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Kai has been going over a very baby version of the see saw since we got him (literally an inch or two off the ground) with no problems at all. He has done a full height one too (once) when I turned my back after training Ebony and he managed to get out of the house, flew over it, got the contact and stood waiting for a bit of chicken. After the initial shock I did feel quite pleased that it didn't bother him but have no intentions of going near the full height one again for quite some time!

Anyway, I've been thinking about what sort of contact I want on the see-saw. For the dogwalk and A-frame I am working for a 2on/2off as that is what I prefer. But I am not so sure with the see-saw, my older boy has a 2o/2o and will always get the contact with no problems (he's a heavy lad!), my girl also has 2o/2o but doesn't seem comfortable, I think because of the recoil when it hits the ground and she only has 2 back feet on and it pushes against her which she doesn't like.

So I was thinking of training Kai to do a 4 on so that he doesn't have the recoil (he is going to be pretty light and lean I think) but I was worried about the whole 'get the contact and then jump off the end as the see-saw goes back up' type thing (which often gets faulted in the UK). What sort of teeter contacts do you all train for and does it change depending on what sort of dog you are working with?
 

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Re: Teeter question - contacts

2on/2off is all I will ever teach. ESPECIALLY with our long strided big dogs (add 'drive' to one of these and it's even BETTER!) Just so easy for them to miss a contact with just their normal stride, and add some excitment of poor timing from me and it's all over.

Once it's taught properly, you can sometimes release so fast it almost seems like a running contact, so time isn't an issue. I do the vast majority of my training on low contacts or just on the bottom of the contact (not having the dog perform the entire piece of equipment over and over if all I'm practicing is the 'target'). So I don't feel I am asking too much stresswise on their bodies, as long as I keep them in good shape and a good weight.

And, frankly, I don't train enough (bad me) to really do well reliably on the other methods. They may work really well, but there is a whole way to train them that really has to be clear, consistant, and trained better than I know I can commit to with my 'real' life and 'real' job getting in the way.
 

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Re: Teeter question - contacts

BTW, there is a GSD agility list on yahoo and that's ALL that we've been talking about for the past few days. So if you want to join and look at the past postings, there's alot of different opinions (just remember I'm right
)

[email protected]
 

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Re: Teeter question - contacts

2o2o is the way to go. Training is hard enough, why be inconsistant???
 

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I've always been in the 2o2o camp myself. However, in the Barb Davis seminar here last weekend we spent some time discussing running vs stopped contacts. My takeaways from Barb's discussion:

- Only train running dogwalk if you have a dogwalk and can work on this several times a week; otherwise stick with stopped
- A running A-frame is easier to train and maintain than dogwalk, depending on the dog's stride.
- A running contact requires complete observation and consistency from the handler; Barb insists on the handler saying "ONE TWO" as the dog takes the down strides, and emphasizing the TWO
- Dogs will blow contacts about 20% of the time in trials, whether stopped or running
- Barb feels a running Aframe is easier on the dog - and in our breed that's important - as well as more motivating

We tried Suka in running A-frame and she was good - her stride fits it naturally. She also has a dynamite 2o2o in training, then gets amped at trials and can blow her contacts occasionally. Will report back later this summer after we do more retraining and if I get brave enough to try running in trials.
 

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ArtistInNature, keep us posted on the contacts...

BTW, with my 3rd agility dog, we have never blown a contact (2on/2off) and hope to continue. But it's all about consistancy!
 

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since we started training a running contact, mikko never misses it. he never liked doing the 2o2o, never really got it, so we trained the running contact and its working great for us. he knows the word slow, so we just have him slow down towards the contact. i recently read an article in clean run about training the running contact and how its getting so important in major competitions for speed/time. i also heard it was easier on their joints, so that just made our decision to use running contacts easier.
 

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Originally Posted By: MaggieRoseLeeArtistInNature, keep us posted on the contacts...

BTW, with my 3rd agility dog, we have never blown a contact (2on/2off) and hope to continue. But it's all about consistancy!
Well. I have to say that we're not doing well!

Suka has been OK w/2o2o, then we had the Barb Davis seminar 2 weeks ago and tried her with running contacts. Last week I drilled her on 2o2o w/stride regulators on the A-frame all week. Results: she blew EVERY single contact in Exc Std over our weekend trial in Idaho Falls.

