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Most people think I gain most with running contacts, but as there are maximum two occasions to do running contacts per course (none in jumpers), that’s not really true. You can gain the most on turns. Tight turns make the biggest difference, especially in nowadays 3rd degree/masters courses where it’s all about the turns…

Teaching cik&cap is the best investment to

- improve your course times
- make handling and timing easier for you
- improve your dog’s obstacle focus, distance skills, sends and independent performance
- take lots of stress off your dog’s joints
- make turns more fun for your dog

For more on Cik&Cap, see a training DVD or join Agility Foundation Class.

Normal jump vs. cik


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  1. Sabbyp

    Hi Silvia,
    I’ve been reading through this thread and saw where you commented that tailess dogs can have a different style of cik/cap, what would the differences be? Would it impact how you train it? I’m currently training it with my boxer who is docked (not by my choice, she was without a tail when I rescued her :( )
    Thanks :)
    Sabrina

    • LoLaBu

      I just let them choose their own style. Usually, docked dogs will wrap/band their backs less and instead throw the hips in one or another direction over the bar -- what is a perfectly good style too!

      • Sabrina Phelan

        Great thanks for that Silvia!

        • Michelle

          interesting reading this as I have a Springer who is also docked. Next one wont be so I will be interested to see different styles with my next one!!

    • Jennifer Petray

      Hi Silvia,

      I purchased the cik and cap download and love it. We’ve been working on it for a few weeks and it’s beautiful to see my BC know a turn is coming even when she is so far ahead of me.

      A couple of questions: is the difference between cik/cap and left/right commands the amount of collection needed? So cik/cap is collection, and left/right is always extension? And I’m guessing you don’t train cik/cap and left/right at the same time? Seems like that would be confusing.

      Thanks again for the video?
      Jen

      • LoLaBu

        Great! And yes, cik&cap is for collecting and left&right for extension. I do train it more or less at the same time (maybe not the same session at the beginning) -- but then, I’m never worried about confusion. I think it’s an important step towards full understanding :)

  2. S.Rush

    Hi Silvia!

    I’ve watched your cik/cap DVD and find it extremely informative! My two 20″ girls our now “wrapping” poles and wings with a bar height of about 6″-8″ now. I think they’re both doing really well, but I’ve noticed that almost any time that I send them to wrap the jump when I “pull” them after the jump that come off wide. I think my pull must be pushing them out since every time I front cross after the jump they stay extremely tight or if I run perpendicular from the jump like you teach us to do then they also remain REALLY tight. I’m only having issues with the pulls. We’re not really sequencing any cik/caps yet but are mostly figure-8-ing between two jumps, sometimes with wings, sometimes without. Occasionally we’ll take a tunnel or a straight jump just to build maximum speed coming to the pole/wing that we’ll be “wrapping” but even with speed they remain tight unless I pull them after/through the jump.

    Even when I am only working the one jump if I pull them through/after the jump then they’ll come off extended and wide. It feels like when I pull that my motion or body language is conflicting with the collection needed to wrap tightly. Do you have any advice? I think either I’ve missed something in the foundation training, my handling is conflicting with the “wrap” cue, or maybe a “wrap” shouldn’t be used when pulling (because maybe pulls require more extension?)? I haven’t figured out if it’s even possible to practice multi-wraps coming from a pull either so I’m just confused with these pulls. Everything else is looking wonderful though! Any advise you can offer will be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!

    • LoLaBu

      Yes, a pull as such certainly doesn’t cue that much collection as front cross does -- that’s why front-blind cross (when you start a front cross but then change your mind and finish it with a blind so that the dog stays on the same hand as before) got so popular for cases where you don’t want to cross, but don’t want to pull either. Of course, it’s important you can get collection with a verbal + a pull too, so definitely keep practising and reward the tightest tries, but also my dogs won’t be that tight in that situation as when I can use front.

      • S.Rush

        Thank you! That makes sense and helps me feel better about where we are in the training process. I will definitely be looking for the tightest tries to reward. Also, I have never seen or heard of a front-blind cross so that is interesting. Either that was before my time (I’ve only been training/competing for the last 2-3 years) or I just haven’t been around enough to see it :p

        Thanks again!

