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For those involved in agility, I have an issue I have never been involved in agility as a sport, but last summer I believe, I had a friend make a few agility pieces for my yard. They were actually made for Newlie, but we were only able to do a few things before he got sick and died.

So, fast foward now to Rocky. At first, I tried to get him up the A frame and he invariably swerved around it. But, one day at the trainer's house, I asked the trainer to take him up the A frame in his yard and they did it several times with no problem. He then handed the leash to me and I took Rocky over several times. When I tried it again at home, I borrowed the little girl next door and she would shout encouragement to Rocky, as I did, and he went over fine.

The problem is, he seems a little too over enthusiastic now, for lack of a better word, and I am afraid he is going to hurt himself. He has several times when we are out there started up the A frame himself, which wouldn't be a problem, except that that he does things like get to the top of the frame and attempt to jump off (I blocked him and made him go down the backside), he will jump off midway down the backside instead of running all the way down and yesterday, he decided to go up himself, got part of the way up, got too near to the edge and fell off. Thankfully, he does not appear to have hurt himself.

I could really use some advice.
 

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I’m no expert- is your A frame adjustable. If it is maybe lower it so it is possible to guide the dog over it. If not can you have the A frame made where it’s lower to the ground and not as high and start with that first then go to the higher a frame. There are tons of helpful agility videos on you tube!
 

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that's not abnormal. You need to teach him to go to the bottom. that's where your reward is. Put a plate, or lid, at the bottom with food. Lead him down and give him a wait command. You need to teach him to touch the bottom third of the A-frame anyways.
 

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I'm no agility expert and won't claim to be, but when I attended classes with my SIL and Golden to watch and learn about it, her agility trainer emphasized that before a dog can begin the A-frame as a whole, they need to understand the importance of making contact with the yellow mark, or at the very least understand the "get it" command, where they stop at a certain point to receive a reward. Granted, this is just how her instructor taught it, but I thought it was a good point.

She kept the A-frame height very low while initially teaching it. Instead of having the dog go all the way up and over to begin with, she would either pick the dog up if it was small enough or have the owner back their dog up onto it (this was also taught prior to the A-frame), then have them walk a few short steps to the yellow mark and reinforce the contact/reward command. Once the dog showed understanding for stopping at the contact point, then she would have them go up and over slowly. Dogs normally want to go fast, especially if they want their reward, but she reminded the handlers to remain calm and almost quiet while having the dog go up and over - no big praise or excited voices to goad them over. Just a calm walk towards it, a calm, "get it", and then big praise after it was done.
 

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Agree with the above.

If he likes the obstacle and doesn't need any cheerleading, teach a "bottom" command, which is what you reward for. I use "FEET!" - dog has to stop with two feet on, two feet off, and then you jackpot the bottom - I feed multiple pieces, but one at a time, making the dog hold the two-on, two-off, until released.

Some people use plates or targets, I've had good luck with my very fast dog by giving the "FEET!" command as soon as she's at the apex of the A-Frame, before she even begins her descent. Sometimes it comes out of me like "CLIMB-FEET" because the difference is only a second or two, if that.

Safety note - slamming to a halt at the bottom puts a lot of stress on their shoulders, as they halt all forward movement and take the inertia in their upper body. The bigger the dog, the more mass they're slamming to a halt. I would only do a few repetitions of this at a time, don't do dozens of reps. When we work bottom contacts in class with the obstacles at full height, we only do it 5-6 times and then move to something else - unless you're doing running contacts, but I think you'll have better clarity asking for two-on, two-off with Rocky. JMHO.
 
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