April 23, 2021

Episode 282: Should You Switch From Stopped to Running Contacts?

In this episode (34:24)

In this episode, Jennifer, Sarah, and Esteban reveal the many factors handlers have to take into consideration when they answer the question, “Should I convert my stopped contact to a running contact?”

You Will Learn

  • Why there’s sometimes a penalty for teaching old dogs new tricks.
  • What makes you and your a stronger or weaker candidate for retraining.
  • The difference between converting a dogwalk or a-frame.
  • How much time you will likely gain after making the switch.
  • Whether your dog’s breed or size really matters.

- Your listening to "Bad Dog Agility", bringing you training tips, interviews and news about the great sport of dog agility. (bright upbeat music) - I'm Jennifer. - I'm Esteban. - And I'm Sarah, and this is episode 282. Today's podcast is brought to you by HitItBoard.com and Teeter TeachIt, an easy to use tool that controls the amount of tip on your Teeter so you can introduce motion to your

dog in a gradual way. Go to HitItBoard.com for the new Teeter TeachIt and other agility training tools and toys. Use discount code BDA10, to get 10% off your order. That's HitItBoard.com. - Today we ask the question, should you make the switch from stop contact to running contact? And this is a different question from, should you do running contacts at all? So we're not talking about starting with a

new dog where you haven't taught them any kind of contacts and then you're picking one or the other, so I think that question is a little bit different. I think a lot of the things we talk about here in this podcast will be relevant to answering that but this is different. This is you're out there and you're probably already competing and you've gotten to the, maybe, the higher

levels of agility and you have a stop contact. So we're gonna add a lot more details to this question, because I think that's what we have to do to get some good answers for everyone who's listening. But when I asked this question of Jennifer, she said. - It was an easy one for me. If we are talking dogwalk, and I think anytime there's the conversation of running contacts,

I've said this on podcasts before, we got a separate, A frame and dogwalk, 'cause my opinion answer, and my opinion is different, but if we're talking dogwalks, my answer is no. Stick with the stop, make it fast, make it better, work the consistency, work the skills there. A frame little different story, I'm in favor of the running A frame, although when you're talking dogwalk A frame Teeter whatever

you're talking, I do totally acknowledge that a retrain transitioning from the stop to the run is more difficult than training the run from scratch, right? Because you have to kind of erase the old behavior before you even start the new one. So that conversation of should I do running is different then should I switch from. The switching is always gonna be harder because you've got to undo the

old behavior and kind of train over top of it versus having that blank slate. - That is such a good point. I'm now annoyed with myself that I didn't think of it and consider that. So we have to add in, I think, an extra question. So someone comes to you, Jennifer, and they say, "Okay, I wanna convert, I'll keep the dogwalk, "I'm gonna listen to what you say,

coach, coach Jen, "but what about the A frame? "I'm having a lot of problems with the A frame "and it does, does it matter at all what reason they give?" - I think it does matter. I think the answer may be the same, but the reason matters because to me, I wanna know why they're wanting to switch. As a generalization, I think it requires a little bit better

eye, a little bit better timing, a little bit sharper dog training skills to do a running contact than a stop as in general assessment. So if somebody comes to me and says, "Well my two-on two-off it's broken, it's not working, "I didn't do a very good job with my stop "therefore I wanna run." I don't like that answer, right. Because I almost would say that it requires a

little bit better dog training for the running. So if you struggled to train the stop what makes you think that doing the harder skill, right? Oh, I couldn't do third grade math but let's go ahead and do high school level, no, it doesn't work that way, so I always question that. Now, I still may say, "Okay, let's work on your dog training mechanics, "let's work on your dog

training skills "and try the running." So the answer may be yes, let's switch, but that is a different answer that I often get than somebody who says, "My running is going pretty good, "I'm happy with my running "but I'm ready to try to increase speed." I recently had a student at the end of, well I guess it would have been at the beginning of 2020 and COVID hit,

