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A-frame Height Quick Reference
Because the required height adjustments among the various agility organizations are not consistent, particularly for small dogs, it has become increasingly difficult to know what height to set the A-frame. This document contains the A-frame heights of the different US agility organizations. A Word file is included within the PDF so that you can edit it to include the heights for the organizations your club, school, or group participates in. Laminate the list and then attach the sheet to the underside of the A-frame on the adjustment side so that it is readily available for consultation whenever a height change needs to be made.
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Shape for Demand
When shaping for demand, don’t just gradually up the ante on complex tasks. Each element of difficulty deserves separate attention. Regulation obstacles bring too many challenging variables into play at once. So, you need to start with downscaled and simplified toys that will allow the dog to develop. Let him enjoy and explore the skill you want. You want the dog to own that piece of equipment, to play “101 things to do” with whatever contraption you’ve devised to isolate that particular skill.
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Teetering on the Edge
The teeter can be a nemesis for many dogs. There are many different training techniques for trying to treat teeter phobia, but these can often make the situation worse rather than better. Learn how you can make the teeter reinforcing for your dog that's having a problem.
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Shouldn't Seesaws Perform More Consistently?
The seesaw obstacle, which has been included in dog agility since the sport’s beginning, has recently been facing scrutiny. It is the only moving obstacle, and therefore, the performance of the obstacle itself can influence the dog’s performance on course. With the increasing speeds of the canine participants, the functional consistency of the seesaw and the overall safety of this obstacle is now being questioned.
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Speeding Up Your Two-on/Two-off Contacts
When I ask agility competitors what they are least satisfied with, more often than not they answer contacts. Clearly, we all seek faster and more accurate contacts. Still the work of achieving, improving, and maintaining contact excellence can be daunting, leaving many stuck at a “good enough” performance level. How do you know if you’re stuck at good enough? Start by writing down a detailed description of your ideal contact performance and comparing it, objectively, to your dog’s current performance. Except for the possibility of physical problems, I believe that the dog’s understanding of the behavior you want on the contacts, your timely and exciting reinforcement of the behavior, and a program for routine maintenance are the keys to improving the speed of your dog’s contact performance.
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