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retraining from 2o2o to running aframe.. hard?


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I'm seriously debating my dog's aframe performance, i hate it and he hates it. His DW is fine and understands his position great but he loathes performing the stopped contact on the aframe, mechanically it can't be comfortable on that slope with the speed he is going.

 

I know any new dogs I get will have a running from the get go, but I'm wondering the mechanics of teaching it to a dog who already has a stopped contact, how hard it will be on him, best methods to retrain. I'm thinking the box method now..

 

Thoughts?

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I tried the box method and in the end I didn't like it. Dean did well with the striding on the flat, but he never wanted to do it on the A-Frame, no matter how low we set it. I did enjoy training the striding on the flat, for whatever that's worth.

 

In the end, I went with a running A-Frame where he could choose his footing. He runs it, he doesn't stride it. For a dog that enjoys the striding, the box method would probably work better.

 

One thing that Rachel Saunders does show on her running A-Frame DVD is how to get rid of the 2 on 2 off. That part might be useful, in any case. Dean didn't have a trained 2 on 2 off when I started the box method with him, so I can't say how well her technique for doing that works.

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I'm seriously debating my dog's aframe performance, i hate it and he hates it. His DW is fine and understands his position great but he loathes performing the stopped contact on the aframe, mechanically it can't be comfortable on that slope with the speed he is going.

 

I know any new dogs I get will have a running from the get go, but I'm wondering the mechanics of teaching it to a dog who already has a stopped contact, how hard it will be on him, best methods to retrain. I'm thinking the box method now..

 

Thoughts?

If your dog doesn't like doing stopped contacts on the AF, he may not find it comfortable (or it may hurt). Both are good reasons to rethink a 2020.

 

I am retraining my dog for both running DW and AF for several reasons - most related to the fact that he had a shoulder injury, requiring surgery, and the surgeon recommended switching to a RC since the stopped 2020 is soooo hard on a dog's shoulder area. Before his injury, I kept strict criteria for the stopped 2020, and my dog would scream to a stop, essentially becoming a 'lawn dart', particularly on the AF. I did not like how much stress he was putting on his body, but the 2020 was what my agility trainer taught and since this is my first agility dog, I did not know any better and thought I had to do the 2020.

 

So what I am saying is that I agree with you that a stopped contact is very hard on a dog's body, and the faster the dog, the harder on the body.

 

IMHO, training a RC is not as hard on a dog's body as training a 2020 (of course, many others may not agree with that viewpoint and that is OK). You are just asking the dog to stride on the flat, and then gradually raise the DW or AF while asking the dog to maintain the striding. Very flowing, no screaming stops.

 

My issue has been that my dog learned to jump the yellow while I was diddling around trying to figure out how to get contact performance without doing a 2020(this was before I decided to seriously train a RC). He has been very stubborn about breaking that habit, or more likely I have not been a good enough trainer to break him of his jumping. I think I should check out Rachel Saunders DVD to see how to 'break' the jumping behavior.

 

I use the Silvia Trkman method which makes a lot of sense to me.

 

What you should expect with retraining is a lower level of consistency - at least that is what I have been told with respect to retraining to RCs using the Trkman method. I am OK with that since I would rather preserve my dog's structure.

 

In closing, at my last visit to the rehab vet (I go every 3-4 months to make sure my dog's shoulder is holding up and to get a general structural 'check-up'), she remarked that she has now reached the opinion that all dogs should do RCs. She used to believe that a 2020 was OK for certain dogs depending on their structure and running style, but she has now switched her support to RCs for all agility dogs.

