Monday, August 16, 2010

Question

A friend and I were talking about this the other day....do you think, eventually, in order to win at the agility nationals (insert any organization here) you will HAVE to have both a running dogwalk and aframe?

I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on this :)

18 comments:

Ricky the Sheltie said...

No I don't think you have to have running DW and aframe - I don't think Jenn Crank is training running contacts and I would guess she believes (rightly so) that she can win a national championship.

Katie Trachte said...

No way. You do however need a fast, independent behavior at the bottom. Be it 2o2o, running, 4otf, etc., it has to be independent... I think that's the key!

Anonymous said...

No, I think a properly trained 2o2o (with a quick release) can be just as driven and effective as a running contact. If the finals run has a tunnel under the contact, where the dog must flip to it, the ones will running contacts will have a harder time. I can also see running contacts falling apart quicker than a stopped one will under pressure.

Kirby @ Dog.Nerd.101 said...

I have to be honest, I don't think so. Great example was what I saw at the JAG USDAA trial two weekends ago. Tricky Masters course, with a dog walk straight into an offset jump and then into the far end of a curved tunnel. There was only ONE person, with a true running dog walk, (and she herself was in tremendous athletic shape herself) who was able to really handle the running dw... into the correct tunnel entrance. Most of the other people (even people that had a well trained running dw, were not in top athletic shape themselves) so they were unable to be in correct position to handle the course after the dog walk. This one woman had such top speed herself that her dog correctly read her motion and direction and nailed the correct tunnel entrance. The other handlers, even those that had a well trained, reliable running dog walk (and many with a 2o2o or 4otf) were not able to run themselves fast enough to give their dog enough information. That's not to say that people didn't get it, but there were spins, and confusion on the dogs part. Very interesting to watch! I also had ordered Katie's AKC nationals DVD and saw quite a few dogs struggle with the course after the dog walk (can't remember which round) and I think most of the handlers with a stopping contact were more successful. That's a vague recollection from watching the DVD, but perhaps someone who was actually there or competed :) has other information.

Kirby @ Dog.Nerd.101 said...

Follow up comment: Katie, I just watched your running dog walk from the European Open Agility Championship... WOW - holy smokes woman, it's awesome! I am glad to know that you still think other people might still be able to compete with stopping contacts, but watching Miley nail that, I think it will be tough. Your point about that whatever the contact is, it has to be independent, is well taken though. You had so much distance from her (did you even pass the plane of the upside of the dog walk?) but she read you like a book and did her job all on her own. You give the rest of us something to work towards!

Stick It Border Collies said...

I think that it COULD help you!

Now there are many disadvantages as traps off the end, not being there for the dog and ect....to having a running contact.

I don't think that it is the winning ticket..a run is made up of more then just the contacts..tight turns,distance, and your dog overal abilities. You can have running contacts but a dog with a larger stride or tighter turns could still easily beat a dog with running contacts! Running contatcs are something if done correctly and handled correctly can give you a leading edge but nothing is a garuanted win!

I also do think though that you are going to see them more and more often in the up coming years and there are going to be people who have taught them very right and correct and able to handle them well..which will make for good, hard competition!

Sare said...

I don't think it is necessary. But I'm still very new at this so take it for what it is. You pick up a few seconds or tenths of a second whatever it may be with a running contact, but you have what two contact obstacles on a course. How many jumps do you have? Multiply those jumps by how much time you can save by having tight turns and good distance handling. Just my thoughts from lots of time watching, I might think differently when I'm out there.

Kathy said...

I hope not ;-). I am considering a running Aframe and would LOVE to do a running dog walk but I just do not feel it is practical for us, so I hope not....not that we are on the short list to be the top of ANY organization, LOL

Anonymous said...

Running contacts won't do you any good if you don't have awesome turns, ground speed, ect. so I don't think you need that. As long as you have fast, independent contacts you can still win. I see a lot of dogs trained with running contacts that waste a lot of time on the teeter. Seems some people spend more time obsessing over fast running contacts and forget the rest.

barjor said...

I think it really depends on the course.

I think that most finals courses that I have seen in the back few years have favored a running contact on the dog walk.

I guess it all depends on where course design takes us.

Tori Self said...

Most likely not. But come on, where's the fun in *not* having both running...? ;)

agilityfrk said...

Depends on the course. :-)

Live Wire'd Agility said...

No, as far as winning (be it at a national or local level) I do not feel that having true running contacts will be your "golden ticket."

There are too many other variables to consider OTHER then the DW and AF. I do think if the handler is capable of achieving and maintaining a true running contact (and I say "true" because a lot of people turn a 2o2o into an early release, which I consider to be a modified running contact.) that it can give a particular advantage on SOME courses...not all though.

The ability of the handler to pre-cue what comes after the DW or the AF itself is another variable that should be considered. I say this because, as you mentioned the shift towards discriminations after contact obstacles is gaining popularity.

After watching Daisy Peel's overlay of her boy Solar taking 1st place over Dudley Fountaine's boy Maverick, at the 2009 USDAA Nationals running in the 26" division. The video is of the Grand Prix finals... I think this video clearly shows that running contacts HELPED Solar take the win, but I don't think it WON him the competetion.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNeTTAWT4mo I say this because after the DW, you can clearly see that Maverick caught up to Solar but Daisy's ability to pre-cue and send him into his weaves independently propelled him past Maverick, as Dudley DID have to shape the angle (however minute it was) for her dog.

The ability to pre-cue/turn a dog off the DW and/or the AF is what I believe will give a handler a slight advantage over a quick release 2o2o.

AussomeDogs said...

I think it is dependent on the course, assuming all other things are equal. In a lot of cases having RCs is going to be the optimum choice but there are also times where the shortened strides of a stopped contact are going to be more efficient, like a sharp turn off the end. Having a dual trained behavior sounds like the key but I’m finding that is pretty difficult to train and I’m not sure you can start with a dual (or a run), but rather start with a stop and then add in the run after time competing with a solid stop – how’d that go with Crackers? (I might have missed that somewhere).

To win nationals, I think it totally will depend on the course. Last year’s GP finals and this year’s AKC finals courses were perfect for a running dog walk, straight into a tunnel. I also think the handlers who won AKC finals might have won anyway, though it certainly was an advantage… I think it will depend on the judge and that’s great as it will challenge everyone to step outside their comfort zone. I do think certain judges will favor running or stopped and their courses will reflect what they want to challenge. It’s great, I love it, and I can’t wait to see what the next couple of years brings in terms of contact training practices!

Tori Self said...

Just to add... while I don't think you will have to have a running contact in the future to win, I also don't think that you are limiting yourself by having a running contact. That is, many people seem to be pointing out that courses can favor running vs. stopped. But I say, if you trained it right and handle it right, you'll be fine with either. What Katie said: a fast, independent behavior is key.

Stick It Border Collies said...

I also think as a handler you need something YOU feel comfortable with. You can get a running contact but if you are comfortable and confident on how to handle it, it does you know good!

Debra Kay said...

No-I think in the end it will always go back to the team dynamic-handler and dog working in perfect unison in a way that is best for both members of the team.

But if two teams WERE in perfect unison on a given day-the win would most likely go to the team who was overall more physically fit.

This is coming from a person who is slow and needs those pauses to catch up. I can hope to make up for my slowness with strategy only to a point-at some point-the more fit handler is going to prevail if all other things are equal.

fulltiltbcs said...

Thanks everyone for the feedback! It is great to get thoughts from those that have running contacts as well! :)