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Running contact troubleshooting


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#1 KJT

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 05:22 AM

Hi guys, just wanting some advice/ideas on a running contact problem I am having, specifically he DW. My 3yr old bc has a 100% success rate with a running A frame both in training and competition, but he keeps missing in his DW. When he does get it, the hits are high and their is no separation in his hind legs for a true running stride, he pushes off with both, so realistically he is leaping off. Training a stopped DW is not an option..... he totally shuts down and starts creeping. I never had any intention of training any form of RC's but he dictated the running purely because of his shut down response when I tried to get him to 2o2o (my older dogs have all successfully had stopped contacts so I don't believe the training method is the reason for his stopped contact shut down - he just doesn't want to stop!). But obviously I have gone wrong somewhere in my running training and the understanding is not there for the DW. I had always used a tug or ball as his reward but have recently switched to food to see if that had any impact, but so far only a slight improvement.
Any suggestions from anyone who a) has successfully trained a running dw or B) who has had this problem and had success fixing it. I would be keen to hear what you've tried, different methods, stride regulators, boxes, pros and cons etc

#2 Heartful

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 01:53 PM

WHen you say he shuts down for a 2o2o, do you mean he stops working? Or just doesn't have a really good understanding of the behavior?  How is his teeter? 

I have no experience with running contacts at all but....

My personal experience with creeping into position (I have seen my dog "slow" down to hit the position) is generally related to a toy reward being thrown or used as a proof...The border collie comes out in her and she starts to go into stalk mode. When I start seeing that behavior I work on fast sits and downs, moving downs, racing to toy - because she gets sticky on offering those behaviors quickly if I have a toy. I also go back to clicker training the end behavior with food reward and collar pulls. If she is still sticky, I will work a target plate only in my hand to teach her to drive to the target plate. (Or to revisit) Then I will move it to the floor, then on a variety of equipment outside of agility equipment. 

 

Another thing to consider They have such amazing memories, that all it takes is one or two rewards for a behavior we don't want then they develop a question about what exactly the expectations are. Also, if you do try a 2o2o you will want to change your verbal cue because the current cue may now be a poisoned cue. Meaning, there is some aversive quality (even if it was created by the dog).  

 

Anyhow, good luck!! Either way you go, I suspect you will be breaking things down as if you were starting over to train the behavior.  


Tell me and I forget, teach me an I remember, involve me and I learn." - Benjamin Franklin

#3 alligande

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 02:15 PM

I know a lot about stopped contacts and just starting with running myself but watched a lot of people try and fail at a running DW. Before I think any of us could give any ideas or suggestions we need more info. How was the running DW trained what criteria was used, how well does the dog understand what is needed and how was the stopped position taught. I have watched a lot of creepy DWs and have a pretty good idea how they came about, but would like to know what you have trained and how you did it.

#4 KJT

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 09:03 PM

Yes he stops working when asked to 2o2o. When I initially started contact training with the intention of a 2o2o, I used a touch pad to shape the behaviour on the ground first, then moved it to a plank, then slowly lifted the height of the plank. One I could go any higher safely, we moved to a full height dw, but back chaining, so not asking for a full dw, gradually moving back his distance on the dw). This is where the "shut down" came in. As soon as the speed was added, he started refusing to come down the ramp, just staying at the top, sometimes creeping down to 2o2o, sometimes just refusing to put his feet down the ground/touch pad. He has never shut down on any other obstacle. His teeter is fine, perhaps a tad hesitant as he hasn't been doing teeter long and has yet to do one in competition, but in training he runs to the end, rides it down, 2o2o and waits for a release command.
I gave him several months off last year from comp and training and came back and started training a running dw using the ST method - carpet first, then plank or ground, then raising the plank, then full dw (lowered and I did backchain to start with), then full height dw. I used a clicker, rewarding for back feet separation on the bottom half of the contact area (because if he got the bottom half with back feet, this meant his front feet had touched first, so a solid hit). His success rate was nearly 100% when backchaining on a full height dw, but the misses have started happening when asking for speed again.

