying back up hard. Some dogs were throw off on the rebound, literally, and some had bad callls due to the rebound.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...