Clean Run - June 2011 - (Page 68)

Tips for Training By Daisy Peel Running Why Do You Want to Train Running Contacts? First, while it is important to be as systematic as possible with your actual training, your philosophical approach to the training plays a role in the success you ultimately achieve. Be sure that your reasons for training running contacts are honest and logical. For example, stating that you want to train running contacts to avoid wear and tear on your dog’s joints may not be an entirely logical reason when fully evaluated. If it takes more repetitions for you to train a running contact than for you to train a stopped contact, have you really avoided any wear and tear on your dog? If you would like to train running contacts because you think it is more likely to put you and your dog in the ribbons, are you going to be overly frustrated or disappointed if you end up with fantastic contacts but can’t keep your dog from going off course after the contacts? Are you fully prepared to handle your dog on those contacts? Are you able to deal with the failures that may arise throughout your training without becoming negative and pessimistic with respect to your training, or worse, your dog or Contacts Part 1 © mike lifer When I decided to train my dog Solar to have a running dogwalk and A-frame, it was not a decision I made lightly. I wasn’t sure how to train running contacts, or if the training would even work, but I felt I was ready to give it a try. Over the past two years, Solar and I have enjoyed some amount of success in the agility ring with our running contacts, and although I don’t claim to know everything there is to know about training or handling running contacts, I do think that I have learned a few things about the process and can generalize what I’ve learned in a way that may help others. Now that I am training my young dog Juno to have a running dogwalk and A-frame, I feel I am learning even more, and so I am happy to be able to pass on some tips that may help you in your training, regardless of the method you use. Here we’ll discuss some things you need to think about before training running contacts, no matter which method you choose. In part two, we’ll discuss some of the more specific requirements for success when using a running contact method similar to mine. 68 yourself? And finally, do you think you are a flexible enough trainer to change your behavior as needed throughout the process to accommodate your dog’s individual needs while he learns the behavior? I decided to train running contacts because I wanted a training challenge. It was something I hadn’t done before, and I felt as though I had learned all I wanted to learn about two-on/twooff contacts. That’s not to say that I have perfect two-on/two-off contacts with my older dog, but I do feel that I fully understand them, for better or for worse (meaning, when they fail, I know why they fail, as well as why they succeed). I still don’t entirely understand running contacts, but they continue to challenge me as a trainer and a handler—and they continue to provide incentive for me to head to the gym. I was willing to accept that I might not be as successful handling a dog around the course with running contacts, and I continue to look forward to the challenge as well as the risk that running contacts provide. Defining Your Criteria Second, the criteria for running contacts can be difficult to define, but you Clean Run | June 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - June 2011

Clean Run - June 2011
Editorializing: When Did Agility Become About Looks?
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
Building and Balancing Handler and Obstacle Focus, Part 3
Sharpening Your Snooker Skill: Teach Your Dog to Bypass Obstacles
Lameness in Agility Dogs
Confessions of a Gambling Addict, Part 2: Planning the Opening
AKC’s New Kid on the Block: Time 2 Beat
Challenges for Rising Stars
Intervertebral Disc Disease in the Canine Athlete
Challenges at CR Central
FOCUS and Impulse-control Classes: Week 2
Ready, Set, Trial! Walk, then Run
Tips for Training Running Contacts, Part 1
When is Good Enough Enough?
Agility Bloopers

Clean Run - June 2011