im not totaly sold on eather one, because they both have draw backs, but i will probaly be useing a running contact. the reason im doing 2 on 2 off is because in our puppy/ begginers agility class, thats what we have been working on. And how do you train a running contact? (im new to this) LOL
The 2 on 2 off is FINE for now, because you want, more than anything else, to be developing control at this point. They are also important for dogs who may jump off from above the contact zone. (or guys USUALLY don't do that, because of their size) But if you watch really competitive teams, even if they have used 2 on 2 off to teach the CONCEPT of staying on the contact to the bottom, they use running contacts in competition... they are just SO much faster.
To develop the running contact when he's older, and is putting courses together, you can probably just run the obstacle with him, and make sure you use your finger to bring him ALL the way down and off the obstacle before you stop and reward him (if necessary). This, of course, is presupposing that he really understands staying on your finger (or hand) on course.
If this isn't enough, you can go to using a target at the bottom (and slightly away from) the base of the obstacle. You can use a plastic lid with a couple of treats on it. This will keep him focused down and off, rather than trying to leap and get too quickly to the next thing on course. This is particularly helpful if you need to have the dog go straight down the obstacle, while you move sideways to set up the next obstacle, turn or whatever. This is where our guys sometimes get in trouble and hurt/scare themselves... they may be within the contact zone, so "technically" OK, but still, jumping off the side, up high on a contact zone is still pretty far off the ground for our little guys.
I think I mentioned in another post that when Kodi was learning the obstacles, we had a problem where he would LEAP off the end of the teeter when it was still in mid air! Gave me total heart failure!
There we had to actually get him to slow down in the MIDDLE, wait for the change of balance then run down and off. For a bigger, heavier dog, this isn't such a problem, but our guys are perfectly capable of running all the way to the end before the balance shifts and it starts to tilt down.
A lot of BC's learn to run to the end and ride the teeter down before running off, but this isn't a good strategy for little dogs either. (Koid tried this too!
) at his size/weight, the teeter hitting the ground CATAPULTED him off the end. He didn't seem to mind, but it was another heart stopper for me!
One of the fun things about agility is there are always new "problems" to conquer!!! For us, we are trying to get our back and blind crosses, discrimination tasks and working further away from me.