we went into a pandemic, there wasn't gonna be a lot of shows, she had recently earned her mark and she said, "I think I'm ready to go to the next level, "I want a faster A frame." And I felt like she had accomplished a lot, we were gonna have a long break from trialing, her two-on two-off was really solid. She was consistent and she just simply wanted to

take it up a notch and I felt like she was absolutely ready. So she simply wanted a more competitive time, a faster time, so we switched to the running. So the answer in the end was, okay we're gonna go to the running, but the way we went there in the prerequisites, for example, were a little bit different for the different answers. - So when you're talking with someone,

or for people who are listening here that they have to be very honest with themselves and they have to ask the question, am I going to put in the time and effort to learn, educate myself and follow through with the running contacts, given that the vast majority of trainers, I totally agree with you on this, running contacts are generally going to take longer, require more work, more sessions,

it's a more difficult concept, I think, for dogs to understand, and requires a very different kind of proofing. When I think of proofing for stop contacts, I think of a kind of start line proofing, real bread and butter, basic type things. Running contact is, I don't want to say it's on another level, It's just, it's different. - It's almost more like a proofing of approach and striding and

things like that for the dog. The little things can have an effect and sometimes you don't even know what those little things are that changed the way your dog loads onto the contact and then that affects how they come off, and so there's a lot of trial and error and a lot of figuring things out. But yeah, I totally see what Jennifer is saying and I totally agree.

I think basically, I mean, I would say the vast vast majority of people they're gonna come at you with two reasons; one of two reasons, one is my stop is broken, let's just not have a stop, right, which is what Jennifer was saying, and the other one is I need a running to be competitive. Right. And I think that there's a lot of myths around both of those

questions, right. So like, do you really need a running contact to be competitive at the level that you are competing, for the goals that you have, right. I think for the vast majority of handlers the answer to that is no. And then I think, as Jennifer pointed out, if the reason is that you're struggling with the dog training side, the dog training side of running is also very,

very difficult. And then I think there's like, that's like 90% of the reasons. And then there's the 10% where it's a new challenge, it just seems fun, I wanna go out and try this, that's kind of like the tiny sliver minority of people that that's the reason why they're wanting to do it. - I think there needs to be like an online quiz, right? So what we do

is we play a clip in full-speed one time, and then we ask and we'll say, "Okay, what did the dog do with their foot work? "Was it a front feet, was it a back feet, "was it two back feet, was it split, was it together?" And they gotta pass that test because if you can't see it on a video where your task is stare at this video and

tell me what the dog did, then when you get out there on the field and now you're running and you have a clicker, and you have a toy, and you have a manners minder, and you're doing it all, I mean, I think that's the biggest thing is it's having that eye for those running contacts and specifically the dogwalks. So for those of you who are not real familiar

with running dogwalk training, the most common method out there right now is to teach the dog to run across the mat, like flat mat on the ground, some people teaching front feet, some people teaching back feet, and then there's rewards and there's jackpots and there's different approaches and different exits. And the biggest thing that I see students struggle with is being able to identify what happened and then

being able to know how to reinforce it. And that's why I say it takes such a keen eye and such good dog training in good timing that if you struggled to see it happen on a computer screen you're definitely gonna struggle to see it when you get out there with the dogs. I mean, I will have consistently just happened to me last week where people think their dog

was in a two-on two-off, but they stopped and held four on and they'll finish the sequence, and I go," You know your dog never did a two-on two-off." And they're like, "They didn't? "I looked back and I could swear they on a two-on two-off." And I think, "If you're struggling to see whether they stopped "you're going to struggle to see what those feet are doing "at full speed,

front feet, back feet, legs split, "was it a leap? "What was the striving all the way across? "And it definitely gets tough." So that's my go-to plan. Online quiz, being able to identify what did you see? And then you're like, "Got to get like 80%" It would be like, (indistinct). - I wouldn't say partially, I'm gonna partially agree with you here, I'm gonna throw some people a lifeline,

people who wanna do running contacts. Of course, we should probably start with the background our own biases, right. So I ran Gitchi, the last I ran, she had running contacts. She did start with stop contacts when she was three years old, her owner, Susan Frazier in Louisiana, taught her, converted her over to running contacts, right. She was like, "Hey, do you wanna run this dog? I was like,

