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Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Back To Basics
At the agility seminar a few weeks ago, we spent a lot of time talking about teaching contacts and how important it is to have a good, solid, contact with your dog. I fully agreed, but Maggie's contacts were just fine the way they were (running off the bottom). Maggie rarely missed a contact and since she is not a fast dog, and careful on the contact equipment, I never worried about teaching a really good "bottom". Well, it seems that all has changed. Last week at agility class we were timing how long it takes our dogs to get across the contact equipment. Maggie (as far as Maggie goes) was fast. So fast that she missed nearly all her contacts on the dog walk and even some on the A-frame. So we did some quick review of where the bottom of the contact is and moved on. Last night in class Maggie was fine on the A-frame, but missed her contacts on the dog walk, and not just by a little bit. Unless I was right at the bottom waiting for her, she jumped right off from well above the yellow. And then there was the teeter.... for a minute Maggie forgot she was a dog and was convinced that she was a bird. She flew off in a spectacular eagle-like form, and then came back to doggie reality when she hit the ground, butt first. Oh my . . . do we have some work to do! I guess I never really expected Maggie to gain so much confidence and speed on the equipment and I never really thought that we would have contact problems (those are other dog's problems, aren't they?). So I guess it is back to square one with contact training.