 

Jovi

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My first agility dog has very solid 2o2o contacts but the way she does them is extremely hard on her shoulders. I toyed with the idea of teaching RC's. But not many people in my area have them successfully. So I decided to retrain my youngest who at the time had only just started competing and had 2o2o contacts, her contacts were much nicer but because she hadn't had 2o2o contacts for as long I thought she would be the best dog to start with. If it didn't work I wouldn't ruin my older dogs contacts. The younger dog now has a perfect running A-Frame which she never ever misses and a running dogwalk but it isn't as consistent. That merely comes down to us not having a Dogwalk to train on though. We have trialled for a while now and the criteria hasn't slipped and they are holding up reliably. So now I have decided to try retraining the older dog. She also jumps of contacts if released early so is a bit harder. I am using the Sylvia Trkman method and so far they are working great. I will still keep a stopped dogwalk as the contact area on the down ramp is too small I am sure she would miss it and afterall my problem is with the AF. I don't see why you can't give it a go. It is just repetition, we are training them on our agility break over Christmas so she doesn't compete using 2o2o while I am teach RC's at home and it doesn't confuse or contradict her.

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I am not sure how you are defining those two terms, but with the Trkman method, she wants to see the dog maintain a natural 4-beat stride (just like the stride they use when they are running full out to get a thrown ball - so I guess you could call it running naturally). If the dog can maintain a natural stride on the down ramp, they will get at least one paw in the yellow contact zone.

 

Since I am not familiar with the Saunders' method, I can not speak to that.

 

Jovi

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Of the contacts, the a-frame is the "easiest" one to teach running IMO. Mostly because many dogs have a natural stride that will get them in the yellow.

 

Secret has 2o/2o behaviors on everything, but I've more or less gone to early release on the a-frame 9 times out of 10. It's not a true "running contact" but she's not slamming into the ground, either. She collects on the down side in preparation for a stop and I release her when she hits the yellow.

 

I don't see her being a launcher. I could likely just leave her be and she'd be fine.

 

I put a "whoa" on my big guy this summer -- He was just starting to do way too many one-strides and was getting called on a lot of a-frames. He has a four-on stop on the dog walk, so it was easy enough to do on the a-frame. More or less it just made him start thinking about where he was putting his feet. Obviously it's easier to stop on a NADAC frame (5') than, say USDAA (6'3"). Even if he's totally bonkers and fails to stop, he tends to at least get in that second stride now to get him in the yellow. But he's a good boy and stops more or less. :P

 

I gave up trying to add a stride to Kaiser's frame. I was trying to get him to do three because he's a small dog, but it just wasn't happening. I figured out that instead of trying to collect him for the down side, if I push him and tell him to RUN he'll two stride nicely into the yellow.

 

Sometimes it's just playing around with little things like that. I don't think a running a-frame has to be nearly as technical as the running dog walk.

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Since I am not familiar with the Saunders' method, I can not speak to that.

 

Yes, with the Saunders method, the dog learns to stride the A-Frame. A Border Collie would typically do the A-Frame in 4 strides - 2 up, and right over the apex, then two down, with the second in the yellow zone.

 

Basically, you make a box out of PVC pipe that is exactly the size of the yellow contact zone. On the flat, using shaping, you teach the dog to "bounce" into the box in one stride. I used to have a video of Dean doing this. I'll have to check later and see if I still have it. Once the dog does that, you set up a grid on the flat, consisting of very low jumps spaced out to mimic the A-Frame. The dog learns to stride through that grid, with the last one in the box. You always click when the dog's paws land in the box, and then toss a toy or food out ahead. If the dog misses the box, you don't click, so the dog learns to always get into the box.

 

Then you set a very low A-Frame and attach the box to the contact zone. You set the dog up on the A-Frame just below the apex on the contact side, and teach the dog to stride through the box. Again, you click when the dog's feet hit inside the box, and throw a reinforcer out ahead.

 

Then there is a process to get the whole striding pattern onto the A-Frame. If it all works as it should (and with Dean it didn't), the dog should learn to stride the low A-Frame and always hit paws into the box. Then you gradually raise the A-Frame up and then fade the box.

 

Dean just didn't want to stride on the Frame, even though he did it beautifully in the grid. He wanted to run normally and I didn't want to discourage that because if that's how he's comfortable going up and over the A-Frame, that's how I want him to do it.

 

But others that I was training with did get the striding.

 

I haven't tried the Trkman method, but I like the concept a lot.

