Lorrie’s Agility Dog Blog

Musings on Dogs, Agility, and Being an Instructor

Retraining Contacts: Session 3

I gave up hope that we might be able to play outside yesterday (Saturday) and decided to work with Maxx inside instead.  My plan is to get him running through a hoop, transfer the hoop to the bottom of the contacts, get him running all the way through the bottom of the contacts, fade the hoop, and THEN start using a different contact word.  They won’t be true running contacts since I want him to slow down, but hopefully he will hit a higher percentage than he is now. 

So far we have had three sessions of running through the hoop, and in class I used the hoop at the bottom of the dogwalk.  You will see in the video from today that he started out running through with his head up.  I started putting treats on the ground and throwing treats down the hallway before he ran through so his head would be down as he went to the treats.  I hate using the lure and props since I have to fade them later, but I couldn’t think of any other way to do it that would produce results in a fairly short period of time.  Click on the link below to see the video of our training session.

Retraining session 3

I think he is doing well.  The hard part will be transitioning it to trials.  I’m being a bad trainer – I know I shouldn’t trial with him while I’m trying to retrain, but we have trials close to home every weekend in May!  I am signed up to be chief ring steward or scorekeeper, so I can’t miss them.  My plan is to not use any word for the contacts while I’m trialing.  I will use my body motion to tell him to slow down and if he hits them, great, if not, I can’t complain since I am sure he will be confused for a bit.  I still have a couple of weeks to really work on this before the next trial.

Don’t you wish they understood the English language?  If I could just tell him “You can keep playing if you will just run all the way to the end,” I don’t think I would have a problem any more :-).  I guess that’s why I have a clicker (or my word “yes”) – it’s the best way to communicate I have found so far.      

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April 19, 2009 - Posted by | Agility, Contact Obstacles, Training | , , , , , ,

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