"The dog is great, but no, I'm not interested. "But if she had running contact, I'd do it." And she's like, "Ah!" And then she called us back a couple of months later and she said, "Hey, guess what you said, you'd do it." I was like, "All right, I guess I'm gonna do it." Right. - And then you had a lustrous career. - Sure, sure, yeah. So the bias

there I have is with a sample size of one, I didn't do it myself, it's been done and so it's a cool thing. So I agree that what you're saying is absolutely true, one of the hard things about running contacts is definitely seeing where the dogs are hitting. They've got lots of little tricks though because the key concept here is like anything in life riding a bicycle or

driving a car, guess what? It's all difficult at first, okay. If Jennifer showed you a video of someone driving a car, you'd be like, "Whoa I can't learn it "just from watching this 30 seconds clip of, "I don't know, 'Mission Impossible' "and this guy is like driving a car backwards and stuff, "I don't know how to learn. "I can't see his feet and what he's doing here "and

this out of the other." Right. It's gonna take time, they're gonna be instructors to help you do that. And the video review is important and running it in slow motion, you'll start to see and recognize patterns so that you know from the way that you're dog is when they are likely to have hit with rear feet versus front feet, whether there's going to be separation or not. And

part of the education of running contact is learning about things like this, concepts like this. And I think it could even have application to jumps jumping. It's kind of, you're worried about like dogs striding and how they move and things like that. So I agree, but at the same time, there's hope for people who can learn from it, I don't think it's impossible. - Right, so I think

we gave, I think we gave pretty solid arguments on why it's not always a good idea to just go from stop to running just because you think you need the speed or whatever. - Or running is not gonna be like a quick fix for issues that you are already having. And I also do want to say this, there are people who are bad at holding criteria for their

dogs but otherwise they're very, very good at agility. Jennifer, do you have any students who are excellent handlers and they are just, their dogs have awful start lines and you're almost embarrassed that people know they train with you? You don't have to name names, you don't have to name names. - It' very common. We've talked about this to have people who are wonderful handlers and maybe a little

bit weak in the dog training area. And then opposite can be true, people who are great dog trainers and maybe are weak in the handling department, right? Sometimes those make wonderful teams, one trains the dog one handles the dog. I typically, and I don't mean this as a negative in any regard, but I typically think of junior handlers as fitting that mold of incredible handlers. They pick it

up so naturally, they pick it up (indistinct). - Sure. - They flow through their front crosses or they walk a course one time and they go, "Okay, I got it." But lack of experience, lack of the dog training side can sometimes allow them to be inconsistent on start lines or contacts or whatever. So that's again, a generalization and certainly there's people that fit that criteria. But dog training

and handling can be very, very different, and it's certainly cool when you come across someone who's great at both, but yes, yes there are those people that fit that mold. - Yeah, absolutely. - Right? - All right, now I wanna talk a little bit about, I think both of you have already mentioned this, it's a very small percent, but I think we need to talk about it 'cause

some of those people are listening, and it's a small percent of people, you've got a dog, right, they're very, very good, you're good handler and all that, they do very well, you do wanna shave off an extra second, second and a half could even be two seconds off your just dogwalk alone. I'm going to assume you already have a runny A frame, you just have to stop a

dogwalk and maybe your dog does it anywhere from 2.0, which is excellent for stop, and then you release them to 2.5, which is very, very good, right? So if you can convert that to it running maybe you can get in the 1.5 to 1.7 range, right? So you pick up almost a full second there plus your dog doesn't have to start from zero, they don't have to re

