a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Rachel's Up Contacts

Monday, January 21, 2008

Rachel's Up Contacts

SUMMARY: summarytext

I asked Rachel about using this method for up contacts, because I know that she's done it and because that's (currently) my main interest with Tika. This seminar didn't cover it, but Rachel said that the criteria and the training are different--for example, the criteria is one foot in--and she has worked with multiple dogs on this, too.

I'm convinced enough that she's come far enough with this that I'm going to schedule a time to go down to Atascadero some day soon (I hope) to work with her.

She did say, though, that she's not sure that one could use this method to teach BOTH a solid up contact AND a running down contact, because the criteria are different for a similar set-up. I said I'd be interested in doing that, though. She wasn't encouraging.

For Tika, if that's the case, I'll have to decide whether the missed Qs from the up contact are more relevant than the missed Qs from time--but here I'm talking about Steeplechases and Grand Prixs. Sure, we've missed some Standard Qs from up contacts, but in fact she has more Standard Qs (16) than any regular class except Snooker (22), so that's not a major concern at the moment. BUT the number of times that we've missed a Steeplechase Q by less than a second or two when we've dropped a bar, or the number of times we've missed getting into Round 2 of the Grand Prix by a second or two when we've had some fault, says that if I increased the reliable speed of her Aframe, maybe I'd get more Qs in St and more 2nd rounds in GP even WITH the fault.

On the other hand, it's also true that, when I really push her, she pops off the Aframe anyway so isn't wasting a lot of time there--although it might still waste a little time because I'm taken by surprise and because she knows she's likely to get called on it so might hesitate.

So, anyway, I have to decide, but I think a couple of hours with Rachel will help me with that.

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