Sitting / Lying on top of A-frame during training - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Sitting / Lying on top of A-frame during training

We've just started a new trainer as they use agility equipment more often than our previous trainer and our dog loves agility. One of the skills that will be part of training is having the dog sit and then do a down when it gets up to the peak of the A-frame, which is about 7-8' tall. Is this a normal part of training? Our old trainer would have the dogs do a "stay" in the middle of the equipment. Then what is confusing to me is people who's dogs compete in agility, say their dogs never pause during the agility course. Our dog of course is very stubborn about doing the sit and down, just loves running up and over. Curious if this is common.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 06:35 PM
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Is this training for agility? I have never heard of training the dog to sit / down on the peak of the Aframe ,,so NO it is not a normal part of training for agility at all and frankly I would not teach my dog to do that.

The peak of the a frame at it's highest is around 6 feet. Teaching that for agility sounds dangerous to me and again, I would refuse to do it.

I'd find someone who has COMPETED in agility for training because it doesn't sound like this trainer knows what they are doing

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 06:38 PM
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I can't think of any reason to have a dog do this and a very good one that you don't: you never want your dog to be thinking about pausing anywhere but their contact points and this is teaching a very bad habit that you will have to deal with for a long time to come.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JakodaCD OA View Post
Is this training for agility? I have never heard of training the dog to sit / down on the peak of the Aframe ,,so NO it is not a normal part of training for agility at all and frankly I would not teach my dog to do that.

The peak of the a frame at it's highest is around 6 feet. Teaching that for agility sounds dangerous to me and again, I would refuse to do it.

I'd find someone who has COMPETED in agility for training because it doesn't sound like this trainer knows what they are doing
It is part of obedience training, once the dogs get out of the beginning obedience, the agility equipment is incorporated into a lot of obedience training. Our 15 month old girl is large, 88 lbs and this request seemed very awkward for her, especially trying to lie on a slope.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 06:49 PM
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In the end, I think you just need to be ultra clear on what you want to do with your pup. If you EVER want to do obedience or agility, might as well find a new trainer, in my opinion. Never, in either of those sports, do you pause on the contact equipment.

However, if you are certain that you never want to do one of those two dog sports, then I see no issue with teaching your dog to be obedient no matter what is under their feet.

But honestly, as someone who is training for agility, you should be amazingly certain you never want to participate in those things if you are going to teach a sit or down (how is that even possible!?) on the top of an a-frame.

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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 06:52 PM
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I've been doing obedience since the stone age and this has to be the most stupid thing I have ever heard of. It's dangerous and conflicting for your dog. Your dog knows this isn't safe so doesn't want to do it and how are you to correct your dog for not doing a down or stay up there anyway? Dumb. So you are fighting with your dog and your dog is learning that there are times they don't have to listen because you can't always enforce what you are telling them to do. Find a new trainer.

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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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I've been doing obedience since the stone age and this has to be the most stupid thing I have ever heard of. It's dangerous and conflicting for your dog. Your dog knows this isn't safe so doesn't want to do it and how are you to correct your dog for not doing a down or stay up there anyway? Dumb. So you are fighting with your dog and your dog is learning that there are times they don't have to listen because you can't always enforce what you are telling them to do. Find a new trainer.

Thank you Elaine and everyone else for responding so quickly. It's been on my nerves since our Saturday class. I did not see the logic in this other than to ultimately have supreme control over your dog and make it completely submissive, but it is a conflict as my dog probably felt I was not comfortable at all with this and felt it unsafe.

The correction for another GSD in our small group by popping the prong collar resulted in the dog falling off the side which happened to our dog too - she fell on me and I fell on my butt. Thank goodness for lots of padding in that area. My dog fell as I was told to "pop" our dog if she motioned to smell the dog that was climbing up the A-frame from opposite side, we did an exercise where two dogs climbed the A-frame from opposite sides, passing each other at the peak.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 07:13 PM
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I agree with Elaine, dumb dumb dumb, and DANGEROUS!

I also have been doing obedience for years, and never ever was something like that incorporated. Sure we'd throw in some 'fun' agility equipment, but nothing nothing like that.

I'd refuse to do it.

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 09:06 PM
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Don't do it!!!!


If you have any intention of ever doing agility with your dog you NEVER want them to wait/stay at the top. Agility is about accuracy and SPEED and that's a complete waste of time time time with no benefit to the sport at all! If you are going to teach a 'wait' thing it's down at the bottom in the yellow so they don't leap over it and injure themselves.

If the aframe is lowered, like almost flat on the ground, it wouldn't matter. But if it's being raised and like a 'aframe' then I agree with the others. Just tell your instructor you would prefer to pass on that particular exercise...




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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 09:25 PM
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While I do not use this method, I know several people who routinely down the dog at the peak of the A-frame. The thinking behind this is that if the dog is thinking it might have to down it will prevent the dog from launching off the top for the dumbell (in schutzhund). Personally, I use other methods to try to prevent the dog from launching off the top (though they usually do), but those that do this seem to have good success with it.


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