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I am currently in the beginning stages of the Ranchel Sanders box method. My dog has never on an a-frame yet and we are doing the ground work. I can totally see him launching routinely off the top of the a-frame so I like this method that gives him a stricter set of rules and a target to work with. Plus I like that I can train a lot of it on the ground. I would definitely recommend the dvd for using the method and as previously mentioned there is a whole section on retrains (with a super cute BC in it). I chose the running aframe again because of concerns about 2o/2o position at this angle. My dog has also had shoulder surgery, and while he appears completely sound I would like him to be comfortable and competitive for as long as possible. He hasn't even begun competing yet! For teeter I am teaching a 2o/2o. I am still really on the fence with dog walk. I have decided against running for a couple of reasons. I don't have a dogwalk at home, so the amount of reps I would need may be an issue. Also, I like black and white, and a method which may not hold up consistently may frustrate ME too much. So I am really trying to consider whether I should keep the 2o/2o I am working on, or go to a four on the floor. Not really sure if that makes a huge difference on the dogwalk because the angle is so much less severe? Here is a link to some of our box work recently. It is a work in progress and I am just starting to add some slow jogging beside him to work on proofing to my motion.

 

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Yes please keep us posted on th process you are going trough. Physically I don't think the dog walk is as bad with the 2o2o, as Jude has doesn't seem to mind the stop there. He also shifts his weight nicely into his contact, even though he does this too on the aframe, the angle it too severe to help enough. That and we've only just started running full courses, and with this new level his performance is getting faster and faster , no way I could be there in time where I need to be.

 

That's what i meant in natural running versus striding, kind of like natural running down the frame Which would result in hitting the contact. And teaching the striding. I'm torn because I like the box of giving him something tangible, but I want him to run in whichever way feels most comfortable to him as that is the while point of reteaching the frame. I have a feeling that he will hit the contact naturally I just don't want to screw it up, lol!

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I'll try to remember to post some more sessions. I have been trying to video all of them and I am keeping a log of my % correct so I don't progress too fast or slow. I also just got a Manners Minder and am thinking of incorporating that as well to help keep his head turned forward. He is still tending to turn back to me looking for the throw despite my best efforts at timing and placement. Although I used a thrown toy at the weaves and he figured that out just fine once he really understood what his job was. I'm going to try and get me running quite fast past the box and still have him hit it before I go onto the actual aframe. I hope it will work. chantal if your dog can stride naturally into it more power to you! I don't know if I could do it with my dog. He is leggy and a bit reckless and without a very specific thing to do on that frame I can totally seeing him launching right off the top on a regular basis. Sounds like your dog has a bit more sense than mine!

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Here is that video of Dean striding through the box. I have the box up on high legs so he will recognize it as something he will "bounce" into. The next step was to lower that to shorter legs, and then to the ground. When it was just on the ground originally, he ran through it. In retrospect, I would have had better success had I simply taught him to run through the box, instead of trying to get the striding. Still, it was a worthwhile experiment and he had fun learning the pieces.

 

I was using the worlds stupidest cue for this "Whooosh". I say "contact" for all of my contact behaviors now.

 

This was just the box, not the whole grid. I don't have any video of him doing the whole grid.

 

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Yep would get the manners minded working or use a closed container of treats out in front. My biggest mistake was inadvertently training my young dog to look at me ( very much lile your dog in your video) as he "strided" into the box. Came back to bite me and ended up causing him to do the same once on the AF, thus not driving through looking forward, thus watching me, thus hitting higher, thus more often then I was comfortable with, missing the contact if i was not out in front of him. Very hard to rime a throw correctly in the initial box work, making sure all 4 feet hit, for me anyway.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks! I'm taping every session because I'm keeping track of % correct to decide when to move on and it is also helping me see where he needs to hit each stride to hit the box. It has really helped for me to watch in slow motion, also to see what I might be inadvertently rewarding. I'm keeping good notes which is helping. I am planning on moving my stride regular to the down side of the a-frame so it is less visible. We'll move up to 5 feet soon. I have a few other videos up on youtube but I don't have all of them there.

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