Posts Tagged ‘TDAA’

Marsha Houston’s 2-minute dog trainer blog – The Mental Game

December 3, 2013

My experience of dog agility has multiple mental games. The first is the shear pleasure as I attend training events, play with my dog, make plans for daily training regimens, and socialize with my friends. The second is the intense focus (or fuzziness) while I stand with my dog at the start line at a familiar trial site. The third is the pressure cooker of the national event final round.

If my mental game is flawed, if I don’t practice the way I compete (or compete the way I practice), then my attitude will not be appropriate for the event with which I’m faced.

If I practice with focus and drive, and compete with the same focus and drive, then I’m practicing the skill I’ll need to succeed in a trial setting.

If I practice with lightness and joy, playing with my dog in a relaxed manner, and compete with the same lightness and joy, then I’m practicing the skill I’ll need to succeed in a trial setting.

Neither of those choices are wrong. If, however, I train and practice with lightness and joy, and compete with focus and drive, not only is my mental game flawed, but my dog is probably confused.

For many years my “novice A” dog and I struggled. She was a bar dropper, built badly for agility, and poorly conditioned for the task. But she loved agility and I loved running her.

After several years in novice and open my attitude towards the game began to shift. I stood at the start line wondering “how are we going to screw this course up?” I wasn’t enjoying myself and I had no faith in my dog. Should I even continue? Everyone around me was Q-ing, earning titles, etc.  (Sometimes handlers get another dog at this point.)

And then I had an epiphany. Bud Houston and I did agility training as a business. Trial weekends were my only vacations. Why was I having such a lousy time on my vacation? Why was I putting such pressure on myself?

If my vacation involved going to the beach and playing frisbee, would I have an intense need to qualify at frisbee? To earn a Q and move up to the next level? Of course not – when I’m on vacation I try to be more relaxed and have fun.

So I applied the “relax and have fun” idea to my agility trial experience. When I practice I do so with lightness and joy. I tell my dog he’s lovely and such a good boy. If we Q that’s great. If we don’t that’s okay as well.

I know many of the blogs in this cluster (see <http://dogagilityblogevents.wordpress.com/the-mental-game/&gt;) regarding “the mental game” will discuss the intense, focused, driven mentality required to give a peak performance.  Other folks live this way, it just doesn’t work for me.

I don’t love dog agility any less than they do. My mental game is just different.

In order for me to do well, I have to be happy with myself. I have to show my dog that he’s right in what he’s doing, and loved for what he’s doing. I have to be relaxed at the start line, and up-beat at the finish line.

I must resolve to spend time conditioning proper performance in my dog. I must resolve to swim and take my pain meds.

I must resolve to never blame my dog for failure. I must resolve to always finish a run telling my dog he’s loved and appreciated.

Marsha Houston’s 2-Minute Dog Trainer blog

September 4, 2013

I apologize for going silent the last few weeks and months. Business got in the way of blogging.  My purpose for this blog is to join the agility blogging community and speak to the topic of “aging” …..

First – I’m so excited at the maturity I’m seeing in my youngster (Phoenix NAJ) who turns two years old this December.  Running him has progressed from nerve-wracking and frustrating to magical in one weekend spent training with friends and Bud Houston.  Phoenix’s 2-minute dog training was always steady, but any activity in a group setting met with high stimulation and distraction.  I persevered.  He grew up!

Second – puppy Katniss (at 10-11-months) has been registered as an All American with AKC and is being prepared for a February-March 2014 debut.  I know there’s disagreement amongst agility people as to when we should start competing with our puppies, but I prefer to get them in the ring as soon as possible, let them have a fantastic time, find the holes in my training, and give them some ring experience.  In the meantime, I used my new favorite weavepole training equipment, and Katniss learned how to hit entries and weave 6 poles in three 10-minute sessions.  She doesn’t understand weaves yet, but she will very soon. I’m working at sending-for-independent-performance as well as running-at-side-with-great-excitement.  I want her to be familiar with both situations.

Third – rescue Haymitch (at age 2-3 years) has been getting very little work. He needs another TDAA Intermediate Standard leg to be in Superior Standard and Games 3 for the TDAA Petit Prix and he’ll get it someday.  He joined weekly classes last evening and daily training sessions for Haymitch will begin this week. I hope he’ll do well in October.  I reserve all his training for Teacup (TDAA) agility, and don’t put him on big a-frames and teeters very often.

