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alligande

Running or stopped contacts - if you starting a new dog what would your choice be?

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I have been giving a lot of though to contacts, my older dog stops but what is my youngster going to do? What are everyone's current thoughts and reasons

I am thinking stopped on the dog walk and running on the Aframe.

 

Stopped on the dog walk:

Very hard to handle the end, and judges are setting traps at the end just for running contacts and I will never be fast enough to get to the end before a border collie.

Training seems to be very hard to get right, after watching the world championship and seeing a very high faliure rate. I also know people who have spent 2 years solid training to get a decent running dog walk.

No physical reason not to stop as the angle is not hard on the joints

 

Running on the Aframe:

Very easy to beat a border collie to the end

Can be trained with a high degree of sucess using striding.

Very little faliure at the worlds.

Stopping is hard on the shoulders.

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Alligande. I have the same logic as you. I have been considering the same question (even tho my dog is much older than yours, we have been doing other stuff and therefore have not done any contact training.)

 

In my fantasy world, I would want both a stopped and running DW contact. I know a few people have it, but they are great trainers, and I know I am not. Plus, my young dog has a very long stride which, IMHO, can make the running DW training much harder.

 

Following to read other opinions.

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I can't decide for Bandit, so I don't know what I would decide for a new dog.

I am fairly certain I want the running on the A-Frame, but I can't make up my mind about the DW.

 

Using that book that I referenced in my other post, I won't need to do a ton of reps on the actual contact equipment . . .

 

I have no issue with the fact that he will get ahead of me. He will get ahead of me on lines of jumps and tunnels, etc. I don't run in the international style venues, so I am not concerned about the same kind of traps after the dogwalk that you are.


My biggest concern is that criteria will be clear to him so he can be independent on his contacts.

 

I am still undecided at the moment.

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Would have to agree with Blackdawgs. People forget about the stress on the up.

 

Stopped contacts are easy to teach and for the dog to understand, and if they are trained properly they are perfectly adequate for most purposes. I like an easy life.

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I have a stop on the DW and a running a frame for pretty much the reasons you listed. I did start off training a running DW and it was either great, or not so much. It is hard to clearly communicate criteria. Initially it was fun to work on and then it became not fun so we switched to a stop. Easy peasy since he had a stop on the teeter.

 

I basically used the Rachel Sanders box method with a few tweaks (a stationary alley pop to run through, placed about 4-5' from the base of the frame). I did lots of ground work before putting it on the frame and have done minimal reps on the frame to fine tune and proof it. Rook has run in about 8 -10 trials (multiple classes with frames per trial) and so far only 1 miss on an exit with a sharp turn to the left. I practice the aframe once a week on average for maybe 5 reps. Some weeks not at all. If it was something I had to practice a lot to maintain I might change my opinion of it. I love it :-)

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looks like a lot of us are having similar ideas

It is my feeling that the number of reps needed for a reliable running A-frame are as hard if not harder on a dog than a stop.

 

That has always been my argument, but recently I have seen a number of dogs who have been successfully and easily trained using a stride regulator on the A-frame and it seems to hold up in competition. My suspicion is that it depends on the dog, some get it and others would require to many reps.

 

Alligande. I have the same logic as you. I have been considering the same question (even tho my dog is much older than yours, we have been doing other stuff and therefore have not done any contact training.)

In my fantasy world, I would want both a stopped and running DW contact. I know a few people have it, but they are great trainers, and I know I am not. Plus, my young dog has a very long stride which, IMHO, can make the running DW training much harder.

Following to read other opinions.

That is my fantasy world too, but I don't think it is going to happen, I also have to work with the reality that I seem to be growing another big border collie and running dog walks are living on the edge :wacko:

 

 

Would have to agree with Blackdawgs. People forget about the stress on the up.

 

Stopped contacts are easy to teach and for the dog to understand, and if they are trained properly they are perfectly adequate for most purposes. I like an easy life.

A sentiment I appreciate Pam

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Actually, I am liking the idea of training both a stop and a running on the DW.

 

Hmmmmmmmm . . . . might be a good solution to my "I can't decide" dilemma.

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Kylie actually *does* have a running and stopped, and I am no amazing trainer - however, Kylie is slightly more than 11" tall and training her running took very little. It is trained, not just running off and luck, but it didn't take much.


HOWEVER, while she has never missed a contact (Okay she missed one, once the first time she did agility after 6 months break, but it was before running) she has occasionally had either the running degrade and come close in practice *or* has skidded to a stop at the end and slid off the bottom of the a-frame so all four feet are narrowly off before coming to a full stop. Both are relatively rare, but they happen, and I am actually doing a bit of reworking on the stopped now, anyway, because I need her cue and Molly's to be the same and they aren't.

