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Running Contacts

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Running Contacts

Postby Sarah Stokoe on Tue 21 Dec, 2010 3:38 pm

Hi Everyone

Forgive my ignorance and if this has been discussed. I would just like someone to simplify the running contact for me. I ask as people seem to be very vague who actually have a running contact when asked about them, as if they don’t want to share.

I understand that you start the dog at the bottom (like 2o2o) and work upwards when consistent in leaving the equipment, rewarding the separation of the legs.

What do you do if you encounter problems?? I know you just with hold the reward if they jump but....

What if your dog starts to come off the side?
How do you get them to go to the very end of the contact?
How do you teach them to turn at the end?

I have so many questions :cheeky:
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Re: Running Contacts

Postby Manda Scott on Tue 21 Dec, 2010 3:47 pm

I can't work out how to get you a direct link - but if you go to here:

http://silvia.trkman.net/

and navigate to 'our training' on the left hand side, and the to 'running contacts' there's a video and a comprehensive faq

I don't know if Silvia was the first person to run contacts, but I think she was the first person to win the world championships doing so....

and she answers pretty much all of the questions :)

m
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Re: Running Contacts

Postby David Hutchinson on Thu 30 Dec, 2010 9:05 pm

Yo Sarah
Odd that she (S T) missed them all in the European open though. Trouble with running contacts is that because they are b*st*rds to judge, a carefully placed jump will get you more eliminations than you would care for. See Gregs article in Agilityzone for much more in depth write up.
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Re: Running Contacts

Postby Lesley Wilks on Fri 31 Dec, 2010 12:22 pm

Dawn Weaver has brilliant running contacts with both small and large dogs. However I know of several people in this country who have had to retrain their contacts after competing in the ring.
What if you need a sharpe 180 degree turn after the dog walk say? I would imangine running contacts could waste time then. :devil:
Like Dave says, a strategically placed jump could alter the stride pattern.
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Re: Running Contacts

Postby Lorna Goodban on Fri 31 Dec, 2010 2:06 pm

Well this years KC Olympia 6/7 Winner - Laura and Rodney - have brilliant running contacts (and excellent turns off them too) :grin: Greg came 2nd and he does a running aframe.

Cadbury my scruffy grade 7 medium poodle was trained to stop to a target and I then moved that on with quicker and quicker releases to non stopping hopefully non missing contacts.

Having watched peoples videos on YouTube from day 1 to 999 :lol: and not having my own equipment or probably the patience am not sure I'd follow the running contact route but agility is ever evolving :lol:

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Re: Running Contacts

Postby Pam Ellwood on Fri 31 Dec, 2010 3:32 pm

From what I've seen "running contacts" are rather a misomer as far as the A frame and seesaw are concerned in many cases.

Yes, the DW is at a shallow enough angle to make it possible for the dog to run to the end but the A frame version often seems to consist of the dog jumping off the contact pretty high up. (Look at videos of Laura and Rodney.) In that case "running" simply seems to mean "not stopping in 2o2o". And a dog can't "run" a seesaw because it is dependent on the plank touching the ground.

I'm hesitant to comment as I'm not the most observant person in the world, nor the most technically minded, but I have watched a lot of videos and real life rounds and it just seems to me that "running contacts" aren't necessarily what they are cracked up to be. Most dogs that don't stop haven't been taught by a running contact method, I'm sure.

Having said that I wish Hazel had been taught to run her DW - it's been her downfall and even cost her a CC. She's self taught and although she has been consistent on the A frame in the past her DW has been either a brilliant run to the end or a bounce off. But she's a Medium dog whose conformation would have suited it.

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Re: Running Contacts

Postby Mary McKie on Fri 31 Dec, 2010 4:27 pm

Lesley Wilks wrote:Dawn Weaver has brilliant running contacts with both small and large dogs.


Correct me if I'm wrong (and I know you will :lol: ), but I believe Dawn Weaver trains 2o2o for most of her dogs. Certainly with a quick release command this can look as though the dog has running contacts. See Nigel Staines contacts in the ABC final at Olympia. There is a slight hesitation there, but in effect Zico is running her contacts, with the difference that Nigel could stop her if needed - a much more versatile method as far as I'm concerned. :) (just hoping I can get something similar with my pup :unsure: ).
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Re: Running Contacts

Postby Pam Ellwood on Fri 31 Dec, 2010 4:36 pm

Mary McKie wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong (and I know you will :lol: ), but I believe Dawn Weaver trains 2o2o for most of her dogs.


I wouldn't know but I've seen very definite 2o2os sometimes from 1 or 2 of her Large dogs in competition. Obviously they can do it if they have to.

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Re: Running Contacts

Postby Julie Adams on Fri 31 Dec, 2010 4:48 pm

Lorna Goodban wrote: Greg came 2nd and he does a running aframe.


Greg re-trained his A-frame to a 2o2o
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Re: Running Contacts

Postby Nic Jones on Fri 31 Dec, 2010 5:53 pm

Mary McKie wrote:
Lesley Wilks wrote:Dawn Weaver has brilliant running contacts with both small and large dogs.


Correct me if I'm wrong (and I know you will :lol: ), but I believe Dawn Weaver trains 2o2o for most of her dogs. Certainly with a quick release command this can look as though the dog has running contacts. See Nigel Staines contacts in the ABC final at Olympia. There is a slight hesitation there, but in effect Zico is running her contacts, with the difference that Nigel could stop her if needed - a much more versatile method as far as I'm concerned. :) (just hoping I can get something similar with my pup :unsure: ).