Fourth – I’m writing a BOOK on the 2-minute dog trainer protocols.  Bud’s going to be my editor. Angie Houston has agreed to be my illustrator. I want this to be a book people read and enjoy re-reading, sharing with their friends, and giving as gifts.  I find dog training to be hugely amusing and humorous, and I want to share my strange sense of fun with others.

Okay – now for my take on “aging” in the world of dog agility …

I don’t want to automatically sound like an old fart but those darned whipper-snapper kids don’t respect us old farts!

Sure, they can out run us. Sure, they have the time and money for classes, workshops, seminars. Sure, they can wake up at 5am on a Saturday and still be energetic for their last event at 5pm.

But can they drink 2 margaritas and still provide experienced, detailed analysis of a student’s novice jumpers run?  Can they?  I think NOT!”

I’m just kidding, of course.  Codgers kid a lot.

I believe that clever agility enthusiasts should seek knowledge from coaches of all ages.  From young coaches with tons of energy, who are developing new protocols for agility dog training, to crusty old coaches who have developed all the training protocols in existence up to this point.

If agility training is a journey I’d suggest youngsters make a point of walking in the footprints of handlers with a few years’ instructing under their belts (or suspenders, knee braces, support stockings). We’ve seen the reactions of hundreds, if not thousands, of dogs to specific handling moves.

After all is said and done it is the reaction of the dog that determines whether the handling skill is a success or failure.  Certain types of dogs will often share a common reaction.  And a crusty old coach will usually be aware of that.

Here’s to the crusty old coaches in the dog training world!

I’ve trained my dogs once today and will have another “contacts” session with supper, as well as a group beginner class for Katniss, so now I can totter off to my favorite recliner and margarita.

Marsha Houston’s 2-minute dog trainer blog

June 11, 2013

I’ve been committed to the 2-Minute Dog Training principles since 1999.

I’m convinced that a short, exciting, engaged, and motivated training session every day strengthens the bond between dog and handler.

And I’m equally convinced that these short training sessions condition my dog to perform specific skills and respond to my cues more consistently.

When a handler asks my advice (I’ve learned to never volunteer advice — who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks! — this gets dog training instructors in trouble all the time <g>) my first question is always, “what is your daily training regimen?”

Here are the most recent reasons I train every day with the 2-Minute Dog Trainer !!!

Facebook post from recognized dog trainer, “I’ve trained my dog everyday for 23 days!” And that’s a huge event, because her training sessions probably last 30 minutes or so, and take 30-45 minutes out of her day.

Question from teacup exhibitor, “How do I get my dog to perform at trials?”  My response, “what is your daily training protocol — what training do you do at home?”  Her response, “I don’t train at home. I only train during agility class.”

Question from local student during discussion of distance training, “How do I teach my dog to work at a distance?” My response was, “You reward her for the work and gradually move further from the obstacle you’re training on. How big is your yard? What equipment do you have set-up in your yard?”  Her response, “My yard is only about 20 feet across and I don’t have any agility equipment in my yard.”  Shocked, I responded, “So what’s your daily training look like?”  “I don’t train daily,” she said.

Okay folks — if you want your dog to perform consistently at agility or obedience trials, if you want your physical and verbal cues to override environmental distractions and trial stress, if you want to feel successful and feel positive about your dog — you must train your dog.

It is absolutely NOT enough to just attend a weekly class if you intend to show your dog.  Perhaps I’m speaking as an instructor, but arriving at class every week with the same darned skills you left with last week is unacceptable.

It is absolutely NOT enough to train in one building, doing just agility class sequencing or following the lesson plan presented by your instructor.  Expecting your dog to generalize performance when you only train in one building, one night a week, surrounded by the same dogs and people, is unacceptable.

Training your dog is supposed to be fun!  One of the reasons I enter in dog agility trials is to motivate myself to continue improving.  I can’t qualify if I don’t continue to improve.  I can’t improve if I don’t continue to train. My dog can’t train if I don’t continue to devote time to him.

If I can’t devote 2-5 minutes a day to practice weave entries, or start-line stays, or sending my dog to a jump, or hitting contacts — then do I really believe I’ll succeed at a trial?

