Topics: Contruction  |  Training  |  Trouble-Shooting


Here's a technique to help solve training problems on the A-frame and teeter. It could also be used on the dogwalk by a good instructor and handler who were careful not to upset the dog's balance.

Put two leashes on the dog. The handler and the instructor each take a leash, one on each side of the up ramp of the obstacle. The two leashes are used to steady and center the dog on the obstacle. This technique solves a number of different problems, sometimes in one class session, sometimes taking 3 or 4 weeks of working the dog with the two leashes. It has worked well for dogs that come down the A-frame down one side of the down ramp, dogs that have trouble controlling their bodies coming down the A-frame so that they can come all the way down before leaving the ramp, dogs that bail off the side of the ramps, dogs that exhibit fear of the obstacles, etc.

The two-leash technique seems to especially help with dogs that are fearful, especially if used before the fear has become ingrained in the dog. The two leashes help teach dogs the desired behavior - coming all the way down the ramp - without any force being used. Just use the leash to help guide and control the dog.(Billie Rosen)

It is not uncommon for dogs to get into a habit of perching on top of the A-frame, star-gazing if you will. Sharon Nelson, who champions the targeting method, uses the following method to handle a dog who has this habit: take a super-soaker squirt gun and have the instructor, not the handler, shoot the dog in the behind (translate as derrière) as he is gazing at the world from on top of the A-frame. he dog does not realize where the shot comes from, but will probably decide that stargazing is not as much fun as he had thought and will quickly descend from the obstacle. (Billie Rosen)

Another way to train a dog that perches on the A- frame is to set up a jump, then the A-frame at a very low height (not more than 5 feet -- lower if possible). Put a target past the second jump. Work this sequence for speed -- over the jump, over the A-frame, then the second jump, and to the target. Repeat three or four times. The idea here is to encourage the dog to think of an A-frame as something he goes up and over, all together. After doing this sequence several times, go on to another exercise, such as weave poles. Then go back to the A- frame sequence. Try for as much speed as possible, lots of encouragement, hurry, hurry, hurry!

When the dog is doing this well, gradually raise the A-frame a few inches. Repeat. Keep working this until the dog is performing the A-frame at full height without hesitation. (Jo Ann Mather)

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