Running Contacts

FAQ on Running Contacts on LoLaBuLand website covers a lot on how to teach it and answers some most frequent questions. But as I improved the method some by then, definitely read questions&answers here too and/or, even better, join running contacts long distance class or get a Running Contacts DVD.

You’re welcome to post your videos here, tell how long it took you to get to full height, problems you encountered and of course: how much fun it is to train them:). Videos are very welcome, it still brings a smile to my face when I see a beautiful running contact, it’s something addictive about it. It is on times frustrating, like for example when your puppy thinks jumping off the flat plank is a must -  but it all makes the end result even sweeter. So… Happy training, everybody!

1,261 thoughts on “Running Contacts

  1. Silvia, I am sorry, I thought 10 April was the last day to post for the Dec running contacts course. I have one last clip from today where I gave her more space on the AF as you suggested, running to and from a tunnel to try to get more extension. Would you just mind giving me your last thoughts on this clip? And thankyou, I really enjoyed the course, and learnt a lot, even if our running contact isn’t quite ready for this summer :-)

    • Looks good! I would continue with speed loops tunnel-AF-tunnel-AF, keep going for misses and click&JP for best hits. And decide based on % of hits if you want to use in trials afterall -- even if high, if she is in, that’s good enough for trials.

      • Thanks Silvia. So I need to bring my 2o2o back in but could use running when she has a long enough run up and fast exit so I can get the extension? I will do as you suggest and see what I get % hit wise, but also see how clear she is on the 2o2o. I will need that this season. She understands 2o20 on the dog walk so hope I can bring it back in ok and have both on AF. If that works and she does ok with different cues for running and 2o2o AF then maybe I will go for the running dog walk too next winter!! Thankyou :-)

        • While I know many using both on DW, I don’t know anybody using both on AF and think it might be harder, actually. So I would see what you can get before your trials with just RC, it looks like she might be ready.

          • Oh, I hadn’t realised that. Great to hear you think she is ready. So do you just think she naturally hits high because of her stride? She certainly has been hitting but usually high. I will give the speed loops a go, so I assume if I am getting success I see if I can get it on tight turns and less fast approaches and exits. I might not have time to test that all before the first trial though!

            • No, she could certainly hit deeper, but is not extending all out yet, probably because of a stopping history. That’s why I would prefer to not add a stop again… I would focus on speedy approaches&exits for now and handle everything as straight in trials for now. How often do you see no speed approaches to AF? -- We almost never see those because of safety and minimal distance requirements.

              • Aah, I see. That all makes sense. That’s what I will do then. I have a couple of trials in April and then a couple of weeks break in beginning of May before my next trials I think so if it all falls apart I guess I can use the couple of weeks in May to bring back the stop. We get a lot of tight turns after the contacts, but that’s ok as I can just let her run on for now to try and get this. I wish the course hadn’t finished though! Would you mind me posting a video of her next speed loops.
                I have been saying ‘run’ as her cue, but already had a ‘go go go’ cue for sending her on over a line of jumps, or any straight line and I think this is a stronger ‘run really fast cue’ as it’s also what I say on walks to get her to run really fast ahead to the river etc.
                I tested her ‘run’ , ‘go’ and ‘target’cues on a short plank yesterday and she went into 2o2o position when I used target AND run which I thought was really interesting! And shows the history of 2o2o as you say. When I said go she just ran, so I will use this from now on for her AF. Run was a new cue just brought in during carpet and AF training. Thanks Silvia, I would be doing this all wrong if it wasn’t for your help.

  2. Hi Silvia,
    I will join your Graduates Class in a few weeks, but would like to ask you a question already here. We had a weird training session yesterday…
    After a long time I tried a tunnel at the start and moved the exit jump slowly to the side in order to set a second jump straight ahead and vary where to go. BUT Holly missed every time if she was taking the tunnel before the DW. I tried the tunnel at different distances (4 -- 7 m), but it didn’t make any difference.
    So I went with gtcg to the exit jump and that was no problem. Also if I started her right in front of the DW (without the tunnel). We did the whole session this way untill we had 2 jumps ahead. It would have been really great whithout that weird problem with the tunnel… I threw in a tunnelstart here and there, but again -- not even one hit. :-(
    Can you give me an advice how to deal with that? Or do you need a video?

