Contact Behaviour

The question was asked of me the other day.   How does one train confidence on equipment?

My initial response is that is takes time and repetition to build confidence, so perhaps it’s another question that needs to be asked.

Perhaps the question is “my dog doesn’t like doing the down side of the dog walk” what can I do to help him through this?

First you need to ask yourself some questions.

  1. Does my dog do the down part on other pieces of agility equipment?  If so, what is different about this piece?  If not, then perhaps it’s a body awareness thing and the dog doesn’t know he can use his rear feet to help brace himself as well.  And then one needs to train rear end awareness.
  2. What type of contact behaviour am I training?  Do I for this piece of equipment need to modify my expectations?   For instance, My dog Sassy has a basic 2020 for the dog walk and teeter, but a running for the a-frame.  The angles are different for each.
  3.  Is there any way that your nerves are starting to show about how this dog performs this equipment that might have some bearing on the problem?
  4. Can you lower it?
  5. Can you teach him to walk back and forth on a plank on the ground?  Can he turn in a circle while staying on the board?   Will he do so confidently?

There may be other questions to ask, but this will get you started.

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