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Old 01-20-2013, 01:59 PM
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Question 2o-2o Vs Running contacts, effect on structure?

This came up in a Beauceron group, and I'm really lost on what to do. When I started training Enda in agility, I looked generally from a training standpoint on both contact methods, and decided that for pure reliability I would go 2o-2o, seems like a good idea? At one of our classes last fall, when we were doing a course run at the end of class Enda did a very nice "running contact" on the a-frame and the trainer said to us how nice that looked but "I'm sure you want to instead do 2o-2o don't you" in the form of a statement more than a question. Well, at the time of coarse I agreed and we practiced the rest of our classes a lot with the a-frame and other contacts with 2o-2o.

Fast forward, no classes for miss special time of the year, and a discussion on the Beauceron group comes up about doing agility with the breed, and preference by some for lower jump heights because of their larger/heavier structure than the sleeker Border collies, and that's when another member cut in with her own experience, her first agility dog was ruined instead by the pounding impact created from 2o-2o on the a-frame, the dog literally slammed to the ground and repeatedly doing it broke down her shoulders.

I never thought of that! But, it makes sense, the more I look at it the more I see it! So, now I'm really questioning where to go from here. We don't go back to agility till she's "out", until then I would really like peoples opinions here. I put this in health, because I want to know about the vs of the two techniques from a health standpoint, and what you all know, vs the use of either method on coarse as I'm sure you've discussed it before.

Thoughts? Opinions? Why? Help me choose?


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Old 01-20-2013, 02:23 PM
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I don't have any science to back it up, but it just seems logical to me that running full speed downwards and suddenly stopping has to put unnecessary stress on a dog's joints. If they practice self preservation to minimize the sudden force on their joints, you end up with the horrid creep down the downside of the frame.

I have heard of people training a 4 off stopped contact instead of a 2o/2o. It seems to me that might minimize the sudden force on shoulder/elbows/etc.

My trainer only does stopped contacts when there is an extreme need for the handler to catch up to the dog.

edit: Here's an article saying a possible cause of injury is 2o/2o contacts: http://www.akcchf.org/assets/files/c...eps-injury.pdf
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:53 PM
PawsibleDogs PawsibleDogs is offline
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My personal answer would be, it depends.

A slamming 2o2o is harder on a dog than a well done running contact, but a good 2o2o (that is kept crystal clear and few maintenance repetitions are needed) is probably easier on the dog than a poor running contact (which is what I would define most "natural" running contacts as -- the dog leaps off from a usually acceptable place vs. striding through).

IMO if you want to have a low-stress performance you need to systematically train it, regardless of what "it" is.

If you want running contacts (for both or just the aframe), I'm a big fan of Silvia Trkman's method (also Daisy Peel does a slightly modified version, or rather I believe it's more of Silvia's original method). There's also Rachel Sanders' box method which works fairly well also. Both of these methods emphasize reps at lower heights and problem solving at lower heights so you can minimize reps at higher ones.

If you decide to keep your 2o2o, I would work hard to make sure your criteria stays crystal clear and don't do a bunch of reps to "maintain" it. A Clean Run archives search (or in their "magazine forum" section of their website) will probably produce lots of articles on how to keep your 2o2o's sharp. IMO one of the most detrimental habits handlers can get into that breaks down their 2o2o is the early release. It may save time in the short term, but it often causes creeping and/or blown contacts later which is difficult to get rid of. 100% clear criteria is faster and more reliable than muddy criteria.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:58 PM
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The injuries is why so many people have stopped training 2o2o especially with fast dogs or dogs with certain types of conformation or a steeper shoulder etc. That and because RC's are faster.
Having said, RC's should also be trained properly or the dogs end up leaving the zone to far up and the results in the end out be the same....injuries. That was a topic in the agility thread last year if I remember correctly.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:15 PM
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I do running contacts with Chekhov because of his structure. They are faster (although that isn't why I do them), but I am constantly having to school them so he doesn't try to speed up the process more by just flying over the contact zone.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
IMO if you want to have a low-stress performance you need to systematically train it, regardless of what "it" is.
This. A well trained contact of either sort should minimize stress on the body. Both of my dogs have stopped (2o2o) contacts. I fought it hard with Meg, because she isn't the most well built creature on the planet, but finally accepted that for her, it was the only method clear enough to produce confidence. She's not a crazy fast dog, and we do very few reps of contacts now (and did almost all the training on lower heights).

Gusto's built well enough (and is fast enough and literal enough in his brain) that I never once hesitated on teaching him stopped contacts. Again, it took quite a few reps on very low equipment to train the behavior, and very few to transfer it over to full height equipment.

I don't think either is the wrong answer; I do think, from watching friends who train fantastic running contacts, that the stopped contacts need fewer reps at full height to train and maintain. There are pluses and minuses either way.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:32 PM
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can someone explain to a bumbling idiot over here what 2o2o and running contact means :s
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:00 PM
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It also depends on your training criteria. If you criteria is get your body into position with rears on the contact and fronts on the ground as fast as you can -- yeah you are going to end up with a fair number of dogs slamming themselves into an extreme 2o2o.

If on the other hand you are training the dog to get low on the contact, lower/reverse their body weight, and keep their head low (back aligned), then you are going to end up with a fast but safe version of the 2o2o. Obviously this is easier for some dogs to achieve than others.

A local dog here has the most beautiful 2o2os I've ever seen. They are stunning. And they are faster than almost all but the most perfect running contacts, and far more consistent (he never misses and the judge never has to think) except that they make him hold those contacts for 1-2 seconds, saving their option for instant releases for big tournaments. If I have a video camera one of these days I will try to record them and share.

Sloppy contacts are a hazard no matter what, especially if you have a dog prone to slamming/leaping. 2o2o when trained well are, IMO, no more hazardous to a decently structured dog than running contacts when trained well.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frostfell View Post
can someone explain to a bumbling idiot over here what 2o2o and running contact means :s
In the simplest terms, they are two methods of training dogs to hit the yellow section at the end of contact equipment in agility (particularly the A-Frame and Dogwalk). In running contacts, the dogs are trained to step on the yellow as they run through -- without stopping. In 2o2o (two-on-two-off) the dog is trained to run to the end of the contact and stop with his rear feet on the board and his front feet on the ground and wait for release.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:53 PM
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I've thought about this a lot for Quinn.
I'm about to start training her contacts now but I think I'd like to do 2o-2o for the dogwalk and RC for the A-frame due to her being very straight through her front end.

I want to keep2o2o for the dogwalk purely from a speed factor. I think she'll be too fast for me if I didn't have some points to stop her while I evaluate.
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