Sunday, January 25, 2009

Contacts training plan-works in progress

It seems everyone around here needs some contact work, IMAGINE that. In honor of my New Years Resolution to be more goal oriented and work more effectively (not as scattered) here is my training plan.
Working on my traveling plank and making the position I have chosen for the dogs VERY REWARDING
Make sure the dogs understand the position, regardless of my positioning
Only release the dogs with a verbal release
First running up and over the obstacle until there is a good stride, then starting with the obstacles low and raising it slowly to help the dog to develope the muscles to hold their criteria.
I am going to follow the Bridging the Contacts DVD from Rachel Saunders. First working understanding the contact position on the floor, then on the obstacle, then while walking, then while running and adding in Handling manuevers.

One thing my first agility instructor Deanna used to make us do was to write out what we expect on the contacts, we would then run them and see how closely we were sticking to what we wanted-usually there was a lot of difference.
Cherry: On teeter, dog walk and Aframe will load onto the obstacle straight
slide into a straight down with elbows on obstacle and front two feet off, head forward and down low. This might change on the Aframe depending how she can hold that as I put the Aframe up-I am concerned about her back end strength to maintain that, so that is what I will shoot for and if I need to just accept a weight shift back ward that is ok to, straight exit off the obstacle, and to maintain the position until released.
Lizzie, actually the same as Cherry.
Breeze, the same as Liz and Cherry on the teeter and dog walk, on the Aframe she is doing a four on the floor and will run down the obstacle and then down, facing straight, immediately when four feet are on the ground.
CHLOE, humm, still working on that. The 2O2O hurts her and if she has a couple of Aframes she does start avoiding them and she has had a shoulder injury in the past. She loves it though and really doesnt seem to want to run through the contact. I am going to play around with a couple of different ways of seeing if I can get her comfortable with running through the Aframe contact, and on the dog walk she is doing a traditional 2o2o.

Another thing Diana from 4 Dog Craziness blog was talking about is the importance of releaseing the dog to another obstacle after the Aframe or dog walk, and I have been a little lazy about that, so ....
I am looking for volunteers or ways to work with Breezes dog walk. I feel uncomfortable introducing it again after she got hurt on it so badly last year -I really feel I need another pair of eyes to watch her gait and maybe stand at the right places occassionally. I am having Breeze do a lot of playing and tricks on the travel plank, then going to have her do tricks on the low dog walk, have her running across the plank and low dog walk, eventually raise the dog walk to full height but very slowly-over months possibly.
Cherrys teeter training is going marvelously and I have figured out how I can train that working by myself.

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