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Suzie on the teeter



> Agility Training:   Contacts | Tire | Weaves | Tunnels | Table | Jumping

Contact Equipment

Dog Walks, A Frames and See-Saws (Teeters) are all pieces of contact equipment.  Your Boxer will need to learn how to 'get the contact'.  One reason is because it's in the agility rules, but probably a more important reason is that leaving the article on the contact is far safer than launching yourself out into space and on to the ground - ouch on the joints!  Most Boxers are naturally bouncy dogs and many like to bounce over the contacts.  We need to teach them that their true job when performing the contacts is go up and come down safely.  Contact equipment training is best commenced on very low Dog Walks and A Frames (starting with ladders and steps is perhaps even better) and the performance built up little by little. Your training group should have good, sound, contact training methods in place.

Sometimes dogs miss the down contact as they feel they are falling forwards and have no choice but to jump off.  If taught gradually and gently on the contacts they will learn how to lower their centre of gravity on the descent and be much happier and confident when performing the down contact.  Imagine yourself walking down a steep slop, you brace yourself and lean back to stop tumbling down the hill - dogs need to learn how to do this as well.  Walking your dog up and down hills, if you can find one, can help with the contacts in a round about way.  Of course there are also those 'no fear' dogs who just don't care about launching off the contacts, it's a bit like 'Look - No Hands!' - these guys also need much contact training for their own safety.

The articles below offer many suggestions and ideas for contact training.  Target training (and two on / two off) can be very successful with Boxers - if taught correctly they love the 'slam on the breaks' at the end of the contact.  Running contacts can also be great - generally Boxers are not as fast as the herding dogs and you may pick up seconds with your Boxer if you have solid running contacts.  No matter what method you choose be consistent in training.

Libbi on the A Frame

> Agility Training:   Contacts | Tire | Weaves | Tunnels | Table | Jumping

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