        • LoLaBu

          It’s not that popular in US as it is in Europe :) You can see it at 0:57 of this video for example:

          • S.Rush

            Thank you :) Yesterday I went out and tried some Front-Blind crosses vs pulling. They definitely help my girls to stay very tight and I thought they worked very well in that sense. On the other hand they felt completely foreign/odd to me and so I’m sure I was not nearly as fluid or efficient with them as others are. I haven’t had a chance to watch the video you posted, but that is very nice and thoughtful of you to post it. I will have to wait until I’m staying somewhere with better download limits, but am excited to see a Front-Blind cross in action :) I will probably continue experimenting with the cross, but will also make certain to keep trying for tighter pulls and rewarding the best tries.

            Thank you :)

          • S.Rush

            Just got to watch the video you posted here (with the front-blind cross) and it is so neat to see all the places on course where cik/cap can be used. Not to mention I watched the video a few more times just to watch your handling and Bu’s running which are simply beyond amazing. Thank you for always being willing to take the time to answer questions and post suggestions/advice.

            I also wanted to post that my 20″ girls are now sequencing with cik/cap on lowered bars (8″-10″ I think) though they have been multi-wrapping and figure-8ing (between two jumps) bars at about 13″-15″. It is quite exciting to start using cik/cap on sequences and to be able to see the difference in results!

  3. Michelle

    Love reading all these questions on the cik/cap training and some of the videos posted. I finished watching your DVD, wish I could put it in slow motion on some of it to see your handling. I decided to just say Turn. You mentioned in the video that this was okay because normally your body would cue which way to turn. However I can definitely see advantages to having both because they know going into the jump which way they are turning even without your body. However, I have used Turn so need to face the music!!
    My question is on rear crosses. How do I switch arms and get him to turn the other direction. If he is on my right he will right and vice versa. But if he is on my right say and he goes around a tree and I want him then to cross my line and get on my left, not sure at speed how to do it. He will just blast past and wrap again on the right??

    • LoLaBu

      This is more of a rear cross question as cik/cap question and it’s hard to describe how to do a rear cross… You can see it in the DVD -- just open it on a computer in a player that allows slow motion (almost every player does). We’ll show and discuss it in Foundations too. Basically, you have to first pull him in to come to the tree from the side you want him too and then slightly before he is there, push on his line to let him know you’re changing the direction.

  4. Daria

    Hi Silvia
    I have a question about putting bars higher.
    With my border collie puppy (10 months already) I’m doing your cik&cak training. I startef when he was 6 months old and he is training on the obstacles since 2 months (earlier he was running around trees and so on). Now he can do more complicated runs and it is about 90% correct, but not on the really hard situations or when my command is too late. I’m doing a lot od multi wraps, but it is a praise for him, because he loves them. I can catch the best tight turn and praise him. I’m thinking now how fast should I put bars higher (he can run on large not earlier than after next 8 months). I’m thinkng that if a bar is higher the situation for a dog is diffrent, so I need to back to less complicated runs, do multi wraps to help him jump on the diffrent height of bar and properly shorten his movement. And so on with every change of a height…
    I’m thinking how to make a longer term plan (for a few months). Should I do it longer with jumps but without bars (with bar on the ground) and then after few months fastly put bars higher and higher? Or should I work on every single height for longer and how many percent of perfect turns he should do to decide to put bar higher?
    In this moment it look perfect and I don’t want to do shit with it, but I can’t decide when I should put a bar higher to not make a situation for him too difficult or on the other hand not be on the same stage for too long…I know it depends on the one single dog, but could you write me please what was the tempo you did it with Bu and Bi? So I could have better idea what to do:-)

    • LoLaBu

      I put the bars at 10 cm when they’re about 6 months and then raise it by 5 cm so that by the age of 18 months, I’m on 65 cm, doing all the scenarios and multi-wraps on each height yes -- you can’t just raise it quickly, so start now and raise when he is mostly tight.