So here’s the thing.  If you want the trill of victory you must do some work. I’m not suggesting you drill your dog 30-60 minutes a day.  I’m suggesting you add mealtime training to your daily schedule — spend a couple of minutes twice a day with your dog.
The thrill of victory will become a possibility, and those victories will be all the sweeter for the investment you’ve made in time training your dog!

Marsha Houston’s Blog – 2 minute dog trainer

March 12, 2013

Bud’s been working with Kory on a performance skill which draws the dog close in an agility run, re-sets the dog’s line, creates corners, corrects trajectory, etc.

We spent some time last weekend with Erica Behnke and her Tilly, Brenda Gilday and her Leela, me and my Phoenix, and Bud and his Kory — all fast little dogs with tons of positive reinforcement — working on some new uses for this skill.

I would like to establish a fun 3-or-4-day agility camp to explore “101 uses for the come-by and switch” in dog agility.

Anyone interested in coming to camp for a few days, learning this skill, and exploring its uses in the strategy of sequencing??

Agility camps at our place involve 4-to-6-hours per day of instruction, unlimited personal use of the training building and equipment, group dinners in the evening (includes adult beverages, dessert, the whole bit!), and accommodations on site are available (either bunkhouse cottages or separate guestroom).

If you’re interested in a special skill agility camp for you and your agility dog, contact Marsha (me) at <houston.marsha@gmail.com>.  See you at camp!

Marsha Houston’s 2-minute dog trainer blog

October 31, 2012

I’m anxious to get through our second TDAA Petit Prix and resume blogging!  I’ve got so much to catch up on.

First, and most importantly, my little Haymitch had a fabulous time at the 5-days-of-Petit-Prix trialing in Latrobe, PA.

I’ve had Haymitch since just June 1, 2012, and he didn’t start training a lot until mid-July when he was healed from rear dewclaw removal surgery.

Haymitch has done over 95% of his agility training in JUST 2-minute dog training, mealtime training, and there were some missing pieces at the Petit Prix (like jump conditioning), but he’s a great weaving dog already and showed amazing maturity and drive.

His AKC debut is the Friday-Saturday after Thanksgiving, and we’ll see if he and I can do some looser work. He needs a good bit of distance training between now and then because I’m not running those full courses with him. <g> I want to continue training with him and writing this training journal.

Second, Phoenix will be turning 1 year old in early December, and he’ll be attending our November 25 agility workshop for distraction training.

Poor boy, he hasn’t gotten to train anywhere but in our back yard, hasn’t really gotten out much at all, so we have tons to achieve in a few short months before his (hopeful) March debut at Queen City (note to self – get premium).

Third, we have our second work-study camp of the year next weekend (the second weekend in November) and we’ve got a bunch of the 4H Ohio Teen Dog Experience counselors here to gather deadwood, make bonfires, do some painting, and get our place in shape for the winter.

They’re a fun bunch, and very clever dog trainers, so I look forward to some hard work and good times.

Marsha Houston’s blog – getting Haymitch prepared for the 2012 Petit Prix

September 22, 2012

I wrote the following in mid-August as Haymitch and I were preparing for his very first trial, a TDAA trial in Gahanna, Ohio.  I’ve been meaning to update my blog for readers, but have been busy training my dogs. <g>

ON AUG. 12, 2012 I wrote:

The next 5 days will be devoted to a couple of advanced agility concepts, weaving and sequencing. And mental preparation …

Weaving —

I began attempting to teach Haymitch the 2×2 weave method. He didn’t get it at first, and didn’t get it at last. Dogs all learn differently, and he appears to be uninterested in offering to engage agility equipment unless I’m moving with him. With me standing still he offers non-equipment behaviors, like sit, down, jumping up, etc.  If I’m moving he offers to engage agility equipment.

I accept the dog I’m with, so I wired up a set of weaves and walked him back and forth a few times.  The wires, for such a little dog, provided no blockage to his efforts to jump over or duck under the wire. I put his leash on and he continued to easily duck under or jump over the wire. Hmmmmm ….

I moved to the 2×2 weaves, set them up in a slightly-akimbo line of 6 with the short TDAA weavepoles so I could get my hands in there easily, and began just luring him back and forth through the poles. I gradually allowed for a more independent performance. I gradually straightened the line of poles. Haymitch performed about 30 repetitions before he started to lose appetite.

By the 20th repetition he was starting to get the idea of what was required to earn the treat. I’ll repeat this training every day this week. When he starts actually weaving independently, I’ll open the weaves up again to build some speed and encourage that independence.

