I was exhausted after our Saturday afternoon fun run and it was a really hot day so Sunday afternoon I went through my video collection and watched Amanda Shyne's DVD CONTACTS 360. There is a video preview on youtube for the DVD. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlJVVmZO5Hw
The DVD is filmed at a seminar. I have had it for a few years but I have to admit that I had never watched the ENTIRE thing (there is 4 hours of video). At the very first I have to admit I found it distracting that there was a horrible rain storm, which made it hard for me to get into the dvd. If I would have persevered I would have found that the rain soon ended and the DVD was back to a better energy in a fairly short time ;-).
I have seen Cricket is doing her dog walk really nicely, nothing to complain about but I do see some stickiness and I would not be surprised if it started to slow down eventually....I was not sure what to do about that, but I was hoping this DVD would give some me some ideas so I would know what to work on.
I do like Amandas approach which is to train each component you might look for on your contacts separately, like you work on speed, you work on control, you could work on position, but you keep in mind which component you want to work on and you carefully evaluate how you reward so you can reward for what you are training for. For example Amanda says she rarely ever does a full teeter. She trials every weekend so I am sure her dog does a few full teeters at every trial but every day she works on speed across the board or she works on the end position, but she keeps them separate so she can make it clear to the dog what she is looking for.
For speed across the dog walk Amanda will use a board to have the dogs run across, when the dog is running quickly then she will let them go across the dog walk when they have built up speed. I can not wait to get my board in place and try that game. She says she rarely does more then one dog walk, if she gets a good performance at anything then it is time to stop. She also will not reward a slow dog walk or poor performance by the dog to avoid confusing them.
In her video she covers working on the 2020 position and some games for that. How to build some speed on the dog walk. How to use stride regulators on the aframe to get a faster aframe and a nicer stride. How to work on speed on the teeter or how to work the end position on the teeter. Basically I thought there were some very good ideas, and I am glad I took the time to finally watch the full DVD, I got some great training ideas for the Crickster.
I also liked there was a section on training the dogs to line up to the equipment to make for safe entries, and she showed how to train some exits you should train and practice on the dog walk and aframe, like a flip back into a tunnel, how to teach the dog to let you run ahead to say put a jump in between you and him so you can handle a serpentine to the next obstacle, how to train so the dog can know to wait for a release even if you are pushing past them, pulling, or flipping them into a tunnel on either side of the contact.
I could not resist going out today as soon as it cooled down to try one of the games. I could not believe how great Cricket did at this game since it was her first time trying it. I think the girl knows her target position! In this game I am supposed to move into different positions and give her the "touch" command and without helping her have her jump into position, releasing fairly quick to make it a fun, quick game. Eventually I should be able to run alongside and have her get in position and wait for a release.
WEAVERS CHALLENGE UPDATE!
Check out Ricky who apparently WEAVES FOR WATERMELON. I still can not believe his sends and check out his moms running-they both look so AMAZING.
Pam and Twix did the jump position 3 and check out how beautifully Twix is weaving, he is a very new weaver and check out how Pam has added in lots of toy distractions, they are doing GREAT! Very Impressive!
Check out Cynthia with Tatum-Tatum is doing great and seems like she was getting the idea of a send, what a good girl!
and Cynthia is no slouch so she had both her dogs weaving! Look at how great Jet did-he has some speedy weaves!
I just want to remind everyone that anyone can join our challenge at any time. If you have a video you want to share the link to and I missed you you can email me your link at email@example.com .
The directions are posted at http://kathy-agilityadventures.blogspot.com/2011/06/mastering-independant-weaves-challenge.html