Agilityvision overlayed a true running contact and a quick release stop. With the true running the dog does not decelerate, if anything it accelerates when it starts the down plank. With a quick release the dog is decelerating from the very end of the cross plank expecting the stop and only listening for the release cue (or at least it should be).

Quick releases also have to be completely managed by the handler whereas once the dog is on the kit for the true running all management of footfall etc is left to the dog.

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Re: Running Contacts

Postby Kirsty Moyes on Sat 01 Jan, 2011 10:20 pm

Hi Sarah

My understanding of it is people who have sucessfully taught running contacts have done so based on their dogs confimation, ability to stop,
and also importantly temprament. For example, there is no point (if you want to win-that is) teaching a very small dog without alot of power a stop, as even the most driven of small dogs will have to slow down conciderably to stop as they arn't as strong- stopping takes alot of strenght.

The temerament of the dog is about how much the dog worries about getting it right. Collies in particular are extremely sensitive to getting it right, as they want to please, stopping alot can result in a loss of drive no matter how much its rewarded. Sensitive dogs tend to prefer not stopping because slightly adjusting their stride and running (running contacts) is easier than going from full speed to standing still (2o2o) and therefore its easier to get it right- the sensitive dogs sole ambition. So if you teach the dog a contact method that it finds easier, itll have more confidence to run at full speed. I think part of the success of current top handlers isnt simply about being a good dog trainer or handler, but about being attuned to the dog and knowing what suits it best.

My small dog is the perfect example of the above. Hes a very little senstive toy poodle and was taught 2o2o to begin with and hates contacts because of it. I wish I knew the above when I was teaching him contacts or I would have taught him runnings...

Thats not to say 2o2o doesn't have a place. My young collie is made of much tougher stuff and shes being taught 2o2o, but in time I will change this to a 50% quick release 50% stop.

Sorry I'm rubbish at explaining... I have no idea this will make sense. x
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Re: Running Contacts

Postby Nic Jones on Sun 02 Jan, 2011 8:27 am

Kirsty Moyes wrote:Hi Sarah

My understanding of it is people who have sucessfully taught running contacts have done so based on their dogs confimation, ability to stop,
and also importantly temprament. For example, there is no point (if you want to win-that is) teaching a very small dog without alot of power a stop, as even the most driven of small dogs will have to slow down conciderably to stop as they arn't as strong- stopping takes alot of strenght.

The temerament of the dog is about how much the dog worries about getting it right. Collies in particular are extremely sensitive to getting it right, as they want to please, stopping alot can result in a loss of drive no matter how much its rewarded. Sensitive dogs tend to prefer not stopping because slightly adjusting their stride and running (running contacts) is easier than going from full speed to standing still (2o2o) and therefore its easier to get it right- the sensitive dogs sole ambition. x



But how many sensitive dogs can cope with the high failure rate of the initial training a running contact? It's not a behaviour that can be lured so the dog has to have enough resilience to keep repeating and to be thinking between repeats to adjust its behaviour until it is successful. A stop contact is such a specific behaviour it is easy for the dog to achieve and thus be successful (and subsequently confident etc) but there are many more criteria to a successful runing contact.

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Re: Running Contacts

Postby Pam Ellwood on Sun 02 Jan, 2011 10:24 am

Kirsty Moyes wrote: Hes a very little senstive toy poodle and was taught 2o2o to begin with and hates contacts because of it.


Are you sure that's why he hates contacts?

IME the main reason why that happens is that the trainer has not made the end position sufficiently rewarding before progressing to the whole obstacle, and/or the handler giving a cue to stop too early.

We have a dog just like yours (sensitive toy poodle) in our club that has no trouble with 2o2o. He falls apart at the slightest suggestion that he has gone wrong so his owner never lets him know. She hides it so well I didn't realise just how bad he could be until she told me.

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Re: Running Contacts

Postby Sherie Vicary-Carter on Sun 02 Jan, 2011 10:34 am

Nic Jones wrote:But how many sensitive dogs can cope with the high failure rate of the initial training a running contact? It's not a behaviour that can be lured so the dog has to have enough resilience to keep repeating and to be thinking between repeats to adjust its behaviour until it is successful. A stop contact is such a specific behaviour it is easy for the dog to achieve and thus be successful (and subsequently confident etc) but there are many more criteria to a successful runing contact.


:agree: My sensitive dog when learning if I repeated even a jump exercise with him a couple of times would lose confidence and practicly trot the sequence after a 2nd repitition for fear of getting it wrong! He was taught 2o2o because he could get loads of praise for getting it right! He has a fast release in compeitition and has learnt to run to the end. Incidently, he has made it to Gr 6 with consistent contacts and as far as he is aware, has never made a mistake :lol:
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Re: Running Contacts

Postby Pam Ellwood on Sun 02 Jan, 2011 10:53 am

Nic Jones wrote:A stop contact is such a specific behaviour it is easy for the dog to achieve and thus be successful (and subsequently confident etc).

Nic


And more versatile too.

I do think people can get blinkered about running contacts and only concentrate on the speed of the obstacle itself, as Dave said earlier. You can see examples of a running contact dog having to decelerate after the DW to take a jump straight ahead simply because it is going so fast. I fail to see how that is better than a dog having a controlled
release and therefore more time to judge the next jump.

I'm not against running contacts if a dog is built for them and the handler has the skill to teach them and essential directional cues for turns off them, plus the 100% timing that is needed. I imagine fast running contacts can be very unforgiving of human error. (I don't count non stopping contacts where the dog is going so slowly that the handler can keep up to manage the end touch point as running contacts.)

Flashiness is on the increase in dog handling and training - some of the Europeans are the worst for that. We need to consider whether fancy moves and training methods are actually improvements or just showing off before jumping on a particular bandwagon.

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