Sept.20, 2012, update … Haymitch is entering 6 weaves correctly about 90% of the time. I’m adding tougher entries and sending him to the weaves over a jump. He’s staying in the sets of 6 poles consistently. NEXT:  Adding weaves in flow, at speed, and increase to 10 poles.

Sequencing

Bud set the building for his private lesson with Pearl and her Tervuren (from Cincinnati). It was easy to come up with some sequences for Haymitch.

At first I did a number of straight runs over agility equipment. I lengthened those runs from 3 obstacles to 5-or-6 obstacles.

Next I put some “handler focus” bits in the middle of a straight line, asking Haymitch to pull off the obstacle in front of him to attend my lead. He missed cues the first couple of times, but quickly drew into the line I demonstrated.

As with agility obstacles, Haymitch showed he is fearless and intuitive. He goes into obstacle focus when my arm is outstretched, and comes into handler focus when my arm is dropped or I have my hand in “luring” shape.

Sept.20, 2012, update … Haymitch does nice sequencing with no distractions. At his first trial he wanted to visit the judge but always allowed me to call him back, and never ceased to work for me. NEXT: Adding longer sequences, putting 12 weaves in flow, asking him to do some distance work. New exercises will include the exploding pinwheel and “go on!.”

Mental preparation —

I just can’t be more impressed with this little guy’s natural ability. We adopted Haymitch about 2 months ago and didn’t really start serious agility training until late July.

I keep waiting for the shoe to drop, so to speak, and for Haymitch to fail to respond to training or handling but it hasn’t happened yet.

Sept.20, 2012, update … I feel confident in Haymitch and my ability to form a team over the next few weeks (and years). He’s a willing worker and responds perfectly to the intuitive training we specialize in. NEXT: Work a little each day with Haymitch on sequencing, and a little with Hazard on speed and enthusiasm.

Marsha Houston’s 2-min dog training blog – Haymitch’s advanced training

August 12, 2012

Okay — so I could go to Haymitch’s first teacup agility trial (ARF in Columbus, OH, next weekend) without teaching him how to weave.  But what’s the fun of that?

TDAA competitions offer 10-12 runs over the course of a weekend, so there’s an opportunity to earn a Beginner Standard title one day, and move to Intermediate Standard the next.  Or to earn a Games 1 title one day, and move to Games 2 the next.

If he stays confident and focused and if my head doesn’t explode, he could earn his TBAD on Saturday. In which case he’ll need to know how to weave Sunday morning.

I should go prepared for weaving.

So the next 5 days will be devoted to a couple of advanced agility concepts, weaving and sequencing. And mental preparation …

Weaving —

I began attempting to teach Haymitch the 2×2 weave method. He didn’t get it at first, and didn’t get it at last. Dogs all learn differently, and he appears to be uninterested in offering to engage agility equipment unless I’m moving with him. With me standing still he offers non-equipment behaviors, like sit, down, jumping up, etc.  If I’m moving he offers to engage agility equipment.

I accept the dog I’m with, so I wired up a set of weaves and walked him back and forth a few times.  The wires, for such a little dog, provided no blockage to his efforts to jump over or duck under the wire. I put his leash on and he continued to easily duck under or jump over the wire. Hmmmmm ….

I moved to the 2×2 weaves, set them up in a slightly-akimbo line of 6 with the short TDAA weavepoles so I could get my hands in there easily, and began just luring him back and forth through the poles. I gradually allowed for a more independent performance. I gradually straightened the line of poles. Haymitch performed about 30 repetitions before he started to lose appetite.

By the 20th repetition he was starting to get the idea of what was required to earn the treat. I’ll repeat this training every day this week. When he starts actually weaving independently, I’ll open the weaves up again to build some speed and encourage that independence.

Sequencing —

Bud set the building for his private lesson with Pearl and her Tervuren (from Cincinnati). It was easy to come up with some sequences for Haymitch.

At first I did a number of straight runs over agility equipment. I lengthened those runs from 3 obstacles to 5-or-6 obstacles.

Next I put some “handler focus” bits in the middle of a straight line, asking Haymitch to pull off the obstacle in front of him to attend my lead. He missed cues the first couple of times, but quickly drew into the line I demonstrated.