 

I don't think doing that is popular, and I'm pretty sure my instructor thinks it's a mistake. I think she's probably actually right - but it's working for me, at least for now. If it stops, well. Eh. It's agility training, not something terribly important. The consequences are, with her, at worst, annoying.

 

Molly, I have not and likely will not teach running She's big, she's fast, she's powerful. Kylie might miss a contact zone and nq. Molly might fail to touch the downside at all. She's done it. I don't want that to happen again. I also, at least at this stage, very much do not want to give up that measure of control I have over her on the course. Yes, I can beat her to the other side of the a-frame - if I start with her there. When I'm 3 obstacles behind her to start with, not so much!

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Hazel, now 16, taught herself a reliable running A frame.

 

Dog walk a different matter. So long ago she wasn't taught well from the start and although her running dw was awesome, it was never more than 50%.

 

Running contacts were accidental and not generally taught when she was starting out.

 

Different story 10 years ago with Kye - 2o2o taught with strict criteria and no slippage permitted in competition. worked very well.

 

Because of training limitations with Risk we've stuck with 2o2o with great success in terms of speed and reliability.

 

We have a trainer who trains herself with the GB squad who admits that you don't really need running contacts here if everything else is right and you aren't interested in competing internationally.

 

If I was competing exclusively in situations where saving hundreds or thousandths of a second weren't important I wouldn't consider training running myself.

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I see a lot of running A-frames in the local USDAA trials, where time is more important than in other venues. I don't know how people train their running A-frames or if they train them and leave it to happenstance....but I see A LOT of missed contacts in Masters, where interestingly, judges tend to not call misses unless the offense is really egregious. In my experience, judges tend to call misses more consistently in starters and advanced.

 

Running contacts have become trendy and cool as has become a certain handling system. I'm starting to see people becoming bogged down in trendy and cool rather than tried and true.

 

I have no plans to compete internationally and my dog is plenty fast even with a stop or in his case a quick stop. These days, my dog only does the A-frame in trials and in his one day a week class and I am having trouble believing that this small number of stops is significantly affecting his shoulders. If one is truly worried about their dog's shoulders, the dog shouldn't weave or jump. Or jump off furniture. Or play ball.

 

To answer the original question, future new dogs will have a stop on both the A-frame and dog walk.

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Running contacts have become trendy and cool as has become a certain handling system. I'm starting to see people becoming bogged down in trendy and cool rather than tried and true.

 

It's funny to me that you say that.

 

Every one of my Agility dogs: Maddie, Dean, and Tessa, have had a running A-Frame, and Dog Walk. Tessa's DW is more of a "run through", but I don't ask her to stop.

 

That's 10 years of "trend" for me. When I think about it, for me the running contacts are "the norm", and training a stop would be a departure from what I always do.

 

As for that handling system - I'm not over the moon for it, and I am less than appreciative that it has pretty much taken over everything. But I will say that I have picked up some useful skills from it - particularly for Snooker openings.

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Absolutely right on fashion Blackdawgs. Too many people selling the latest way to make training more complicated or claiming ownership of what many have been doing for years but didn't think of marketing it. We train Euro moves but also go back to basics with the tried and tested methods as well.

 

With weaves too, I've tried several methods but tbh with a dog with decent drive virtually anything will work and starting out with in line weaves can be as successful as anything else.

 

With contacts I absolutely don't want a dog that is slow on the down ramp whether it then stops or strolls leisurely over the contact and off. Creepers are often better not being stopped because they usually lack the acceleration to get going again. Stopped or running I want acceleration to the end. And I want it from the other side of the ring if need be.

 

At the end of the day I would decide on one or the other, or both, depending on the dog's conformation and stride. I don't believe in trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole. Both our collies are the same shape, just one is a scaled down version of the other and I've never felt either to be a realistic candidate for running contacts.

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I'm a dork. The only thing I am adding here is that I edited to say I will not teach Molly RUNNING for - list of reasons.

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Absolutely right on fashion Blackdawgs. Too many people selling the latest way to make training more complicated or claiming ownership of what many have been doing for years but didn't think of marketing it. We train Euro moves but also go back to basics with the tried and tested methods as well.

 

Last year I had a English international judge tell me to watch the WAC and the WAO and notice the new moves being introduced by certain handlers (as he said you know who I am talking about) they are then going to make a nice living of teaching that move for the next year at expensive seminars.

