practices the 2 feet on, 2 feet off behavior on the contact
obstacles. The clicker is used as a tool to reinforce
the behaviors of 'contact' and 'touch'.
is shown here receiving three click 'n' treat
rewards, first for offering the contact behavior,
followed by two repetitions of touch.
and Treat #1 for the 'Contact' Behavior
The word 'contact' means
drive to the bottom of the contact obstacle and place your 2 front feet
on the ground while keeping your 2 rear feet on the obstacle. Filly receives
a click the instant her front feet hit the ground. The click is followed
by a treat.
and Treat for the 'Touch' Behavior:
The word 'touch' means
remain in position...2 feet on, 2 feet off...and touch your nose to the
ground. This demonstrations shows the dog doing two repetions of the
two commands, "contact" and "touch"?
I feel one of the biggest errors in training our dogs to do the 2 on, 2 off
position on contact obstacles is a failure to isolate teaching them what to
do with their feet.
Many training methods used to teach two feet on, two feet off are based upon
using a nose touch at the bottom of the contact obstacle. I see many dogs who
their handler wants them to do a nose touch somewhere within the vicinity of
end of the
obstacle, but they have not been taught that there is a specific rule about
where their feet are to be placed. Have you spent as much time teaching your
dog where you
want him to put his feet as you have
do a nose touch?
I teach these two behaviors separately. The dog learns how to do each behavior
independently of one another. As mentioned above, 'contact' is a
command that refers to the position of the dog's feet. It means run to the
end of the surface and put your two front feet on the ground while
keeping your two back feet on the surface. This can be taught on many different
surfaces before the dog is introduced to contact obstacles. (See
video clips on Pre-Contact training). 'Touch', for
my purposes, simply means touch your nose to the ground, it has
nothing to do with running.
bother with the nose touch? What is the purpose?
nose touch can serve several useful purposes:
- Gives the dog
a specific behavior to do while learning to hold the contact postion.
- Can help the dog
to keep their body straight at the bottom of contacts.
- Encourages dog
to remain low to the ground (crouched) which is a position some trainers