#5 alligande

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 03:08 AM

I have seen a lot of people fail with using ST's method especially when motion and speed and either give up or try another method. A number of top competitors are now using a target rather than running over a carpet, and are evolving how it is taught to make it more reliable, I watched most of the AWC on TV last year and ST's DW was not reliable compared to some others.
If you want to work on solving your 2o2o issues, check out Amanda Shyne's online classes and book, she has some great concepts for making sure a dog doesn't get stuck. When my older dog was a youngster, I took a seminar with her, I had taught the contacts myself, her comment was I love your dog, I want him, but those contacts are terrible. I followed her advice and he does have great contacts.

#6 Heartful

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 09:46 AM

https://youtu.be/sZIY7DK98UQ  -  video 1

 

 video 2

 

video 3

 

This is my approach to 2o2o, I teach the 2o2o position and the target separately. Then I put them together. I don't add agility equipment until my dog can drive across my equipment at work. I do a LOT of short sessions over the course of my young dog's early training, teaching to target the plate on the ground without moving his feet around was very challenging but I think will be VERY helpful when we get to actual equipment. 

 

The video listed is the third videoed session. I moved along too quickly which is obvious in the first video.  Video 2, I use a step to help him with an exaggerated position. Video 3, things start to come together. But I will still start the exercise with a target plate on the ground with no equipment (OR in my hand). 

 

I am not a professional, but this has worked well for me so far :) 


Tell me and I forget, teach me an I remember, involve me and I learn." - Benjamin Franklin

#7 alligande

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 12:23 PM

Heartful, can I ask why you teach a target and a position? Most of the techniques I have seen taught are basically one or the other. The theory been if the dog really understands the position it doesn't need the target as it has learnt to drive into position and you don't need to fade the target, so I am curious about the benefits



#8 Heartful

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 02:42 PM

Heartful, can I ask why you teach a target and a position? Most of the techniques I have seen taught are basically one or the other. The theory been if the dog really understands the position it doesn't need the target as it has learnt to drive into position and you don't need to fade the target, so I am curious about the benefits


My primary reason for teaching them separately is because I really feel that the target plate with sustained nose touch helps teach the dog to drive to position, as well as makes it VERY easy to mark the correct behavior, so that there is no question from the dog. By teaching a nose touch to a target plate on the ground, I can easily get the behavior without a ton of failures ON agility equipment. I never want my dog to associate equipment with failure or too many lack of reward repetitions.... I want it to be easy and to progress quickly once on equipment. I can work foot placement, stay, toy proofing, speed, motion proofing all on the ground without introducing agility equipment. I do work it on a lot of other equipment - balance equipment, stairs, etc...before getting to the agility equipment. By the time they get to work on equipment, they basically already understand the behavior...

I teach 2o2o without the target plate so that the dog can learn how to use his body - rear limb awareness and driving the rear legs back into position as the front feet come off. I think putting a target plate out to early puts all of the focus on the front end. Those rear legs should "Stick" and that requires strength and awareness work.

The dog does not likely see them as one behavior if they are both used in training...they likely see it as two - I run to the end and put two feet off, then touch the ground with my nose (or target).

It also makes it easier (IMO) to revisit in the future...
Tell me and I forget, teach me an I remember, involve me and I learn." - Benjamin Franklin

#9 KJT

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 08:43 PM

Thanks for the advice and videos. I have been looking back at old videos along our contact journey (both 2o2o and running). I think possibly where I might have gone wrong is training it (both ways) in isolation i.e the end criteria then full length dw and then because he was initially successful, then assumed it would transfer to competition, yet had done very little of training it with other obstacles before or after. Therefore the added adrenaline on a course shows that we haven't proofed it well enough (or well at all!).
At this stage I would like to keep trying a running dw, however if it continues to fall apart in comp, will go back to 2o20. We are about to have a month off training, so will come back with fresh minds.

#10 Heartful

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 09:48 AM

Thanks for the advice and videos. I have been looking back at old videos along our contact journey (both 2o2o and running). I think possibly where I might have gone wrong is training it (both ways) in isolation i.e the end criteria then full length dw and then because he was initially successful, then assumed it would transfer to competition, yet had done very little of training it with other obstacles before or after. Therefore the added adrenaline on a course shows that we haven't proofed it well enough (or well at all!).
At this stage I would like to keep trying a running dw, however if it continues to fall apart in comp, will go back to 2o20. We are about to have a month off training, so will come back with fresh minds.


Enjoy your month off! It's not easy but well worth it for everyone! :)
Tell me and I forget, teach me an I remember, involve me and I learn." - Benjamin Franklin


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