 

If you look at a certain trendy handling system it is all still fundamentaly based on the 3 basic crosses, if your dog learns to read body position and motion all the fancy handling falls into place. I have not done a seminar where I have been shown a new handling technique that my dog has not picked up straight away - me, not so quickly.

 

Intrestingly all the handlers for a certain trendy Finnish handling system all have stopped contacts, as do a number of successful international competitors.

 

I suspect I will give running a go on the Aframe and if I don't like how it is going and if it is going to take to many reps then I will switch to a stop. I know someone one who does NOW have a consistent and stunning running dog walk with her papillion but it took 2 1/2 years of training nearly every day ... That is to much repetion for me.

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The problem with true running flat-out contacts is that you need to either be ahead of your dog all the time (not happening with me) or need verbals for left, right and backside jumps. If I were a judge and wanted to test handlers, I'd stick either a backside jump or an off-course obstacle directly after a contact obstacle.

My older border collie who is fairly small has true running contacts and I blanche everytime I see an off-course tunnel entry directly after the dogwalk or a backside after an A-frame. She doesn;'t get called on her contacts more than once a year but she's small, sane and experienced. But for her, I have to work the rest of the course around my handling plan for off-course obstacles after the contacts.

My younger dogs have a 2o2o with a self-release unless I tell them to stay. Very easy to train, and wastes very little time on course. They hit their touch and go -- unless I've told them to stay and then I can get in position for the next obstacle if I need. I don't need to waste seconds with a completely stopped contact all the time, but I have it if I need it. That too has held up in competition quite well.

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I think you've hit the nail on the head Karen.

 

One Mind looks good but mainly because the majority of people pushing it are young, fit, fast and have legs up to their armpits. The hype appeals to the inner tree hugger. Analyse it and really what's new or special? What is there that hasn't been pretty commonplace with successful handlers for a long time?

 

Will go and check out their contacts on You Tube. Certainly the training I've seen has been pretty standard 2o2o.

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Intrestingly all the handlers for a certain trendy Finnish handling system all have stopped contacts, as do a number of successful international competitors.

 

Yep, I noticed that too.

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My younger dogs have a 2o2o with a self-release unless I tell them to stay. Very easy to train, and wastes very little time on course. They hit their touch and go -- unless I've told them to stay and then I can get in position for the next obstacle if I need. I don't need to waste seconds with a completely stopped contact all the time, but I have it if I need it. That too has held up in competition quite well.

How to teach a self-release?

 

I can teach a stopped, then release on command - so I try to time the release word for when they hit the contact zone, but a self- release? Suggestions please!

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Loved hearing everyone's opinions, it looks like we mostly agree on what and the why of our contact behaviours. My training partner and owner of the club I belong to, keeps pushing me to go with running contacts as that is what all the good local and national handlers are currently doing, being the independent minded (and more experienced) person that I am, I know it will not work for me, and my future big border collie, long legged border collie, you have all reinforced that my thinking is right for me.

After watching alot of the AWC there was a lot of quick release contacts which were a lot more reliable than running contacts, if Pam's dogs can get to grade 7 in a competitive enviroment, a quick release it will work for me.

 

And as a final thought on the subject the trainer I occasionally work with in the UK who is a successful grade 7 handler, made the decision with both her and her husbands young dogs to go stopped on the dog walk and a running Aframe, she told me they spent so much time working on the running DW with her husbands youngster that she realized that she was missing a lot of fundamentals as all the training time was being spent on the dog walk, so they went back started over and this summer, their first competing went from grade 1 to 5.

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How to teach a self-release?

 

I can teach a stopped, then release on command - so I try to time the release word for when they hit the contact zone, but a self- release? Suggestions please!

How to teach a self-release?

 

I can teach a stopped, then release on command - so I try to time the release word for when they hit the contact zone, but a self- release? Suggestions please!

My younger dogs have a 2o2o with a self-release unless I tell them to stay. Very easy to train, and wastes very little time on course. They hit their touch and go -- unless I've told them to stay and then I can get in position for the next obstacle if I need. I don't need to waste seconds with a completely stopped contact all the time, but I have it if I need it. That too has held up in competition quite well.

Like Jovi I am curious and would like to know more and see it in action, perhaps a new topic :)

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Like Jovi I am curious and would like to know more and see it in action, perhaps a new topic :)

Great idea. I will start it and hope to get input.

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I tried training a running DW. No dice. I retrained a stop and really like it. Gives me a chance to get into position for the following sequence. I have a running AF, but it would be nice to sometimes have a stop for the same reason. I might with my pup try to get a stop all four on the ground at the bottom of the AF.

 

Gina Pizzo

Abbey and Baby Shay

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