accelerate from a complete stop or slow down, so you're gonna pick up several tents there. So it's gonna be over a second that you gain and your mouth is just watering because you're like, "Oh, this is over a second, second and a half "every single time I do a standard run." And Oh, by the way how do we determine our National Champions and the Westminster Champion? And how

do we get like Jen and win all these things, right. It's gonna be one standard run for all the marbles, There's gonna be the contacts there so it's not just, Oh, well, half of our runs because the other half my jumpers, right, all you're jumping around. It's not just that, it's like every big final that you're going to be in, okay. And so you come to Jen and

you're like, "My contacts now, my stop contacts lets say "they're between two and 2.5 "and they're virtually a hundred percent. "The dog's like 98%, "like we miss maybe once every couple of months "two or three times in a whole year." That's a lot of accuracy there, right? That's a very high level performance, dogs with that level of performance have definitely been competing at the World Championships, European Open,

all those things, right, and doing very well. So if that person comes to you and says "I wanna do a running." And then their dog's like five, six, maybe even seven. That's a dog I'm gonna say maybe not, but if they're really set on it, like they're going to be set on it. I dunno, so, what are your thoughts? I would recommend to a person in that situation,

I think I would stay with the a hundred unless you feel really good. - Right, well, so I think you're, I think the case that you're making you're taking the same data and almost coming to the opposite conclusion of Jen. And I think it's also an interesting point because your conclusion here is if you have a really good stop contact, you've kept your criteria, you're not missing your

high success rate with a fast stop, right? You are risking losing that to get that one little extra second. - Right. - Right. And I know where you're going with this, which is if you are, let's say your dogwalk is crap, - Okay - And by Jennifer's definition, she's like, "Okay, well you have a horrible dogwalk "because you haven't been able to hold criteria "how are you going

to do running?" But you come at that same situation you say, "Well, you have a horrible dogwalk, "so you're not losing anything by throwing it away. "You're throwing away garbage to try to get something better "as opposed to the person who has a good dogwalk saying "you're throwing away a top tier dogwalk "for the chance of an elite dogwalk." So like a relatively smaller amount of gain, whereas

the person whose dogwalk is like slow and sticky or it's only 50%, even though it's a start, they could literally gain two, three, four seconds on their dogwalk performance and maybe even a higher percentage. - Well you see now I think you've jumped ahead. That was gonna be my secret thing, my secret statement, which is that running contact is not just for the people who are trying to

win at the very, very top, right. But definitely the person who is really consistent, very good contacts, especially as the dog gets older, right, and it gets closer to retirement, you are risking quite a bit, right? Because as Jennifer Riley pointed out it is harder to train a dog who's got to stop contact and has hundreds if not thousands of reinforcements behind them, right. So I think as

a general trend, as the dog is younger you can lean more toward running contacts or making the change, as the dog leans closer more toward retirement, let's say you have two years to go, it doesn't make sense to spend six to 12 months, and some people have had to take 18 months to two years, two years plus to teach running contacts and that's from the start, right? Let

alone having to undo the stop contact behavior which some people can't comfortably get a dog to do, the dog's like, "This is just not right, "this is not the right muscle memory." It's as if you had to go and drive in another country, there's gonna be a transition period, and do you have enough time left in the dog's career to do that, to make it worthwhile? Because now

you may be in a very uncomfortable position of I don't have running contacts that are consistent, I had to go back to my stop contact but now my stop contact isn't as good, it's a full half second slower and it's less accurate, every once in a while he thinks we're doing the new running contact thing and flies off, and now you're really in trouble, right. And then this

is like your last year or two, these are your last two chances of Westminster or whatever, Nationals, Insert, whatever big competition that you're thinking about. So yeah, so as far as trends, I think about the age, but we're talking a lot about these big events, so I think that that matters, right, but I think a case can be made, now I wanna talk about drive, drive and motivation

on the dog's part, maybe a little bit on the handler's part. When we think of it, we think of, okay you gotta be really good, your handling should be really good already, right? You should be able to train these things and you should be competitive and this will make you hyper competitive. You should be near the top, and this is going to put you over the top. -