As with agility obstacles, Haymitch showed he is fearless and intuitive. He goes into obstacle focus when my arm is outstretched, and comes into handler focus when my arm is dropped or I have my hand in “luring” shape.

Mental preparation —

I just can’t be more impressed with this little guy’s natural ability. We adopted Haymitch about 2 months ago and didn’t really start serious agility training until about 3 weeks ago.

I keep waiting for the shoe to drop, so to speak, and for Haymitch to fail to respond to training or handling but it hasn’t happened yet.

I’m really excited about his first trial opportunity this coming weekend. I’ve pulled out my training bag which hasn’t been used since Tempest and I attended his last trial — October 2011. Sadly it still contained T’s emergency seizure kit. Life is sad and strange and tricky.

I’ve received the worker’s volunteer spreadsheet and signed up to work as a bar-setter for intermediate and superior standard classes. I’ll probably work more than that but didn’t want to commit only to discover Haymitch is annoying when left alone in his crate.

I’ve arranged to meet dear friend Gwenn at the trial. We always have fun together and we hope Patty can join us as well.

Bud thinks I’m going to chicken out. Perhaps he’s thinking I’ll be haunted by the memory of Tempest, or be concerned about failing in front of people.  But I’m very excited about this trip and am really looking forward to getting away from home and enjoying the company of Haymitch, Gwenn, and Patty, along with all the great folks at ARF.

Wish me luck!

Marsha Houston blog – 2min dog trainer – It’s ON with Haymitch

July 30, 2012

Just mailed my entries to ARF’s TDAA trial August 18-19, reserved my room, and talked Bud into staying here that weekend to veg out with 5 dogs so I can focus solely on Haymitch.

It’s ON like Donky Kong!

Now I’ve got to start doing longer and longer sequences.  I’m thinking that a series of “Minuet” sequences might be good conditioning for both of us.

Wheee !!!  A dangerous situation — me and my FIRST teacup dog all my own.

Marsha Houston blog – 2min dog trainer – Haymitch con’t.

July 29, 2012

Haymitch has been on a crash course (no pun intended <g>) to prepare him for teacup agility competition. He gets mealtime training for dogwalk contacts (a sit at the bottom of the ramp) and a few sessions with the exploding pinwheel (“go on!”). He’s great dog-on-right going counter-clockwise, and sucks dog-on-left clockwise. So I’m doing 3-4 times as many pinwheels dog-on-left.

Additionally, once a day we spend 30 minutes in the training building where we’re working on sequencing, the full-size dogwalk and a-frame, the teeter, and weavepoles.

Sequencing – Haymitch seems to really enjoy running with me. He’s pretty steady about understanding his role, and rarely by-passes an obstacle. The most-often missed obstacle for Haymitch is a jump. I want him to understand that I’m not going to babysit agility obstacles, so I condition the dogwalk approach. I run at the dogwalk from 5 feet, from 10 feet, from 15 feet, and finally from the exit of the tunnel (about 20 feet). I’m going to add a jump to the sequence, between the tunnel and dogwalk, so he learns to take the jump that’s in his path.

Sequencing (mealtime) – For breakfast and supper Haymitch is learning the exploding pinwheel, taking three jumps in a pinwheel without my having to babysit them.

Full size dogwalk, a-frame, and teeter – Haymitch’s contact training actually started on our teeter trainer. It’s a wide, heavy, low tipping board. He progressed from that to the teacup teeter. I then introduced the dogwalk and he had no problem distinguishing between the teeter and the dogwalk. I then introduced the teacup a-frame. His first sequence contained both the teacup teeter and a-frame. Yesterday I tested his confidence by asking for the full-size a-frame, which he took quite naturally, as if he’d been doing agility all his life.  I always want to challenge him, so I took him to the full-size teeter which he ran up, rode down, and sat for his treat. He repeated this obstacle half a dozen times and seemed unaffected by the height, the tip, the noise, etc. So impressive!

Weavepoles – there are as many methods for teaching weavepoles as there are agility experts, and I’m not afraid of implementing any method if I feel it will add to my dog’s understanding of the obstacle. Haymitch’s introduction to weavepoles was with two poles, with a click/treat for entering correctly. I then added a third pole, click/treat for entering and exiting correctly. I then added a second set of 2 poles, with a click/treat or tossing a toy for going on to the second set. (As an aside, Haymitch’s favorite game with a toy is “keep-away” so I can get lots more repetitions if I train with food, whether I click/treat from my hand, or click/toss the treat into his reward zone.) Yesterday I wired a set of 6 poles, put him on lead, and got him to weave through all 6 poles for a toss of the tennis ball. Because I had him on lead I had better control of the “keep away” game. I may continue with the wired weaves, then transition to other methods if his weave performance is slow or unnecessarily deliberate.

