The Running Contact Saga continued...

So many ups and downs in our attempt to have a real running dog walk (and aframe).  I think the biggest hinder to our success has been the lack of a real dog walk to practice on.  I taught him on a 12 ft board propped up on various house hold objects until we got to full height.  But as our instructor pointed out, it is doing us no good to continue to practice on just the 10ft board as his striding is going to be completely different when he actually has to stride over the entire obstacle and at full speed  It's not like Vito is "jumping" (usually still in the yellow, just not striding through) every time, but he is doing it often enough to worry me.  

I've been close to giving up this training so many times and just switching to a 2o2o since you can practice that position almost anywhere and striding should not change the outcome.  But after much discussion I am going to keep at it and go back a few steps in our training.  The ball as a target is going to be there every single time again and I am going to move it in closer to help keep his head low.  I am a bit worried about him slowing down on the descent in order to collect for his ball.  It's not the longer time to do the obstacle that worries me, more so the fact that slowing down changes his stride from the full run he will eventually be doing again when the ball is out farther.  A running contact is about RUNNING.  But so far it does seem to be helping.

And as far as his regular agility class goes, I love it!  I feel like I am finally learning how to handle this dog and Vito has really opened up on the courses.  He is gaining confidence by the bounds and allowing me to work at a distance from him.  We are able to handle tough sequences much more in sync with each other and I really think we can be ready to trial soon, as long as it's not standard!

Mango  – ( June 26, 2010 at 6:31 AM )  

I have read that the running contact is much better for the dog's joints than the 2x2. Might need to get a ring rental to do that with Dex. THe 2x2 is easier to train so I think that is the default. Wonderful job with Vito.

Mango Momma

Muttsandaklutz  – ( June 26, 2010 at 7:31 PM )  

I've heard it takes a lot of dedication, and maybe a little bit of luck? to get a solid running contact. From following your blog, dedication is not something you're at all short on. His dogwalks look amazing in that video!

Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( June 26, 2010 at 8:41 PM )  

Yes running contacts can be a lot easier on a dogs joints then 2o2o. With Lance's structure I would never do a 2o2o but I don't feel like it would be horrible to do with Vito's structure, especially if you teach them to go into it with the weight on their hind feet and rocked back. Go to Silvia Trkman's website if you're interested as it really lays out the "how to" quite well. It takes a ton of work though, especially if you can't access a DW on a regular basis.

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