Right, this is for dogs that are have a chance to win or to make the team, or to whatever. - And I'm gonna say not so, right. You do not have to be a great handler to get your dog to have running contacts, because look, even if you're not again handler or you do lots of late friend crosses and your dog drops bars, and you've got all these

problems and things, running through your contacts is awesome, okay. I've run stop contact dogs, running contacts dogs and it is just great. You don't have to worry about putting things on variable reinforcement, it completely changes the way you train contacts. Actually, once the behavior is learned, I feel like it requires a lot less maintenance generally speaking. - You're just saying that there is an enjoyment factor there -

that can't be over looked. - As a handler. That's right, It is super duper fun. Literally, I'm just running through everything, you don't have to worry about it. Like if your dog flies off of a stop contact, what are you gonna do? You're like "Oh, this kind of dog I need to stop." And, "Or do I need to leave the ring? "Or do I need to pause for

one second, two seconds, "three seconds, what do I do here?" There's all kinds of things that you just don't have to worry about, and it can be a super fun. And I think it's almost wrong to deny someone and say, "You're not a top level handler," whatever that means to whoever's making the argument. "so you shouldn't be doing running contacts." Because the time benefit is still the time

benefit, right. And the worst you are, let's say if you have a two-second dogwalk and you convert to running, you're gonna gain maybe eight tenths, right, eight tenths to a second. But if you have a four second dogwalk 'cause your dog is just like trotting down there and you can convert that to even an 80% hit rate on a running contact, you can chop off two, three seconds

right there. And if your dog was maybe not quite making time, now anytime you queue, you're gonna make time, that could really change how you feel about agility. And you may never sniff the finals of a big event or even want to go to big events, but I think that it can still be a great thing for you even if you're not a great handler. - Yeah, it

can also be something that you use if you've kind of poisoned a little bit the stop contact training there's a little conflict between the handler and the dog it can almost be like a relationship repair to do some running contact stuff where it's a little bit more shaping based. There's not really like you were wrong or any sort of consequence or anything, all you can really do is

reward them when they're right. It's very difficult to make them run and hit, but with a stop contact, there's a little bit more of that the idea from the handler side that will I have to make them hit the contact, I have to make them stop, so there can be more of that conflict. But I think a little bit of the naivety of your statement is you're kind

of comparing the end points, right? You're saying a person with a lower drive dog and at the end when they have done all of this running contact training, but I think one other thing that we all have to kind of admit is how many people try to teach running contacts and abandon it somewhere in the middle, 'cause you're gonna have a very very large number of people that

start the retrain but never finished the retrain, they never get to that running contacts, right. And so yes, if you knew you were going to get there then I think at the end, there could be a lot of benefits but I would say the majority of people don't get there. - And I would agree with that. When people come to me and they say, "I think I wanna

do running contacts, "whether it's a retrain or from the beginning." I mean, often I ask them, "Okay, well what's the goal "and what are you willing to give up? "What are you willing to put into this?" So to me, running contact it's like the dieting, right? Esteban you mentioned running contacts are fun, so as being thin and fit, right. (Esteban laughs) it's really fun to be thin and

good looking, right. But if I wanna get there, are you willing to give me five hours of your week, an hour each night at the gym, weekends off, are you willing to give up ice cream? Are you willing to give up donuts? Are you willing to give up sugar? And if you say, "Yes, I'm willing to do all that." Then you'll get there. But it's kind of, like