    • Was she fine if starting her with a jump? If yes, just add a tunnel two or three obstacles before a jump to a DW -- and then do less&less jumps in between until you take the DW directly from the tunnel.

      • I didn’t try it this way, but thought of it afterwards…
        That’s a good idea, thank you! Hope it will work! I was really surprised by it!

        • Hi Silvia,
          actually I didn’t want to bother you on this page too much, but we have our first trial next week and it drives me crazy! We had a bad session again. I don’t know why the success rate dropped from 90% to only 30%. The problem started after a short break (about 1 week) and after that it was like she forgot everything.
          These are some runs from our second last session where I only could get hits by starting her from a stay infront of the DW or gtcg.

          In the last session I tried it with a jump start like you suggested, but again, mostly misses. I don’t think she is uncomfortable. She mostly goes for 5 strides instead of 6. Or do you think it’s because I tried some handling here and there? Maybe I tried too much in the last weeks. But it looked like she was ready and she didn’t have problems with the changes. So I kept varying the scenarios before and after. And now that huge setback! She only hit 3 times. First try with 1rf -- R and twice with both rf. I don’t know whether all of our runs are shown in the video (I only included a few runs). I tried gtcg too with success rate about 60%. Should I try a session with just a straight approach and a straight exit? Pull the carpet up again? Or is it something she has to figur out (low speed vs. full speed approaches)? I think she was experimenting how to pass the second appex, because her striding there changed a lot within the session. Any idea?

    • But -- she is not overextending on a down ramp??? She could hit easily with 4 strides IF she extended MORE on a top plank -- she has very little separation and reach on a top plank and that throws her striding off. You need to get better extension, so I would certainly go lower, she is not comfortable on that height -- OR she is thinking about a stop (if a retrain) -- but she certainly isn’t showing reach&separation that we need…

        • Hm, no, I stopped watching after I saw there is only one run on a video and I only now see the dog then comes back to get a toy that is not even 30cm away from the contact… Chrystal -- I think you need to watch RC DVD before confusing the dog any further…

          • Thank you for your help, I was having trouble deciding what she was having troubles with. It was a piece of her toy that was lying on the ground, it had broke, the rest was still in my hand. I have take an online class of yours & I do have the dvd. Thank you again, I will lower it again.

            • Yes, it didn’t look like the dog was diving to a toy, that’s why I didn’t even notice it originally, but then thought that you’re maybe trying to make her hit that way… But yes, definitely go as low as necessary to get better extension.

  3. Hi… Silvia, you suggested I did tunnel-AF -- tunnel-AF to see if I could get more extension, so I just wanted to show you what I got. Success rate wasn’t very high…

    • Still mostly in I think? -- But yes, she was losing reach and separation and ended too high from that reason… The striding is good and would take her in, if only she would keep the running style rather as get leapy. Try a couple of more sessions, selecting for the best ones and see if she figures out what gets her JPs.

  4. HI Silvia!!!! I hope it is OK to post this. I don’t need any help, we are well on our way to success and I just wanted to show you this great session! I lowered the second apex just a little and boy did that work!!!! :D I didn’t use the carpet because it was just blowing off in the wind. I guess I don’t need it anyway!! :D Two reps at the beginning didn’t get taped because the iPad fell over in the wind, but they were GREAT!!! :D
    Looks like this might work!!! I will try the other direction next time.

  5. Hi, Silvia:
    My Aussie puppy will be a year old next week. We’ve been working on a 2o2o DW and I’d like to begin working on a running AF. Should I start with the AF flat and get my boy used to running on it at full speed and then start working on rewarding the hits in the contact zone? Or would it be better to start with the apex at about 12″ and stress hitting the contact zones from the start?


  6. Hi, Silvia:

    I’ve been working on a 2o2o DW with my young dog. He will be a year old next week and I would like to start working on a running AF, but I’m not quite sure what is the best way to start. I’m thinking about putting it down to the ground completely like you show with the DW and get him to run over it at speed. Then I’d start marking the hits in the contact zones. Once he’s hitting 80% of the time, I’d raise the AF to one foot. From there I’d keep raising the height by 6 to 12 inches until we’re at full height. Have any of your students tried this and have they been successful?

    Rose Kirwan

  7. Hi Silvia

    Some of our competition leagues uses 8 ft plank while other uses 12 ft plank for dog walk. What length do you recommend when we train the dogwalk so that the dogs will be proficient for both lengths?

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