Safe Contact

Contact obstacles are a bear to train- but have you ever thought about how dangerous they can be? I’m sure you have, but Clean Run just did a study on 2 on 2 off contacts that’s well worth reading (January 2010).  The position puts undue stress on the dogs’ bodies as compared to other kinds of contact positions.  They studied 2O2O, four on the floor, and running contacts on an A-frame.  Running contacts had the least stress on the dogs’ bodies, and also offered the most natural take-off and landing position.  The article is well worth reading in its’ entirety (and check out the back page of that issue! It’s awesome!) and has made me reconsider contact training methods. I’m sure we’ll come back to it in the months’ to come here on the blog, but in the meantime, watch your dogs’ contacts and see if he or she is having any problems with two on two off, or seems better doing another method.  Never missing a contact is not worth possibly giving your dog a repeated stress injury- think of it as back-leg carpal tunnel.

It makes me wonder if we should paint contacts a color dogs can see- dogs seem to be able to see certain shades of blue, according to  some studies so or maybe simply work harder on running contacts, using zoners.

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2 Comments on “Safe Contact

  1. I’m glad to see Affordable Agility is offering the rubberizing kits. My dog always slides off the table, so that will be one of my first purchases.

  2. Our dogs are small, a Scotty and a Corgi, and we’ve never tried to teach 2020, as that didn’t seem to be a good idea for the Corig with the long back.

    We did work on teaching them to run a couple of steps straight off the contact point, so there’s no reason to try and hurry/jump. And so far, no missed contact in a trial.