In the last fortnight, I've made a big decision to retrain Joc's contacts. For the uninitiated, a dog must touch both the up and down contact on the see-saw. dog walk and A frame. In the video, you will see the contact area painted white. If a dog leaps off the obstacle without touching the contact area, that is regarded as a fault.
I was doing running contacts with him with mixed results - mainly due to my sloppy training. When I say mainly, I actually mean entirely. Even with poor contacts we somehow managed to pass novice into excellent and when we got it right we did get some good results, but we would blow a course more often than not. While running contacts are faster on an agility course, they take much longer to train than the old "two on two off" (TOTO) position. I've decided that sacrificing a few seconds using TOTO is better than continuing to muddle along with my existing poor contacts and getting a DQ.
Before I made the big decision, I thought I would spend more time on his running contacts. I thought it was going fairly well at home, he was hitting the white contact a little higher than I would like, but it was acceptable. Then I went to the dog club, and his contacts were rubbish, despite all of the extra work I'd put in! We need to remember the necessity of proofing behaviours in different locations and scenarios, but I was hoping for something better than leaping off the top of the A frame.
So below you will find the retraining of Joc's contacts. I started the TOTO training last week and at the first session at the dog club, his contacts were looking much more promising, he was getting into the correct position consistently.
Then for a bit of fun with Buddy the Chihuahua and Gunny the Bengal.