  5. Kim Dunsdon

    I have watched the video several times but am having trouble getting multi wraps. If I dont reward the first wrap instead of going around again he just keeps changing direction to go back the other way. I can get multiple wraps when shaping with food if I keep the reinforcement rate very high but the soon as I hold out a bit again he just keeps changing direction back and forth.

    • LoLaBu

      Try rewarding the 1st wrap for now, but reward it farther and farther towards the 2nd wrap -- once he starts anticipating the reward so deep into the 2nd wrap, he will find it easier to just complete the wrap rather as turn around even when you don’t reward (eventually) and then you can jackpot that. You can also for now only focus on one direction and come back to the other one only when he gets the multi-wraps.

  6. Dawn Bell

    Hi Syliva,
    I’ve been trying to teach Sammy cik&cap since we were in foundations class beginning of last year. We have never progressed past jumping 35 to 40cm height. He is just not getting the idea to collect. As soon as he has any speed/distance on the approach he goes very wide -- even just round a cone. He seems to understand now to drive to the obstacle and turn but doesn’t wrap -- he goes very wide. If we start close he does nice tight wraps and can do them fast. Also close multi wraps are nice & tight. How do I get him to collect and wrap tightly when he approaches with speed?

    • LoLaBu

      Yeah, with some dogs, you need to go very slowly and systematically add more&more distance, moving him farther by 15cm at the time… Redo (ask for a multi-wrap) for all that are too wide, reward for those tight on the 1st try already. You can help some by setting a toy at the wing at first or showing it over the bar to make him try harder.

  7. Dawn Bell

    Here is a video to give an idea of what I mean. See especially at 1.05 where we do a figure of 8

    • LoLaBu

      Oh, I knew what you meant, it’s not uncommon at all. You will need to progress slower than that, you can’t expect him to be tight on such a wide spread figure 8 if he is wide even on cone sends from half of a meter… So I still think you’ll need to go more gradually that that, adding 15cm at the time for cone sends, redoing all the wide ones and rewarding the good ones. There were some good ones in between, so he can do it, you just need to proceed gradually enough.

      • Dawn Bell

        Ok, thanks! I’ll keep working at it as you suggest!! :)
        Thank you.

  8. Dawn Bell

    I think we are starting to make some progress at last!
    Getting more and more distance with sends to the cone and we even tried a foundations sequence yesterday.

    • LoLaBu

      Great job with the sequence and beautiful wraps on a cone!!! Looks like you can try low bars next!

  9. Sophia Rush

    Hi Silvia :)

    Have a quick question on part of the training of cik & cap if you don’t mind?

    I’ve heard opinions from online students of yours that rather than concentrating on how soon the dog is landing *after* the jump while training cik/cap that if you pay more attention to them stepping in close to the jump *before* taking it then that will automatically take care of the landing as well. Do you agree with this thought?

    I’m working on really simplifying criteria for my over-thinker so that she can run faster and have more fun rather than thinking/worrying so much! As I’ve been working with my BC girl on learning her turns I’ve been struggling to maintain the collection through the turn for as long as we’ve been trying to train it as we’ve been “stuck” at 4″-8″ bars due to the understanding of the tightness/collection always falling apart on us. She’s not super drivey and confident like some BCs but she loves to train if I can keep the pressure off and make things really simple for her. She loves the game but starts to worry and looses enthusiasm quickly if I can’t figure out how to set her up for success. I’ve found she is doing much better over low bars now that I’ve set a foot target mat under the wing/jump as I think it clarifies criteria for her (collect to hit mat) but just wasn’t sure if I’ve been looking for and rewarding the wrong component of the cik/cap behavior as for the most part I’ve been concentrating on how soon/close she lands *after* the jump.

    Thanks!

    • LoLaBu

      Of course, the landing is determined by the take off, so your focus is always a take off -- and the landing is just a result of it. That’s why it’s easier to get tight turns when you’re on the take off vs. landing side.

      • Sophia Rush

        Thanks Silvia!! Not sure how but apparently I have NEVER realized that detail of the training until I started hearing them mention it here and there. My poor girl, no wonder we’ve had such difficulty figuring this thing out! Thanks a ton!! :D


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