Chaos Crew

Chaos Crew

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Skye contacts training

It seems that Contacts is the subject of interest lately, and why not, as they are often an area of contention for many.
At Skye's last 2 trials, he's missed quite a number of contacts. I decided to film him to evaluate his performance and see if I can make some adjustments to our training to make his contacts more successful. As you will see in the video, his dogwalk contact was looking great with the stride regulator in place. This is the first time I have tried this "crutch" with him, but since he is responding very well to it, I will continue to try and build some "muscle memory". His Aframe is OK, and typically we are not called for an Aframe contact unless I frontcross in front of the frame. It does seem that he is only using the top 6 or 8 inches of the AF contact zone, which is fine for AKC, but in USDAA it makes for a very close call. I may try adding a stride regulator here too and see if it causes him to adjust his steps.

Note that today I did do more contact training and he again hit all his dogwalk contacts with the stride regulator in place. I did not add one to the AFrame though, and his performance was consistent with what we have had in the past.


Morganne said...

Looks like the stride regulator is causing a break in his stride which may be why he is striding into the yellow in the video.

Isn't the USDAA a-frame contact the same as AKC? I thought it was just the DW contact that was 6 inches shorter.

When I retrained Sage's contacts. In absence of being able to use a verbal cue, I ended up teaching a physical cue to break her stride on the DW and then let her continue to run through into the yellow. So far she hasn't been called for DW contact in USDAA.

Greg S said...

Yeah you are right Morganne (Emily pointed that out to me on my Youtube account too). I was thinking that USDAA's contacts were all shorter than AKC, but forgot the AF was the same. All the better for me! He rarely gets called for an AF, and if he does, its typically my fault for pulling him off the side or getting in his way.
But... Dogwalks have definitely been a problem in USDAA for us, so I am happy to see him adjusting in training with the stride regulator.
We will be testing it out this coming weekend in Utah's USDAA, so I need to keep up the reps and see if it holds up!

Kim & Quin said...

My question is where are you when Skye blows his contacts? Are you in the same spot you are in training?

I see where you are in the training video but I also see that Skye is really checking in with you which I don't remember seeing in trials. Of course, I'm just getting back into those so maybe I've missed it.

Greg S said...

Kim, he does seem to check with me even in trials. If you watch this youtube
at point 3:06 of the video in our standard run, he actually leaps the dogwalk contact, though we were not called for it (I must have blocked the judge's view). You can see he does look at me after his leap. I do have a tunnel at the end of the dogwalk that I am sending him into, so he should be driving forward, not looking at me. Katrina is reminding me that I need to look at the CONTACT when is coming down, not at him, which I think I was doing before as well.