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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.  


  1. Oh Maggie, becareful! Too much confidence can make you have no confidence at all ya know if you do accidentally fall off an obstacle or something that can scare the daylight out of you! Take it slow...Good thing I touch all the contacts. Mommy always puts her hand on the contacts to tell me to step on it before we carry on. My mommy is now an Agility trainer & she's teaching all the new dogs to touch the contacts & wait for a second or two before carrying on. I have not learned how to stand & wait on the contacts so mommy is now teaching me to but it does take some time off. I just zoom right a head coz I just want my BALL!!! Happy Valentine's Day btw!

    Love licks,
    Solid Gold Dancer

  2. oh maggie, maybe you should borrow those feathers fromt he bird in your backyard to help you sail over the teeter, so it gives you a softer landing :)

    I think she is allergic to yellow, like Jane.

    It is interesting how things change within one dog as confidence and loving the game becomes more, I've dealt with this is different things, including contacts, and taking five pieces of equipment without me while i stand there....