A great deal of the training has already been done. In this phase we will concentrate on working up to full size equipment with minimal training aides so you can then work on generalizing the performance in phase 3.
Phase 2-1AF: Ground Work
A great way to get your A-frame striding perfected without practicing inaccurate work on an actual A-frame (and also if you don’t have one) is to set up a virtual A-frame on the ground.
It is always preferred to work out any issues away from equipment as much as possible.
Phase 2-2AF: AF Setup
I like to use several training aides on the A-frame to help my dog solve the challenge of the steep incline. This video describes the aides that I use to encourage my dog to stride up the A-frame, stride down it quickly and efficiently and still stop at the bottom in the 2o2o position.
Phase 2-3AF: Getting there, A-frame
Just like the dogwalk and teeter, the first step in phase 2 is to make the 2o2o position meaningful to your dog. Usually I find by this stage, that the dog has generalized the position quite nicely - but you’ll notice in the video that I double check just in case.
Because she is offering the position quite confidently, I move right into asking her to go there.
These first attempts tell me whether my dog would benefit from back-chaining, lowering the A-frame, using a less distracting reward or even whether I need to spend more time on foundation pieces before assembling them.
From this quick checkpoint, I can see that Echo does a nice job when she is in her most excited state - but her speed depends quite a bit on her energy level. Also, if I hang back, she is not driving into position as well as I would like.
However, she is ready for the slow progression of learning how to navigate the A-frame at greater heights. I recommend moving the A-frame up relatively quickly as your dog is successful, but in very small increments (a few chain links at a time).
Day 2 on the actual a-frame
You can see plenty of problem solving in this one as I’m trying to encourage maximum speed and precision as well.
In the final phase of training, we help our dogs generalize their performance to lots of different environments, fade any remaining training aides, add distractions similar to the competition environment and put the A-frame in sequence.
Don’t forget there are other aspects to training the A-frame beyond the 2o2o behavior, such as working approach angles and obstacle discrimination.
Phase 2-4AF: Raising the height
Day 3 of training
Here you can see the kind of issues that you might run into if you raise the a-frame too high too fast.
Day 4 of training
More problem solving of the a-frame and a little more height ending at about 4 feet 6 inches.
Phase 3AF: Full Height
In phase 3 we are going to take our very good 2o2o performance and play games that will further prepare them for the sights, smells, noise and distractions of a competition situation. Ideally, play these games in as many places