Sunday, May 31, 2009

Running contacts

While I should have been doing some yard work (like trimming my hedges and cutting up the old branches from when I pruned the tree in the winter) I have started Rampage and the running contact foundation using Silvia Trkman's method and Rachel's box method. I'm continuing with his 2o/2o foundation as well, but that is nowhere as fun as the running stuff so we haven't done so much lately. I'm still pretty sure that I will ultimately be using the 2o/2o with a nose touch for the dogwalk, but I am also very sure that I want a running aframe. But I think the idea of training the running dogwalk is just too fun to pass up, even if it's just to see how far I can get with it.

So I'm in a bit of a dangerous situation with the running dogwalk. Since I don't believe I'm going to be ultimately using it I am really experimenting with him on it. I'm sending him, running with him, recalling him. I think it's important to do all of these, but maybe not in your first few days... I've also tried both toys and the treat&train for rewards. I think they each have their pros and cons when it comes to the training.

With a thrown toy, he is faster but more likely to leap over the contact or come off the side. He tends to look back at me for the toy instead of looking forward. His striding is often thrown off when I throw the toy.

With a placed toy he is pretty fast and his striding is better, but if I ever decide he didn't make the criteria then he still gets the toy unless I can call him off it, which I'd rather not do.

Rampage Running DW 053109 (toy) from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

With the Treat&Train he is quite a bit slower (although he picked up speed closer to the end) but I really liked his striding with the t&t and if he missed the contact it's so easy not to reward.

Rampage Running DW 053109 (t&t) from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.

We're also doing work with the pvc box from Rachel's running a-frame method. Rampage is a pretty big fan of the box and is hitting them very consistently (aside from the 2nd rep in the video). I'm only using a toy with him and it seems to be going ok. He's looking back at me less than he used to. The next stage with the box will be to have him start to seek it out instead of having it right in front of him. I'm not expecting him to have the "pounce" that Rachel talks about in her video. This might come back to haunt me later, but I'd rather have him stride down the a-frame rather than 'pounce' down.

Rampage a-frame box work 053109 from Agility Dogs on Vimeo.


  1. loved watching Rampage and it will be fun to follow your contact training journey with him. I had to laugh watching Polly join Rampage with the treat trainer:>)

  2. if anyone should consider a running dogwalk it is you, Ballerina, with the long legs and consistent running ability....

  3. Thanks guys!

    I'm as much of a ballerina as Godzilla is, Celeste!