Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Contacts? "Touch" or Running?

So Finn is just about to start learning contacts and the debate is whether it would be better to learn a proper "touch" on the down slope, or whether to teach him to "run" off the contacts, without jumping?

He's a big striding boisterous dog, as can be seen here:

With Patsy, I had been teaching her the "touch" technique, when my handling style had to change.  As a result I decided that making contacts was the least of my worries and so didn't actively reinforce anything properly.

The result?  Well, mostly she gets her contacts, but sometimes she really misses! Ooops!

So with Finn, I'm wondering whether a "touch" would be useful.  This way might give me more time to get to a better position on the course perhaps?

Or would the "running contacts" be better, by reducing the need for me to be in position as he runs off the obstacle?

I think perhaps it all centres on how well Finn can learn "right" & "left" vocal commands.

If he can come off the contact in the direction I call, then even if I'm not in an ideal position I can hopefully call his next move.

Jury still out on which would be best for me. Your thoughts welcome!  :D

Oh and picture above shows my new wheels.  I'll have to do a post about them soon!

PS Edit 6th May:  After some discussion online, and with Louise our club trainer, I've opted not to go with running contacts.  I'm going to teach him to stop at the end of each contact and wait for a release.

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