Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How dumb am I?

OK, so this just keeps bugging me. At the trial I sat next to a top competitor and instructor, someone who has made videos on training stuff. Yeah, public blog and I should be all PC and not mention names, but seriously, who really cares???? SHE doesn't, she called out a whole group of people with her comments..............Amanda Shyne...........OK, very nice lady, she has a PhD and is very smart and her dogs are great and all, but um..............the comment was that she wondered why anyone with any smarts would train a running contact? Helloooooo...........I'm sitting right next to you and trained my dog to have running contacts. I guess that makes me dumb? WTF???? It really took all my will power not to speak up.

Honestly, what irks me most is that she must not have a clue HOW to train a running contact. Because if she did, which MOST people don't, she wouldn't be making such comments. If it is trained right, and those who have it show that, it is just as solid as ANYTHING the dog does on course. Those people who have trained it right are less likely to miss a contact as they are to go off course or knock a bar. And, I have sat and watched finals at Nationals, even those with stopped contacts miss contacts. Contacts are the number one reason for an NQ at the top level during finals whether or not you have a running. Stopped contacts are just as likely to miss during finals!! In fact, I would dare say those with true, trained runnings rarely miss at finals. The dogs are trained to hit in HIGH excitement and it is easier to run the contact than to stop. It becomes self rewarding and more solid.

The trouble is when people don't train it right and that is the majority and then people make these stupid comments. It is a complicated process, for sure, but if trained RIGHT it is so remarkably solid! Those who have trained it can prove that.

Why would anyone with any smarts train a running contact? Because it is FUN!!! The most fun training project I have ever done and I have trained my dogs to do a LOT of complicated things. Stop making stupid statements like that unless you fully understand the subject. That's MY take on it. I can't wait to train my next dog for running contacts. It is FUN and challenging and rewarding, that's why I train it!! And my dog would not be fast enough with a stopped contact. That's why I trained it. I sure don't think that makes me dumb.


  1. Interesting. Running contacts seem to be the future for agility training- at least for people who want to be very competitive. We've all seen those side by side videos comparing RC dogs to quick/early release dogs at various world events. And for us non competitive folks, it sure is fun :)

  2. As you know LL and Vito, it isn't easy. And when mistakes are made in the training process it can really complicate things. I think it is one of those incredibly tough things to train, but if a person can "get it" and help the dog to learn it, boy is it solid! My Spur has a very hard time managing his running contacts since his natural stride doesn't work for him, but he gets it! He fully knows his job and will be more likely to knock a bar, which he is unlikely to do since that worries him so much, LOL!! I just think blanket statements like that are stupid! Especially coming from someone with a PhD. But, Amanda is not known for her tack. :P