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Old 11-28-2012, 10:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Knocking bars. What do you do?

So I was training with a couple people that I haven't trained with before, I was running a few sequences with havoc and on the last sequence he knocked the last bar. He knocked the bar because I was throwing his toy as he was jumping (bad handler.) He was tired so I went to put him up for a break and they were both kinda like "uh your going to end it with rewarding him for knocking a bar??" I have honestly never really put much thought into it looking at it that way. I always just go by the philosophy of if my dog knocks a bar it's because my handling was off, or I need to do more jump training. I noticed when they ran their dogs, if a bar got knocked thy stopped picked up the bar and tried again (no correction, just whoops lets try again.) So what do you do when the bars come down? And what is the logic behind it?

I was a little put off at first because i really don't believe in "correcting" for knocked bars. Thinking about it now I am actually very glad that they brought it up though because I am TERRIBLE for throwing my reward as my dogs are jumping causing a knocked bar. I always just ignore it, but I AM rewarding a knocked bar probably more often than I am rewarding the jump staying up just because the timing of my throw sucks. Need to pay more attention to when I throw my reward!


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Old 11-28-2012, 10:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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mebbe do some sessions with a much greater jump height than an agility jump height to slow the dog down and make him jump, do it from a walk or standing start?


just suggestions.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm ending my second session of beginners agility next week and mine has the same issue. Of course its beginning and they let her get away with some things. Today she did three jumps or as I call them walks(she is not fond of the jumps at all). As we were doing the last set she knocked two out of three over I didn't correct her. Now if she bypasses one, then I start over from where she made the mistake. I'm guessing as we get further into it, they will not let her get away with it. The jumps today were about 45 minutes into the class and I think she would have done better if they were at the beginning and she wasn't getting tired. She also does better if we run a course, rarely any mistakes there. The first part of the class she learned the teeter..she loves this. She also likes the tunnel and the A frame...today she went up the A frame, hit the target, turned around and went back the other way, yep she did the A frame about 4 times every time we passed it(on her own as we are sitting there watching her go from one end to the other)...she adores the A frame.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Sounds like your pup needs more reinforcement for jumping!!! Your dog should be just as obsessed with jumping as with the contacts people often forget to reinforce jumps. Agility courses are after all mostly jumps Havoc would get inside of a jump if he could
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KristiM View Post
Sounds like your pup needs more reinforcement for jumping!!! Your dog should be just as obsessed with jumping as with the contacts people often forget to reinforce jumps. Agility courses are after all mostly jumps Havoc would get inside of a jump if he could
How do I reinforce it? If she is doing a sequence that involves lets say a jump, jump, tunnel, jump, jump...she is fine. She just doesn't have an interest in practicing it. I think she gets bored?? She has learned everything on the first shot with no problems. The helper today described her as fearless. She is quicker then me and today I was of no good, because I have a foot injury that I thought was better, but in the middle of the class I must have turned wrong and now I'm in extreme pain I couldn't really do much when it came time for the jumps. So if you have any ideas how I can reinforce the jumping(mainly on the practice of the jumps), so its not walking over, I would be happy to try it!!
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Kristi I do agree that maybe you were rewarding for a knocked bar, but again, like you said, it's 'your timing' ..

When I was doing agility, the dog missed something, knocked a bar (which for my dogs I have to say was never much of a problem), I don't like saying "correct", because it isn't a correction, but a "redo'.(the word correction for me I coorelate with obedience

Set the bar, redo the jump (or short sequence) 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.

lombardo whats the jump height your doing with your dog?
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't particularly end sessions on a knocked bar, but it has nothing to do with what I think I'm training my dog and everything to do with my pride in getting it "right." It sounds like you identified the problem- throwing the ball a bit too early. I do the same thing, and when I do it, I make a mental note, run the sequence again, and don't make the same mistake.

That said- one of my fellow students in class has a dog that she cannot stop and start over again. This act will completely shut the dog down (he's a very soft min-pin). So if they make a mistake, she keeps running. For that dog, there is no correction ever. No abrupt stopping.

So I think to some extent it does depend on the dog.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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willy your right If I stopped my aussie dead in her tracks for doing something 'wrong', she'd turn into a marshmellow Very soft, it was one of the frustrations I had doing agility with her..I was used to tougher dogs that could take my 'criticism' vs one the tends to get her feelings hurt.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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To the owner's credit, she has become a master at modifying the course such that when a mistake is made, she adds a couple jumps so that it positions her to try the failed portion again. Modifying the course on the fly so you can try the same part twice. A neat skill!
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
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@ llombardo - jump, reward, jump, reward, jump, reward. You just need to create more value for jumping like you have for contact equipment.

Neither dogs are soft, stopping wont shut them down at all but do they "get" that I stopped because thy knocked a bar and to try harder next time? 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. Plus I feel I would have to maintain that at a trial, dog knocks bar - I stop in the middle of the run, replace bar and redo. Or again I feel like I wouldn't be maintaining my criteria.

I will definitely from now on be watching my timing on throws so that I am only rewarding when the bar stays up. But I am still unsure of what an appropriate response if the bar comes down in the middle of a course. An how the heck do I ensure that my dog understands why I am doing what I am doing?
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