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  #261  
Old 05-12-2012, 11:56 AM
SaraB SaraB is offline
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On the RC vs 2o2o debate.. Yes 2o2o needs regular maintenance but is more reliable than RC. At Karen Holik's contact seminar she said that you will never, ever have 100% RC. EVER. She's tried all the methods of training RC (does 2o2o with her BC and RC with her sheltie) and unfortunetly there isn't a perfect method yet. She basically said that if you choose RC, you will have missed contacts and you absolutely can not be upset about it. It's just something that comes with the method at least for now until there is a way to teach 100% RC.
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  #262  
Old 05-12-2012, 01:02 PM
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Congrats on your Q with Zuma!

I certainly didn't mean that running contacts are the wrong answer - I was simply explaining my rational for not training them myself. Plenty of people are willing and able to take the gamble on missed calls or just plain missed contacts (I've also heard plenty of very top people say that, fact of life, running will never be as reliable, although it is certainly plenty reliable for a lot of people). I'm not. I'm not that person mentally, and I don't trial enough to be willing to lose the Qs on it.

Stopped contacts may very well take maintenance; but then, I do maintenance on all my dogs' skills. Meg still gets regular reinforcement for hitting her contacts, start line stays, rear crosses...whatever we are working on. She has her championship, they are skills she could do in her sleep. Perhaps because she is a dog with so many confidence issues, it is just how I train. We have big parties for the big stuff, but we have parties for the little stuff too. We do rep work on basics so there are a lot of chances for her to get told she is a genius. Gusto may not have confidence issues (to put it lightly!) but he'll get the same because it works for me.

There is a dog that trials around here that has crazy stopped contacts - full on accelerating to the position even if his handler, who has some physical problems, is 100 miles behind and running the opposite way to get into position for the next obstacle. I've always pointed at him and said "those are the contacts I want on my next dog!". We all have different images of what the perfect agility run looks like
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  #263  
Old 05-12-2012, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by SaraB View Post
1st and Q in JWW! Woohoo, our first JWW Q. Zuma has a tendency to have her mind explode on jumpers courses but she held it together very nicely! However, her mind did explode on the standard course. I couldn't do anything to salvage it, so I just laughed instead. It's hard to remain srs when your dog is having a ball going from obstacle to obstacle like a crazy lady. Don't worry, I'm pretty sure my friend got a video of it.

Cross your fingers that Zuma doesn't have another mind explosion tomorrow!
Woohoo, congrats! Glad to hear Zuma is having a blast even if it does result in NQs sometimes.
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  #264  
Old 05-12-2012, 03:01 PM
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Hurray Zuma!!!!!
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  #265  
Old 05-12-2012, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Aleron View Post
2o2o isn't always 100% reliable either. IME 2o2o often requires maintenance or it will fall apart over time too. Like I said, where I train there are dogs who have excellent, reliable 2o2o but it seems like they need regular maintenance. By need maintenance I mean that over time, they start either not stopping at trials or getting creepy (usually the not stopping comes first, then when that is addressed they get creepy). I have seen this cycle repeated over time with them. So while they usually have great 2o2o, they fall apart over time and need a tune up. I have heard RCs require less maintenance in the long run because they are more self rewarding for the dog. I can't say from experience though because like I said, I don't know anyone who has a true RC. Untrained contacts definitely often become less and less reliable over time.
Susan Garrett said something interesting in her most recent set of webinars: if a behaviour is too simple for a dog, you risk losing it.

She said it in response to her dog Encore losing the nose touch component of her running contacts over time. After talking it over with Bob Bailey, it was suggested to her that the easier a behaviour is for a dog the more likely it will be forgotten/ignored/neglected as time progresses. Garrett said that that's a big reason why she trains the multiple nose touch 2o2o contacts with her dogs. The multiple touches seem to be retained longer in dogs.

She also used this tactic to manage Buzz's start line stay. She would cue sit/stand/down at random before releasing him, since he was too amped up to hold a simple, predictable sit stay.

I like the idea of building some complexity into simple behaviours to help with retention.
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  #266  
Old 05-13-2012, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by SaraB View Post

Cross your fingers that Zuma doesn't have another mind explosion tomorrow!
Congrats on the Q and good Luck!
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  #267  
Old 05-13-2012, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by SaraB View Post
On the RC vs 2o2o debate.. Yes 2o2o needs regular maintenance but is more reliable than RC. At Karen Holik's contact seminar she said that you will never, ever have 100% RC. EVER. She's tried all the methods of training RC (does 2o2o with her BC and RC with her sheltie) and unfortunetly there isn't a perfect method yet. She basically said that if you choose RC, you will have missed contacts and you absolutely can not be upset about it. It's just something that comes with the method at least for now until there is a way to teach 100% RC.
Everyone has an opinion of course but I tend to question anytime someone says "never, ever" concerning dog training and what works or doesn't.

I think it's sort of strange that people use the reliability thing as an issue with RCs but you don't so much hear that talk with any other obstacles. Does anyone expect that their dog will have 100% life long reliability on jumps? weaves? obstacle discrimination? If so, which methods are known to produce 100% reliability on these things? I remember Susan Garrett was called out on this double standard on her blog when one of her dogs had weave issues at a big competition.

FWIW Silvia Trkman says this about reliability and RCs:

"- How reliable are running contacts?