I’m getting quite excited at the prospect of actually showing him in August. I’ll be anxious to see if he is adversely affected by strange environments, strange equipment, strange people, dogs barking, etc.

Marsha Houston blog – 2-minute dog trainer – Haymitch learns the chute

July 21, 2012

When teaching a new obstacle, our goal is always to start with the obstacle set for the easiest performance, reward the dog for performing, making it a little harder, rewarding the dog for performing, making it a little harder, etc.

This methodology usually requires an assistant, or instructor, to hold the dog’s leash or to adjust equipment.

Two days ago I decided to teach Haymitch to perform the collapsed tunnel. I decided to try it on my own, while Bud was down at the pond clearing the downed trees from June’s derecho event.

I set up one of our big barn fans facing the barrel end of the chute.

The chute fabric was completely extended, but the air flow from the barn fan kept the upper fabric about 12 inches off the floor.

I presented Haymitch with the chute, and he balked.

We went to a pipe tunnel, which he’s familiar with, and performed it a few times with a treat reward each time.

I set the pipe tunnel so the pipe tunnel exit faced the entrance of the chute. I thought that his performance of a familiar obstacle might encourage him to perform the unfamiliar obstacle.

I sent Haymitch into the pipe tunnel then directed him into the chute. He scooted right through and I tossed his treat a foot or two beyond the chute fabric.

I continued to present the chute entrance to Haymitch, clicking and treating as he went through the fabric.

If I clicked too early, as he entered the barrel end, he’d come back out. I had to click when he was more than half way through the fabric.

Each time I presented the obstacle I was farther from the entrance, so Haymitch ended up running 5-6 feet to get into the chute.

With the fan keeping the chute fabric open, Haymitch learned to seek out the entrance of the chute, run straight through, and find his reward on the floor 1-2 feet away from the exit.

When Haymitch was confidently going through the chute, with the fabric blown open, I changed the trajectory of the barn fan’s air flow.

This allowed the fabric to drop slightly, as less air was directed through the chute.

I went back to my original presentation position, sending him through the pipe tunnel and then into the chute.

I continued to click/treat as he was more than half way through the fabric. In our first training session, which took about 15 minutes, Haymitch was performing his conditioned sequence (teeter, tire, jump, a-frame, tunnel) followed by a distance send into the barrel end of the chute.

Our second training session began with the fan blowing the fabric open.

After 4-5 repetitions with the fabric blown open, I shifted the trajectory of the fan breeze, allowing the fabric to drop slightly.

Haymitch continued performing the chute, thought slightly slower.

I repeated the obstacle a dozen times, clicking Haymitch as he was half way through the fabric, and tossing his treat 1-2 feet from the fabric exit.

I again shifted the trajectory of the fan breeze, allowing the fabric to drop completely.

Haymitch refused the chute the first time he was faced with the fabric lying flat.

I turned the fan to push a little air through the fabric.

Haymitch went through the chute 5-6 times for his click/treat.

I again turned the fan away to allow the fabric to drop.

Haymitch went through the chute with the fabric flat on the floor!  We repeated this performance 5-6 times, with a click as he as reached the half way point of the fabric, and getting his treat about 1-2 fee from the exit of the chute.

We finished this training session with his conditioned sequence (teeter, tire, jump, a-frame, tunnel) and fired into the chute with the fabric lying on the floor!

Bud joined us partway through this sequence, so I handed him my string cheese and Haymitch immediately shifted his focus to Bud and ran the sequence for him!

We finished the training session with a few weave entries, finishing our string cheese. I’m SO impressed with this little guy!

Haymitch’s 2-minute meal time training focuses on the dogwalk contact trainer, feeding breakfast and supper for a sit on the end of the contact.

This mealtime training carries over into his sequencing work as:  1) on the teeter Haymitch climbs the ramp, rides it down, and sits on the end of the ramp,  2) on the a-frame Haymitch slows as he approaches the contact,  3) we haven’t done a lot of dogwalks, but I’m going to encourage a sit at the end of the ramp.