Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What's the Big Deal About Contacts Anyway?

So, I've spoken about the Hail Mary contacts in an earlier blog and I am trying to improve.

Tazz is so totally Hail Mary that it hurts. I'm starting to even bring my rosary to class and trials.

Now we have Fin.

Do they have an anonymous meeting for people that have screwed up their contacts? I would really need to go and do the 12 steps to better training.

My criteria for Fin: Run as fast as you can on ANY contact obstacle, stop on a dime at the end, front feet on the ground, rear feet on the obstacle, nose touching ground, when released, move straight ahead unless otherwise cued.

Here's what I don't want:
  • Run as fast as you can and leap from the top coming back towards me and try and bite me.
  • Run as fast as you can and stop halfway down the a frame, look at me and leap.
  • Run as fast as you can and skid off the obstacle and bark at me.
  • Run slow (not even something I'll laugh at).
  • Do all your contacts in practice and go somewhere else and not do them.
  • Run as fast as you can sail beautifully over the top and keep going doing a tunnel and three jumps while I'm still trying to get to the end of the dog walk.
  • Bark the entire time you are doing the contact.
  • etc.

My trainer sent me an email this week. She said, do you want to move to a different class? I actually would like to do more sequencing, but I'm very proud of myself. I told her I shouldn't move until my contacts are better. Fin is a super dog. I'm not going to give up what I want in the long term for what I want now. I'm sticking to this contact criteria until I see it in all venues.

The good news is that I can get her to screw up in practice. Alot of people aren't able to replicate their problems. That's the good news. The bad news is that we have problems.

I'm not afraid to admit it. I'm looking forward to resolving it.


Trish said...

Maybe you all need a vacation.

Sometimes you make mistakes because you can't see the details anymore. I think the solutions is relaxation and time with your Sista!

Debbie said...

OMG, I laughed so hard at work that people came to see what was going on in my cubicle. This portrays the exact same thing I'm going through with my BC-wannabe Ripley. He has done *all* of those things, but his favorite is the pause-and-leap technique. He is currently back in training after qualifying exactly ZERO times in his last three trials, the brat. Hang in there, and know that you have company! (such as it is.)

vici whisner said...

Thanks Debbie, I swear, I need an intervention. What I'm doing is this: three times a day I'm out there doing 5-8 reps of contacts. I'm reving her up doing loops around the yard and then hitting those contact obstacles with as much momentum as possible. If she hit is, she get rewarded, released and we go again. If she doesn't she has to lay down and we go inside. I have seen GREAT improvement. Tonight will tell. We are off to class.