Sarah said, right, "New Year's resolution, I'm gonna give up sugar, "I'm gonna lose weight." And then like, what's the date? Like March 18th rolls around or what's that date that everybody loses. It's like you give up sugar for a week, and you're like, "Yeah." And then, then you're like, "Well, just one Reese's Cup." And then it's like, "Well, I have the Reese's Cup, "I've already had a cheat

day "I might as well have the soda." And then next thing we know that fad diet that lost the weight and we got seven pounds lighter, three months later it's back on. And that's kind of like the running contact start because it's fun and exciting to be thin and fit, but then it's a lot of work and we make it through the yo-yo dieting, you'll lose it and

you gain it, lose it and you gain it. So, yeah, I mean, I think at the end of the day you have to ask yourself what is it worth? What is it gonna gain you? There's a lot of factors and I don't want to make it sound like every running contact is a lot of work, but if you ask anybody, "Would you like running contacts?" Anybody's gonna say,

"Yes, I would like them, "they would be great." Then the follow-up is, "What are you willing to put into it?" And dogs are gonna be different. The two dogs that I'm out there competing with primarily right now both have stops on their dogwalk, Pink and Swift. So I'm coming from that perspective of being around people who grabbed the core snap literally the first thing they go, "What's the

dogwalk exit." And it's like, I don't have to worry about it. You don't want to get out of your saying, "What running through." So, you know what also is nice. Not having to panic about the dogwalk next day. You guys look at the map and go, "Oh my God what is it is a (indistinct). - You got me there. - And I'm like, "I don't have to worry

about it." - That was him, that was him. - That National Finals- - There is a group of complainants, right, contact people love to complain about exists. - Yeah. - Yeah. - That nationals dogwalk left into the tunnel, it wasn't an issue didn't even bat an eye on that. So it's what you're gonna willing to put into it. And dogs are different, I have had good success with

the stops, trust me, I work with a lot of people, as Sarah said a lot of people start and it doesn't work out or they don't follow through. I work with a lot of live students and that's the case, but some dogs, it goes great, sometimes it really does. Vento, he is just like, he read the manual. He just like, "Oh, running got it." I'm like, "Man, if

all dogs were this easy, "it would be a piece of cake." But I know from the Border Collies that that is not the case. High-five struggling both on her dogwalk and her A frame were Vento just picked up the manual and said, "Got it, mom." So, different dogs can be different and that's where maybe a little bit of experimenting and giving it a try. So I don't wanna

make it sound like I'm anti running, I just want people to know what goes into it. And I do think one thing I'll say that hasn't been mentioned as far as like the retrain, I do think you need to own the equipment, that's a factor. - Oh yeah I agree. - So, the question of- - Yes that's true - should I switch? You need access to it, not

one hour a week or a 30 minute building rental, you just can't do the retrains on getting to do three A frames in your one hour class each week. So for a lot of people- - It can be a travel Plank. - Exactly. - It can be the miniature equipment, or, it's gotta be regulation. - Yup. - It's gotta be, yup. - If you can't get that dogwalk

inside, you gotta be outside, then you gotta plan it around your schedule, deciding in Ohio, November 1st that you're gonna do a running dogwalk, not gonna work great for all the snow in December, January, and February. So, owning the equipment and thinking about that, that is a real necessity. I see people who want to try to do the running contact but they don't own the equipment, and that

just really tough, really tough, rarely works out. - Right, very quickly, do you think that there are any breed or height restrictions or advantage? - All of those, yes and no. - I don't think so. - I think there's gonna be. Right, I think there's gonna be some- - But there's small dog people who think that just because they have a small dog - I agree. - They

are gonna do better with the running, right? - There might be some that are better or not but I don't think there's any restrictions. I don't think you can say, "If your dog is under a certain size "or above a certain size that you should or shouldn't." It's gonna be a little different for every dog. - I think it might make a difference but it's not gonna be

like, it's a give me for a small dog, maybe it's 10% easier for your small dog, 10%, maybe 20%, but you still have to do the 80% of the work, right. And conversely, for the big dogs, like, yeah it might be 20% harder, but I don't think it's easy with a small dog and it's impossible with a big dog. It's pretty hard for all dogs. - On the