Some dogs are 100%, some aren't - depends on individual dog and the training he had - as with every method, I guess... La was pretty much 100% for 5 years of intensive competing - when all of the sudden, she started to jump – just 10 days before WC in Basel! I tried to quick fix it, but only created a conflict and made it even worse, so her contacts were as bad as 50-50 at that time. Later, we found out she was reluctant to put that front leg down because of a pain in a shoulder… Poor doggy. We’re slowly getting back to old % now…

With Bu, I had more problems because she is afraid of unknown dog-walks and therefore slower, so her striding is totally off and I did have problems first on new dog-walks. I’m lucky to be able to train on many different dog-walks during my seminars, so the problem was pretty much solved before she started to compete, but her speed over new dog-walks is still not s good as on ours." http://silvia.trkman.net/conedva.htm

I also tend to think that RCs get a bad reputation because the majority of RCs you see aren't trained RCs. They are early release 2o2o or people who haven't trained any specific contact behavior. Or they rushed through teaching a RC. It also seems there is definitely a lot more room for training error with RCs too.

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Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
I certainly didn't mean that running contacts are the wrong answer - I was simply explaining my rational for not training them myself.
I didn't think you were saying they were wrong. I just thought we were having a discussion about contacts

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Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
There is a dog that trials around here that has crazy stopped contacts - full on accelerating to the position even if his handler, who has some physical problems, is 100 miles behind and running the opposite way to get into position for the next obstacle. I've always pointed at him and said "those are the contacts I want on my next dog!". We all have different images of what the perfect agility run looks like
I have seen dogs like that too. Great training for sure but it always seems more of a necessity. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate all different things for what they are though and that I don't find all different types of runs fun to watch. Honestly, any time dogs are happy, well trained and having fun at trials I think that's great

And I definitely think it's best to maintain reinforcement for things you like. One of the comments I got when I went to the WAO team's run-thru's was "Glad to see you use clicks to mark good behavior" because I marked/reinforced contacts and weaves. I think maintaining reinforcement is just good training, no matter what you're doing!

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Originally Posted by Sekah View Post
Susan Garrett said something interesting in her most recent set of webinars: if a behaviour is too simple for a dog, you risk losing it.
I did see that and it is an interesting idea. It was also interesting to see how many people responded when she first asked about contacts (prior to the webinars) saying they were having trouble with their 2o2o.
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  #268  
Old 05-13-2012, 11:06 AM
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I didn't think you were saying they were wrong. I just thought we were having a discussion about contacts
Just wanted to be sure I wasn't coming across as saying that everyone should train stopped! Heaven knows, every dog needs something different, and when you add in the variable of all handlers being different, I doubt anything works for everyone.

I agree that there is probably a lot of things that come into the reliability of RCs. We can never see every single rep people do, so there is always the possibility that there is more going on behind the scenes than we realize. Like I said, we have some people who train running contacts where I train, and they are fantastic. Carefully trained, carefully maintained. As soon as the dogs start lifting their heads through the contact, they put in more reps. And they are remarkably reliable. Not faultless, of course, because they are dogs, but very good. Getting to see them worked on definitely gives me respect for those who train super running contacts.

I love my stopped contacts, and will keep striving to have those crazy fast independent ones with Gusto. Heaven knows I'm going to need as much obstacle independence as possible with the little loon!
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  #269  
Old 05-13-2012, 11:15 AM
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Hi everybody, I am back to this thread hoping someone may have an idea for me!

So last week I was given two jumping exercises, and this week I am to keep working on those two and we have added in the set point exercise. My issue is, two of these exercises require me to leave the toy on the ground and out of reach while he drives to it. The first one is a Susan Salo exercise, there are 5 jumps, 6 feet apart and only 8 inches in height, and I am to reward him when he takes each individually and doesn't 'bounce' over two at once. For this exercise, when he doesn't do it right, I can't get to the toy before he does. The other exercise is the set point one, and like the grid I cannot reach the toy in time before he gets it.

My instructor originally told me (for exercise 1 when it was first assigned) that it's fine that he gets the toy when he bounces, just don't interact or play with him. When he does it right, then PARTY PARTY and tug like crazy. So last week I did this exercise everyday and just could not for the life of my get him to reliably step between each jump. It became clear that getting the toy at all was enough of a reward for him, because while I was standing there silently he was playing with it and squeaking it on his own lol.

Anyway, this week at class, when my instructor stood next to the toy and removed it when he bounced, the exercise totally clicked for him. Obviously it needs more work, but removing the toy made it very clear to him that the bounce was not what we wanted. Anyway, my instructor told me I will need a volunteer to stand near the toy and remove it for the grid exercise and the new one I got this week (set point).

My problem - I don't have anyone who can practice with me often enough My parents are busy with work, my boyfriend doesn't want to come over everyday of the week just for agility practice, brother is not interested... lol. What I want to know is if anyone has an idea for how I can do these exercises without help. I am not creative and I can't come up with any good ideas that can prevent him from getting the toy when he doesn't perform the exercise correctly. Any input would be awesome!

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  #270  
Old 05-13-2012, 01:42 PM
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Is he target trained? I'm wondering if you could substitute a target for the toy (still a visual object for him to focus on), then click the target touch and reward with the toy from your hand.
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