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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally had someone tape two practice runs for me! I am more vocal then i thought i was SO thats the first thing i gotta work on.
Secondly, When i slow down my dog trots, when i run at full speed shes running fast, so i gotta be conscious about that.

I got a few questions though...
Apple was doing 2o2o... but i saw that she was putting all her weight in the front once she'd stop on the bottom, so i quickly switched to running contacts. What does everyone do with there dogs ????

Our facility finally got 24" weave polls, what you saw on the video was apple's first time in them at that spacing. (mine at home are 21") She seemed to enter and do them "carefully" i'm assuming because they are 3" wider then what she's use to... How have your dogs transitioned ?



Here we are last friday.
 

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Looking good.

It takes a bit of training to get the dog to rock back on his haunches once he hits the bottom of the contact. From a veterinarians viewpoint, these big dogs should NOT come to a stop at the bottom as it puts too much strain on their front end (shoulders, neck, back). Personally, in practice I make Remington nail the 2o2o position because I know at a trial he won't. But by reinforcing it ALL THE TIME in practice, he does think more about getting that contact at a trial. I don't ask for 2o2o on the teeter because of the bounce back (that can cause more injury).

I don't have 24" weaves. Mine at home are 22". The main thing I find at trials is that my dogs like the 24" ones much better. I've had better performance from both Remington and Ruger on the 24" weaves at trials.

I love your facility! You don't know how lucky you are to train at a place like that. We have nothing like that in my area.

Just wanted to add... I don't think you are too vocal. I can hardly hear you, but maybe that's because of the music on the video.
 

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I couldn't really hear you either Deanna. Yes, what a nice facility.

My dog loves the 24" poles and had no problem adjusting at all.
 

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I have a couple of observations:) Apple runs really nicely. I too switched Maddie to running contacts. I thought the strain on her joints from stopping was not worth it. Also, I felt like it was demotivating to her. Apple is only getting her two back paws in the yellow and that is close to the top of the contact. She then launches. I would be concerned about the launching also. Maddie and I are working on a contact retrain for the same issue. Eventually, the launch gets higher and the dog misses the contact all together. What is your criteria for contacts? My criteria is that Maddie hit the yellow somewhere in the last two slats of the contact. With Apple hitting her contact so high she may get called for missing the contact if the judge is not watching closely. I think that many of us inadvertanly train our dogs to run with us. Apple runs when I run and trots when I get slower. This is definately a mistake I made. This situation has begun to rectify itself by lots of training to make Maddie independant on the obstacles. I spend time training all obstacles around the clock and from all distances so that she becomes comfortable with taking them. This allows me to handle her at more of a distance so that I can run but, a shorter path allowing her to maintain motivation. Apple is adorable and really seems to love agility. She is doing great. The thing about agility is the more that you know the more that there is to know:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Apple is only getting her two back paws in the yellow and that is close to the top of the contact. She then launches. I would be concerned about the launching also. Maddie and I are working on a contact retrain for the same issue.
My instructor and i were talking about this yesturday. She was doing 2o2o for a while then after i changed my mind about those i just let her run them without having any critera... thats no good.... i know, but i guess i havent figured out a way of training reliable running contacts yet. I know a golden that was taught using planks as pups and now two years later she has awesome running contacts, but i think its too late to start teaching her that way. How are you teaching maddie to run them all the way to the bottom ?????? If i'm not supporting the a-frame she'll try to get to me as fast as she can even if its missing the contacts all together.


I think that many of us inadvertanly train our dogs to run with us. Apple runs when I run and trots when I get slower. This is definately a mistake I made.
you're right! and yesturday as i was rear crossing her at a jump i noticed that i had to be super close to that jump for her to commit THEN i had to run quickly behind to execute the cross.. She just hasn't been reinforced enough to go ahead with out me. I do need to make it physically clear to her that i want her to keep going and as you said shes only been taught to run with me, obstacle independance is our goal for the week and training her to "GO" is our other.
I really do appreciate your observations!!! i need it!! This dog is my Novice A dog and we have loottss more to learn! A lot of times i don't realize things until one points it out. The more we work on stuff the better we'll get!! THANKS!
 

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Maddie has been competing for awhile and is in excellent B in AKC. I have gone back and reworked the contacts. I stand to the side of the A frame and tell her "ok" she jumps up and as soon as her feet hit within the last two planks of the yellow I say yes, click and throw a food tube. I am highly coordinated:) She has moved to the next phase which is putting a table by the a frame telling her to get up and having her hit the contact. Once the feet hit the yellow where I want them I say yes, click and tasty treat is delivered:) I only have a small practice a frame now. It has really messed up her a frames. She cannot collect fast enough. I am waiting for my new one-full size. I will continue to empasize the contacts. Maddie began launching her running and that is scary and dangerous...eek.

I love my trainer. Her technique for having the dog jump independantly is to support the jumps. What this means is that I will support the jump with my hand arm and shoulder until the dog commits. Both my dogs can now take a circular course over 20ft away from me just by my supporting each of the obstacles. It sounds like a simple idea but, no other instructor has ever taught me this. You will see this technique alot in the nationals. In my last trial Maddie, who is like turning the titanic I tell ya, jumped a jump and because she is so big, was right in front of an off course jump. Because I had my arm supporting her she came towards my arm and hand, we saved the course and came in 2nd. Only two dogs Q'd in our class that day. Difficult course.

Apple runs very nicely. She is a very pretty girl. I love seeing labs run agility! If I had it to do all over again with Mad I would emphasize the speed and independance early. We are getting much better. Used to only beat course times by maybe a second now, we are beating them by 6-12 seconds under. Alot of this I attribute to running DOCNA which has fast course times and has made us really run! Keep posting videos on Apple. You are doing awesome!
 

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Another thing you might consider is teaching Apple "four-on-the-floor". This still makes them drive to the bottom of the contact, but they down on the ground after the contact. It is much easier on their forequarters and joints. I've seen a lot of the bigger dogs doing this in training. I wouldn't use it at a trial, but I'd make it a criteria for correct performance in practice. Just a thought.
 
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