running A frame I think there's a pretty nice sweet spot between dogs that are like 14 to 19 inches at the weathers that I have found without statistics to tend to go a little bit better than my dogs that are like sitting there at the 12 and 13, who still only do two strides, but because they're shorter they're second stride can end up above the yellow and then

dogs that get really big on that A frame they come over and they wanna just do one stride on the downside 'cause they're so big it's like a compress. So like there are places that are dogs or breeds or sizes that, like Sarah said, might be easier but I don't think there's ever been a dog or size or breed that I've been like, "Oh, you meet these physical

standards "no, you can't or shouldn't do it." - Right, right, yeah, I completely agree. All right, so I think we have covered everything. It's such an interesting topic. Jen, you know what it reminds me of, it reminds me, do you get this from students ever in your whole life? They've never had a Border Collie and they come and say "Coach Jen, Coach Jen, I'm really serious "about this

Jody stuff. "I want my third, fourth, whatever dog, second dog, "I want it to be a Border Collie." So it's an it kind of the same thing though where you're like, "Hey, there's a lot of work here. "Hey, it might not go how you think it's going to go." But ultimately like- - Yes, the running contact question is always one that in the lesson we stop and chat

for 10 minutes. It's like, "Okay, let's pause the lesson "and have a conversation. "And the, what should I get for my next dog breeder?" "Oh, I'm thinking about getting a Border Collie." That's another one where we say, "Okay, let's discuss a few things, "let's talk about a few things "and give you some food for thought." I always say, as an instructor, as a coach, I try never to

make decisions for people, I try to support and help them with whatever they decide. So if somebody comes to me and says "Should I do a running Bellbrook or should I do a running?" I will never answer that for them. I am not going to be liable for your success or failure on that. But whatever you decide, I will give you the list of pros and cons, things

to think about very much what this podcast has done, and whatever you decide, I will support you. So if you decide the opposite of maybe what in my head, I'm thinking I will support you and help you to the best of my ability, but it's definitely one of those things to discuss. - Yeah, very, very well put. All right, so everybody in summary, factors that you wanna think

about are your own personal goals in the sport, certainly your dog's age and experience, your own experience in the sport, not just as a handler and a agility enthusiast, but as a dog trainer who can teach certain skills and be very good about that, the speed, drive, motivation that the dog has, right? The kind of benefits that you're looking for and what you're giving up, right? So if

you have something good, so you kind of need to take a look at what your stop contact performance looks like now, right? And the better it is, the longer and harder you better think before you move on over to a running contact especially if your dog is a little bit older. - Yeah, I think one thing right before we wrap up, because I'm not sure that we explicitly

stated this but one thing that, one of the reasons why we're also hesitant about trying to teach her running when you have a very good stop is it's not a given that after you try to go running you can go right back to the stop the way it was before, because your dog, you've introduced like confusion and now your dog is like not sure, and so you might,

when you go, if you go back to stop it may be a slower performance than the way you left it as your dog has kind of lost their trust in what their job is on the contact. - And Pink, I think his firsthand experience of that in doing some timing of her contacts from Nationals her dogwalk was some of the slowest times she had put in at Nationals

this year if you were to compare 2018 or 2019 to this year, and it's because in COVID I tried to retrain her to a run. So ever since I've put a run on her and theoretically she has both, she has two different verbals and I can still ask for the run and ask for the stop, but what it has done is it has made her stop slower. So

her dogwalk in finals was one of her slowest dogwalks and I know it's because they've been slower, her stop walks have been slower. So there's part of me that regrets it because her stop was always pretty good. And I'm not, I don't have the guts, I'll be perfectly honest, I don't have the guts to run it in a big event. So now I'm like, "Well, why did I

do all that running "and all it's done is slowed down her stop!" So Amen to you Sarah on that one. (Sarah laughs) - Yeah, really good points, really good points. - All right, well, that's it for this week's podcast, we've given everybody a lot to think about, and we'd like to thank our sponsor HitItBoard.com. Happy training. (bright upbeat music)

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