My trainer, Wendy Parciak, suggests training only 2o2o w/stride regulators. Period - never phasing out the stride regulators at home. And using a fast release in trials...but Suka is so prone to leaping off the A-frame from halfway up that we're going to skip trying running for now. She gets too amped at trials. (As in, I can barely get her slip lead off her neck because she's barking so much her head is too wide...
)

Maybe the next dog I'll train running only...
 

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Originally Posted By: I_LOVE_MY_MIKKOsince we started training a running contact, mikko never misses it. he never liked doing the 2o2o, never really got it, so we trained the running contact and its working great for us. he knows the word slow, so we just have him slow down towards the contact. i recently read an article in clean run about training the running contact and how its getting so important in major competitions for speed/time. i also heard it was easier on their joints, so that just made our decision to use running contacts easier.
he was not doing well with contacts this weekend! he was just barely hitting them- leaving it up to the judge's discretion- too close for my comfort! running contacts have worked for us in the past, but i don't think i've been reinforcing them enough lately...when one thing is fixed another one breaks
 

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ArtistInNature & I_LOVE_MY_MIKKO sorry you are having problems.

They sound like the reason I'm not going to ever do the running thing, consistancy and training will be just too hard for me to keep straight!

The only reason I would NOT do a 2on/2off is cause of the reason people give that it's alot of pressure on the dogs front end to stop at the bottom. But the way I get around that is I do the vast amount of training with the contacts lowered (specially the aframe) when my dogs learn the position. And then I only do full height at trials and class, so it's really very few times in total at full height.

And if we have problems I go back to training with the lowered contacts, and sometime just taking the dog up and onto the end (NOT over the entire peice of equipment). Then may backchain a bit.

Good luck for whatever ends up working well for you all. I know it's still the 2on/2off with a quick release if I need the time, and if we have NQ'ed it's great cause I couldn't care less about the time and not only make her stick them, but throw in some extra front crosses just cause I can!
 

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MRL- did you get the new clean run and read the article about running contacts?? I think we are going to use that box idea to get a more reliable running contact.
 

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I didn't read the article but make sure you get back to us about how it's working.

I think running contacts are a great idea. Problem is all the training methods I've seen are very training intensive and more than I'm easily able to wrap my mind around to train RELIABLY.

I do know some people that have great running contacts, but they mainly have small dogs OR are trainers that can really devote the time and money (and have the great facilities and equipment) to train well consistantly.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thought I would give you all an update. Kai started 'proper' see-saw training at club a couple of weeks ago (15.5 months) and was learning with a large table under the drop end so that the drop was only about a foot max. He kept bailing out unless Ian had a hand on his collar so we just carried on targeting for a 2o2o at the end and not rewarding a bail off.

Today Ian decided to do some stuff at home (just gone 16 months now) on a garden see-saw we have (1.5 foot pivot, 2.5 metre length). Kai was again cagey so he started with a table under the up end and a few towels to deaden the recoil. After a couple of 10 minute session Kai is now FLYING over it to hit 2o2o. I will try and post some video tomorrow but I love this boy so much for his attitude and learning curve!
 

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Just found some great training video with 2on/2off using the target and clicker!

 

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I am working on a few videos showing the foundation skills and contact training I did with Tara. The first one is perch work, which is important to teach rear end awareness. Tara really has a pretty good understanding that she has both front feet and back feet and she can move them all independently. I attribute that to perch training. It's also just great fun as a shaping exercise!

 

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Here is the second video on target training. Target training is another foundation skill that I think was extremely helpful in teaching Tara 2on/2off contacts. We do 2on/2off with a nose touch to the ground to keep the dog's head low and drive forward and to avoid injury.

My kitty helper makes an appearance again and is quite obnoxious stealing Tara's treats.

 

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NICE video on trageting Kristin- exactly what I was looking for. We started target training just a couple days ago and I was surprised to not find a lot on youtube. I'm glad to come across this video this morning, as it will help me quite a bit. I was bummed to not hear a bluegrass background though :whistle:
 

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Here is the third video showing our foundation work for 2on/2off contacts with a board.

This video was a bit more difficult to show the shaping progression. Tara loves to contact and it's hard to take her back to the basics of the shaping exercise. The board is actually covered with a towel because I thought that changing the surface slightly may make her reconsider the exercise, but it really didn't help much. If possible, I would recommend using a slightly longer board - five or more feet long.

 
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