Knocking bars. What do you do? - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 11-29-2012, 10:25 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Also depends on where the dog is at in training. Before Pan left we were just starting to learn jumps and doing some grids, jump chutes, and a little 3-jump pinwheel for fun. He knocked bars like crazy! Now I know this dog can jump because he retrieves over 1m in SchH. His bar knocking was also very inconsistent, like he'd knock the first bar, then the last bar, then the first and the middle bar..... as much as it pained me to do so I basically ignored it because he was so new to agility and gaining confidence with the obstacle and having more "freedom" to make choices and follow my handling in a more indirect way than he was used to with Schutzhund obedience. I noticed that with the few sessions we had, towards the end he would get cleaner, turns tighter, more efficient strides between jumps, etc so that was more important to me than correcting/repeating every knocked bar. Our goal at that level was to help him learn to use his own body and gain confidence doing more than one obstacle at a time.

I could not ever throw rewards for him, and I wanted to avoid him always coming directly back to me after a sequence, so what I found worked OK for him was placing the tug after the last jump, showing him, then setting him up and running the sequence. For whatever reason he wasn't jumping flat for the reward like he would when I would throw it at the last obstacle.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:29 AM   #12 (permalink)
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And how do you possibly maintain criteria if the bar being knocked was a handler error? You can't really tell the dog okay this time it was my fault so we won't stop and fix it, this time was your fault so we stop and fix the bar. My dogs are smart but that might be a stretch lol.
Ha! I think it'd be a stretch for most dogs. One jump work comes to mind as a way to train the dog that knocking the bar is a bad thing where reinforcement is withheld. But overall, I doubt many people take it to that level. If the bar came down, just try again. Not really a big deal in my book. I think most dogs, and I'm including yours, probably get the "game" of agility that the goal is to jump OVER the bar. That's pretty fundamental to the game. Mistakes happen- both from the dog and owner. So like I say, just reset and try again. No big deal really...
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:34 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Odin has been competing for about a year now, I really think with him that he is an "honest" bar knocker. He generally only knocks bars when my timing is slightly off, whether the jump is 10" or 26". He had no problems with a 1m jump in schutzhund but he will knock quite a bit in agility, like I said if I am just a hair off! Havoc is more of a problem (he really just needs more grid work) but he really doesn't care when he knocks bars, he for the most part runs through a course like a bulldozer on meth! Just like with Pan, placing toys is a huge help with him, but when the courses get a little more complicated and I am training by myself sometimes I have to throw.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:38 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Ha! I think it'd be a stretch for most dogs. One jump work comes to mind as a way to train the dog that knocking the bar is a bad thing where reinforcement is withheld. But overall, I doubt many people take it to that level. If the bar came down, just try again. Not really a big deal in my book. I think most dogs, and I'm including yours, probably get the "game" of agility that the goal is to jump OVER the bar. That's pretty fundamental to the game. Mistakes happen- both from the dog and owner. So like I say, just reset and try again. No big deal really...
Do you stop and reset no matter the reason the bar was knocked? My philosophy so far has been more or less, "well sometimes bars come down, I'll just keep going." But now that I am completely obsessed with agility I want me and my dogs to be doing the best that we can!
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:41 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Personally, with a dog like that (and I don't speak from experience, Pimg was quite easy to train) I would revisit BOTH grid work AND one jump work. The one jump is very important because it teaches him how to read you. It teaches him that your timing can be off and it doesn't matter. It allows him to see different pictures of the same move (FC, RC, etc) in a small, controlled environment. I would think such training would be equally as important, if not more so, than grid work.

Grid work should teach how to jump while one jump work teaches how to read the handler during a jump. If the problem is handler induced, I'd be revisiting one jump work.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:42 AM   #16 (permalink)
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No, I finish the sequence, reset, and try again. If I keep having an issue with only one small portion, then I'd stop doing the sequence and work that portion. Then I'd run the sequence again until I got it clean.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:57 AM   #17 (permalink)
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No, I finish the sequence, reset, and try again. If I keep having an issue with only one small portion, then I'd stop doing the sequence and work that portion. Then I'd run the sequence again until I got it clean.
Ok I see what your saying, that makes more sense.

I think with Havoc, he needs more grid work! He knocks a lot of bars just because he miscalculates his stride and doesn't care. The fastest way is the best way! (whether he leaves the course intact or not lol) Most of our training right now is one or two jump work but I am doing it with no bars, trying to get him to learn to wrap around the post, figure out what my different positions mean etc. I should probably just dedicate the rest of our work to grids for the time being. (Even though thet are so BORING!!)

Maybe doing more one jump stuff with Odin at 26", sort of proofing the jumping against my handling is the way to go for him. The ladies that I trained with yesterday did agree that the only bars that came down were because I was in the wrong position, but its not like I'm grossly off, just a little and the bar comes down.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:01 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Set the bar, redo the jump and reward ,, I usually say something like "oops, lets try that again"..same for a missed contact..

I normally ignore 'mistakes', just redo . End on a good note.
If I want to mark the knocked bar, I don't do any type of sequence before the bar (unless it's a technical type thing like sometimes the problem is tunnel TO the jump or vice versa so issue was the obstacle prior... but even then I may lower the bar during the training session until they get the technical part). So, as long as I don't have a green dog so all agility is new and a knocked bar isn't an issue (yet) AND my dog is enthusiastic so won't slow/shut down by thinking she's been a BAD DOG .... then I just 'oops' to mark, reset the bar then have the dog take it again and reward.

BTW, all of us have incidents of poor timing and unintentionally rewarding one thing when we think we are rewarding something else. As long as we pay attention and do it right then next time(s) our dogs figure it out.

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Old 11-29-2012, 03:36 PM   #19 (permalink)
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lombardo whats the jump height your doing with your dog?

She is still at a pretty low mark, maybe 3 to 4 notches from the bottom??? What would that be, like 8 or 10? How much is each notch?
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:00 PM   #20 (permalink)
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She is still at a pretty low mark, maybe 3 to 4 notches from the bottom??? What would that be, like 8 or 10? How much is each notch?
To my knowledge, jump cups usually start at 4". Jump heights are 4, 8, 12, 16, etc. Though some bar jumps may have cups at off-heights like 6, 10, and 14- I'm not sure. (I think the plastic clip & go jump cup strips may have cups on 2" intervals)
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