One of the things I don’t have any faith in whatsoever in agility is retraining contacts.
I realize that sometimes you start training them one way and it doesn’t really work out for that dog, so you think maybe it’d be better to train another way. Or else maybe you start out with a Four on the Floor for the A-Frame and your dog learns to leap the yellow and hit the ground without touching the yellow at all, so you want a 2 on 2 off instead. Or maybe the dog isn’t getting the weaves very well so you want to retrain using the 2×2 method instead of channels or something…
Well, one thing I learned in agility from Day One was that the first thing you teach your dog, that is what they are going to do when they are in high drive or when they are stressed. And it’s so true.
I am really really lucky that I had a good foundation trainer for Chase’s weaves and contacts and his are pretty darn good if I do say so myself. Though he’s been known to pop weaves or blow a contact to hit a tunnel… that’s a training issue and not an obstacle issue.
I trained Levi all wrong on the weaves, incorporated a lot of stress in that training, and his whole career he had rotten weaves and it kept us from having a higher Q rate than we did.
So with Jet, my main number one primo ultimate goal is to train the obstacles the right way the first time so we don’t have to redo anything in the future.
So we are doing 2o2o (Two On Two Off) on the contacts, which I love, know how to train, and think is very black and white to me and the dog. We are doing good consistent weaves. And we need to do shadow handling and ground work too and forward focus and distance work.
Rule #1 of Agility: Do It Right The First Time.
Goes for Obedience and flyball too!